The joys of travelling, there is always something to see. After a few days at base, I was back on the road again, headed to Thuringen which is part of the old East Germany. There is a discernable differenct between the old easts and wests. A little hard to describe perhaps, but maybe akin to your rich cousins and poor cousins. Back in the day when I rode across Europe, the stonework, the weather, the mood all seemed darker, blacker even.
Ever since I went on a school excursion through the Barossa Valley, the idea of living in an old church has held some fascination for me. I’m doubtful it will ever happen, but parts of rural Germany certainly provides plenty of fodder for the dream. Read More
Norway is great. The people are awesome, the landscapes fantastic and when the boss is paying your food and accommodation, you’re on easy street. I stopped doing the conversion calculation between the Krone and Aussie peso. Even though the AUD is going gangbusters, it started to do my head in just how expensive everything was over there in relation to what I would pay in Australia or Italy. Thanks boss.
I’m certainly feeling pretty sorrowful about the recent events in Norway, so I may well have to come back to add things to this post that I have forgotten. Read More
So, I had a day off, you beauty. After driving all over Europe, adapting to a new work environment, you’d think a day off would be well spent with my feet up.
On the other hand, the lack of riding was gnawing at my soul and expanding my waist line. I hit out for a lap around Lake Maggiore, a 190km loop from Castronno, up into Switzerland to a pretty town called Locarno and then back around to home.
I had ridden the closer parts of this loop and was looking forward to cruising along next to the lake for what was apparently a neat, flat ride. And so it turned out to be.
I felt surprisingly good considering the lack of k’s in the legs, but as always, I tend to get a little bored on flat rides. I also seem to find all those uncomfortable positions on the saddle when you sit spinning the same cadence for hours on end. Still, it beats working.
I returned to the local cafe in time for lunch and smashed down a big salad and a couple of espressos. With far too much time on my hands in the afternoon and not willing to head back home just yet, I pushed on.
It’s just the little differences you know? The first time I saw the team kit for “Baby-Dump”, I couldn’t help but laugh. I’m pretty sure an Aussie team called Baby-Dump would struggle to get any respect in the peloton, especially in team colours that seem awkwardly appropriate to the team name. Read More
Somehow, I nearly got started on an anecdote about Manali, but that would be a tale best left to a more suitable time and place.
The point however, is that the Dolomites are absolutely spectacular. I was lucky enough to travel around the part of Italy for a race called the Giro Della Regione Friuli. It was one of those times I wish the race was longer and that there was a rest day for staff. I would have been up for something as simple as going for a hike up one of the hills, to getting my hands on a bike (surprise), to lazing around in the alpine country knocking back cafe and gelati.
So, I almost managed a day off. After an early start for an airport run to pack an injured rider back off home fr surgery and recuperation, I begged for some free time. It took some discussion to overcome reluctance from the powers that be to convince them that some time away from the house was a good thing for me.
So on a sunny Saturday, I headed into Milano for the Private Alleycat. My old mate Strom from Basel, that I hadn’t seen since the Cycle Messenger World Champs in Sydney back in 2006 worded me up. I got in touch with the organiser Matteo Castronouvo to see if he could sort me out.
Another long drive, unpack, pack, laundry sleep and back on the road for 2 Italian one day races, Giro del Belvedere and GP Palio delRecioto.
These 2 races were a highlight for me, and this was mainly due to the atmosphere of the crowd. The races are over the holiday weekend for Festa Della Liberazione (Liberation Day). Libeation day has it’s equivalent in Australia known as Anzac Day and is also held on April 25.
So you can imagine the wonderful mix of holiday, good weather and bike racing. Read More
Life as a soignie often seems a little like this, where am I? Having spent 6 weeks in Europe now, I am still looking forward to my first day off. That’s not to say that every day has been flat stick, although some certainly have been, but there has always been something on my agenda. I am yet to experience that joy of a lazy Sunday. Anyway, moving right along, I thought I’d go back to where I left off. Read More
So, I got to do my first European race which was De Ronde van Vlaanderen Espoirs (U23 Tour of Flanders). This was a Nations Cup race, so all the teams were national U23 and looked resplendent in their national kit. At the start/finish area, there are hundreds of well informed Belgian cycling fans all after a cap, gloves, bidon, something with a national logo on to take as a souvenir. For me, quote of the day went to one of our riders getting hassled for his aussie gloves by a young cycling fan. Read More
It’s been a great first week in Europe for me. I was lucky with the whole jetlag thing and arrived in Milano feeling pretty fresh. I took the advice of trying to stay awake for the first leg into Singapore, and this seemed to work pretty well for me. So for 8 hours I just watched the movies. It’s been a few years since I’ve been on long haulflights and I’m pretty taken with the whole movies on demand thing. My very own remote control, all power to me!
Working on getting settled an finding my way around Castronno and surrounds. I now know the local cafe, pizza joint and supermarket, as well as the nearby IPER. Read More