Sunday, May 3, 2009

Madonna del Ghisallo

It's the end of an awesome weekend of riding and developing new friendships in Lake Como with the team. Click here to see all of the photos: Photo Album. We drove up on Friday and arrived at the hotel, which was beautifully situated on the lake with stunning views. I shared a room with Natascha, who is a gas. After a 6 hour drive we didn't waste any time grabbing our bikes to take a warm-up fantasy ride along the lake of 30K, to the very picturesque Varenna. There where we stopped for caffe and gelato. We then boarded a ferryboat across the spectacular lake, to Bellagio and then headed back to the hotel for an apertivo, a wonderful dinner, with just enough energy left to "fare una passeggiata alla piazza".

The 100K ride up the Ghisallo and the Passo del Sormano was a lifetime giro memory. Difficult, but very do-able. Between the great group of fellow riders and the outstanding scenery, I couldn't feel any pain, in fact, it was an adrenaline rush. The group rode dynamically together and it is a well-matched group. Upon reaching the summit, we stopped for pannini and then enjoyed the 30k killer descent. What a rush! We arrived back at the hotel early enough to nap and recover. Dinner was so much fun.....we all gave our SD photo cards to Paolo, who showed everyone's photos of the day on a monitor, for us all to see! Dessert was a cake, with the club logo design. We ended the night with a fine dose of grappa. Pooped!

Sunday after breakfast we drove up to the museum which had a very rare collection of bikes, jerseys, photos, journals and videos of over 100 years of Italian cycling history. Any fan of Italian cycling would have really appreciated this. We then took a group photo and headed back to Florence. What a memorable weekend this was, with many new friends made.