Monday, October 4, 2010

L'Eroica 2010

finish of L'Eroica 2010
Originally uploaded by ericm
this is the finish of L'Eroica 2010. I rode the 38km route and experienced all weather types, muddy strada bianca, nice paved roads, nothing much that was flat, a beautiful country and many wonderful people. the ride was amazing in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. my 1972 torpado gt8000 was held in new york's jfk airport for an extra day and delivered to varenna the next evening - thanks american airlines. after assembly it was time for a ride to madonna del ghisallo from bellagio - this was a great all uphill steep and twisty ride with a sense of accomplishment at the end. make sure you have a beer & potato chips at la panorama on your way back down, it has an incredible view of the "crotch" of lago di como. after doing a few short rides around lake como coupled with ferry rides and headset bearing cage repair i rode in verona for a day and covered much ground and discovered you can have any gin you want in italy as long as it's gordons - sometimes you don't need vermouth or a martini glass but lemon rind IS essential... fast forward to gaiole in chianti and checking in at the fantastic cavarchino b&b just a few minutes walk to the center of town but removed enough to be quiet and peaceful in the countryside - the rooms are only 3 yrs. old and look brand new & ultra clean, the breakfast is way more elaborate than any b&b in italy i've ever seen. andrea is the consumate jolly host and extremely helpful in suggesting places of interest and making dinner reservations if you like. he even let me store the bikes in his garage and used his power washer to clean the mud from my bike after the race. i cannot say enough good things about the cavarchino and also vanessa ballerio of bike italia rando - she made all the arrangements for accommodations, race entry and logistics, race support on the course - you name it she did it, with some help from enrico to teach us a little of the italian language. met a few new people: john and sally pergolizzi now living in turin, steve and alan bernstein from ny, mark winikoff from santa barbara and rode the 38km course with dave and linda martinez.

the ride started with a small, cool downhill from the cavarchino into town to sign in around 9am - there was a small queue then off to bormio castle in the cool gray morning. flat for a few km then a slight uphill grade twisty for several km. at madonna di brolio we head up the gray pavement past a wonderful restaurant to the castle where the strada bianca begins. i rode a test of this section to get used to the white roads the day before for about 22 km so confidence was decent if not high. a few kms on the white roads it started to rain and kept up for about 8 km turning the strada bianca to mud - hey, at least it wasn't dusty! the rain stopped and my jacket dried out a few km later actually warming up to short sleeve wool jersey weather. rain, sun or clouds, the scenery and riders were amazing on the 38km course as historic character and utility bikes were only allowed on this short ride. we broke off the main all distance course for a short twisty downhill on pavement to the 38k ristoro where prosciutto, salame, french bread, olive oil, water, melon, pastries, grapes, etc. were being served by folks in historic dress... (to be continued...)


bellavita said...

Hi Eric, glad to see other Bay Area riders got to experiance L'Eroica this year. We just got back as weel. Ended up doing the 135km corsa plus some extra riding over there and back.


m e l i g r o s a said...

what a beautiful little post - has taken me away :D
saw this and thought of you!!
ssooooooo COOL

Adrienne Johnson said...

Ooooooohhhhhhh... all the lovely places to ride in the world! Lucky!

eric said...

Mark, I'd signed up for the 135 but everyone I was with just did the short course. It was awesome just to be a part of the experience. Maybe next trip hook up w/you as you are close to Rome and in 3 trips to Italy I've yet to see it.

Meli, thx! I'm still "away" (mentally!). Thx for the link.

Ade, thx & yes, I realize I'm VERY lucky...

bellavita said...

Definately Eric. Will be there again next year and doing the long course. if you have or know of anybody with an old steel road frame/fork in the 60cm range, let me know. Building up a different bike for next years event.