Monday, July 24, 2017

La Valorosa 2017

La Valorosa 2017 dei Borghi del Metauro

This bici d'epoca event was the 7th in the Giro d'Italia d'Epoca 2017 series and the only epoca ride (other than Eroica CA) that fit with our schedule this year. That's gonna change for 2018!

The 1st thing Larry always does when he arrives is admire the old bikes. The finish on this one is gorgeous and how'd you like to shift the gears? First, loosen the Q/R skewer via the long rod that goes up the seat stay. Then pedal backwards while selecting your gear using the other rod that controls the forked thing that pushes the chain back and forth.. The dropouts and slanted backward and serrated so the chain tension is taken up. Then close the Q/R skewer and be on your way in your new gear. We've seen this done and it takes less time to do than it yook to read this!!

La Triestina is the second part of the Wilier name but I didn't see WILIER anywhere on this bike.

Gorgeous crankset, eh? Obviously this bike has been carefully restored to probably better than it's original state, but who cares?

Bianchi bikes are of course everywhere, but you don't see too many of these!

Is this REAL gold plating? The pantographing was nice too.

The organizers invited me to the pre-event dinner where this was parked outside. This event was not all that far from Cesanatico, Marco Pantani's hometown and the passions still run high for The Pirate.

Young Giacomo (above) had a very old bike. Youngsters can make it around the course on these old things, but not yours truly!

Americo Severini, 86 years young was out there with a son and grandson! He was a pro rider during the time of Fausto Coppi!

Folks dragged some odd stuff out of the garage for this event. A full-on Moser chrono bike wouldn't be my choice but it was cool to see it in action. Another guy rode a similar OLMO bike with disc wheels front and back!

Here's the start. I saw numbers up to almost 200 so the turnout was good on this very hot day.

The first ristoro came quickly as they wanted all of us to pose on the steps of the museum. Once I find the pages with those photos I'll put up a link. A lot of the staff, including the club president were dressed in period costumes and were transported in old cars or on old motorcycles. It was a nice touch.

Larry's Bianchi takes a break while he enjoys some refreshments.

Marco was from Firenze and a veteran of EROICA. We hope to see him next year at EROICA Montalcino, the new name for their primavera event.

One of the really cool things about these events is the locally-made bikes. Adriatico is one I'd never heard of or seen before.

Here's an old Moto Guzzi - called the Falcone. There are lots of these still running in Italy. They're famous for the exposed "meat-slicer" flywheel you can clearly see above.

La Valorosa was a great event! These folks demonstrated their passion and hospitality with a band playing at one of the stops along with the caravan of period vehicles piloted by folks in period costumes. Sadly, it was insanely hot and somehow Larry got talked into riding the long course by the promise of the great scenery. They were right about the great scenery, but despite drinking a ton of water along with other liquids and eating well, Larry had the worst case of leg cramps...ever. The last 20 kms were a real calvary but it was all worth it...or will be once the cramps are gone. I don't think I could have driven home that night and I'm still feeling the effects a day later!

Many thanks to GS Ciclo Club Calcinelli for making me feel like a celebrity!!!

On the drive back from the event we passed by the HQ of the Mercatone Uno company, sponsor of Marco Pantani's team.

One might say they're still exploiting the Pirate's fame, but I prefer to think of this more as a tribute to Pantani, a man widely misunderstood by Anglo-Saxons. He was far more than merely a foil for BigTex. Italians revere him because despite all kinds of misfortunes (crashes caused by vehicles, black cats, etc.) he rose out of his hospital bed time and time again to compete with the best. His tragic death (just like Fausto Coppi's) just adds to the legend. RIP Pirata.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Legendary Climbs 2017 - finale

More photos of Angie and Dave in the mountains

The nice folks at the Rifugio Giau added a CycleItalia maglia to their collection

We concluded the tour (as usual) with a lakeside ride and final climb to the shrine of cycling, Madonna del Ghisallo.

If you're interested in this tour in 2018 let us know now as we'll be offering this (and all of our other guided, point-to-point tours) on an on-demand basis in the future. All it takes is you and a few friends!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Legendary Climbs 2017

This is the "Angie and Dave Show" as they're the only ones up for Legendary Climbs 2017. Heather's off hobknobbing with her fellow philosophical wizards in Greece and Larry's doing the guide duties in the van. So far the weather's been great  and they've having a wonderful time.

Monday, July 10, 2017

World's Best Bicycle*

What would YOUR dream bike be like?

100% Made-in-Italy to start. Of course most all high-end bikes are made in Asian factories these days, but we think Made-in-Italy counts for something more than slogans like "Designed in Italy" or the famous "Adrenalina Italiana" used by others to imply the bikes are Italian when only the names truly are.

Most people believe carbon fiber's the best material for bicycles these days and would ride nothing else. We've now got you covered with 3K full-carbon construction, 100% done in Italy by Michele Favaloro in his tiny shop near Lake Garda. There are no off-the-rack bicycles there, each and every one is made-to-measure. Our small fleet was designed in conjunction with Favaloro to offer the same stable and comfortable ride as the other bikes in our rental fleet as well as being similar in size. Our carbon "Belloni" fits just like our aluminum/carbon "Binda" or our all steel "Bartali" though the new bikes have slightly taller head tubes to allow the bars to be up a bit higher if that's your preference.

At just 8 kg without pedals, these are light without risking safety or security. Both Favaloro's and CycleItalia's names are on these and we're not taking any chances trying to compete with this month's "world's lightest bike". Stability and ride comfort wins out over light weight every time in our book! Larry did some back-to-back test rides to confirm the handling and stability matches the other bikes in our fleet, bikes our clients love.

Campagnolo's POTENZA groupset has received rave reviews from the bike journalists and our clients agree. This stuff really works well, from shifting to braking, easily rivaling the performance of similar-priced groupsets from competitors with names starting with S.

Wheels are strong but light too ,Ursus ATHON's are around 1500 grams a pair and featurre aluminum rims so no worries about brakes overheating/rim failure as has been reported far-too-often with various carbon clincher rims. 150 tpi folding tires add to the great ride while the 34 X 32 low gear lets you spin up the steepest hill ,while the 50 X 12 is still enough to pedal on the fast descents if you dare!

MSRP for a bike exactly like these is just $4950. But they're not off-the-rack, they're made-to-measure so you get a truly custom bike (not just a fancy paint job) for the same (or less) than you'd spend on a big-brand name who spends millions on advertising and promotions.

That's the great part about this - we got EXACTLY what we wanted and you can too. If you don't know exactly what you want CycleItalia, Albabici and Favaloro can help you decide and then Michele will create your dream bike, painted any way you like.

Come ride one of ours and decide for yourself. If enough are interested we might even pay a visit to FAVALORO so you can meet Michele and be personally measured.

* World's Best Bicycle to ride on a CycleItalia vacation in our humble opinion

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Grandi Alpi 2017

Grandi Alpi 2017

The quote from Einstein above, photographed on our way up the Col de Joux, "Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving" could be a good comment about this mini-Legendary Climbs tour in the Val d'Aosta. The climbs are long and steep so you just have to keep pedaling in a low gear to get up them.

Col de Jeux is a good example. Above you see Chris and Paula celebrating their first climb in the Alpes.

Today we climbed the Gran San Bernardo to the border with Switzerland. Above you see Larry winding his way to to lunch at the top. Even at 8000 feet of elevation we ate outside in warm sunshine. Chris even bought lunch!!! Grazie mille Chris!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Vineyards to the Sea 2017 - Finale

From the vineyards..... the sea.

Mille grazie to Asha and Phil for joining us. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vineyards to the Sea 2017

Vineyards to the Sea 2017

Someone told us recently they thought Vineyards to the Sea implied a ride that was mostly downhill!!! We're not sure about other vineyards of the world, but the ones in Italy tend to be on hillsides and to ride through them requires CLIMBING. Of course you get to enjoy spectacular descents once you're up there, but these routes are up and down all day.

Above you see "Pippo Cuore" as we're calling him, cycling past another in a never-ending series of hilltowns surrounding Asti. Tomorrow we head into the Appennines for even more (and larger) climbs on our way to the sea.