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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday's ride

Hi gang,
I'm not sure if I'll make it for this Sundays ride. If you are keen, post a note in the comments to let others know there will be Lairs for a 9am start.
Photo from top of Mt Buffalo, at a much warmer time of year.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spot the Aussies

Hi gang, her's another email from Andy and Glo...

Rode north out of Rome last Thursday to Lake Bracciano and camped the night. A few lycra lizards on the road but few cyclists. Camping ground only just opened and fairly basic, but did the job. Next day tackled the hills between Bracciano and Civvitavecchia. Hard work and cold and rainy. After lunch it was all downhill which gave us a long wait for the overnight ferry to Palermo. Ferry trip smooth, more room in the seats to stretch out than on a plane. Reached Palermo around 8am on the Saturday morning - no tourist info available. Had a bit of a ride around, Peter pulling front pannier off after running into a parked car and Glo just missing a rubbish skip (well it was a small one). Very gusty wind which was behind us for most of the next week.
Left Palermo before anything else happened and headed along the northern coast (inland mountains looked a bit daunting). Narrow roads, lots and shops and buildings right on the road and lots of traffic. Made it to lovely camping ground at Cefalu thaT NIGHT - ABOUT 70K'S. Sorry about the caps! Generally headed east along the coast over the next few days dodging cars and rain. Even the coast road has lots of hills and they seem harder with panniers front and rear. From Milazzo we took the ferry to the Eolian Island of Lipari and camped at Canneto near the beach. World heritage listed and what a delight, more views per k than anywhere else I have seen. Did the Giro di Lipari all 30 k of up and down before our gelati in the old town centre of lipari.
Next day back on the ferry to Milazzo and then continued our ride to the east, camping about 20k's from Messina. Battled our way to Messina through rain and hills to wait in the rain for the ferry to cross the straits to Reggio di calabria. Another run down Italian town without the huge piles of rubbish that made Sicily so smelly. Rode out of Reggio but had to turn back as we ran out of accomadation options. Have now found a terrific b&b in the centre
Andy and glo

The above email did not send due to faulty mouse in the b&b in Reggio di calabria. Had a great meal there and really nice people in the b&b. Back on the bikes the next day to head into the real country finally. Lovely quiet roads and great scenery - olive trees and crops being farmed rather then let go wild as in Sicily (and no rubbish). Near Alberbello and the Trulli stone houses I stopped to check the map and heard someone call - a couple of people noticed us go past and wanted to share their cherry tree (yes Siobhan, I have scored another cherry season!) The girl had grown up in Canada and her partner was very enthusiastic in showing us the inside of their Trulli. They invited us back for the Inter Milan-Madrid match that night but we decided it would be too late. Camped the night and headed to Matera the next day. Getting hillier although we are coping, some of the climbs are getting longer and steeper. Matera is a town where the houses are built literally on top of each other and their roofs become roads. They have a very sophisticated way of harvesting water and groups of residents sharing their lives. Another b&b, this time in a restored 800+ year old house.
Breakfast on the terrace before tackling some more hills heading to the west. Lots of wind turbines and solar panel installations.
We are planning to meet Noel in Salerno for the weekend and riding the Amalfi coast then maybe Pompeii as well.
Glo and Pete are off looking at churches. Churches here are actually used for mass and often smell of incense. I'm not sure if I told the story of bumping into the parish priest in Cantana on Lipari. Not only did he bless me he told us he had a cousin in Australia and did we know Bob Santamaria!
I'm going to check the weather (just stopped rainning and the afl ladder)
cheerio for now

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ride to Pyalong

Last Sunday morning started off at minus 3 C, the rest of the day looked like this...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

That loving feeling

Check out this tender moment between our Cadel and Daniele Righi during stage 12 of the Giro click here.
While Cadel's chances are looking less by the stage (especially after missing the break the other night), it's fantastic to see Mick Rogers wearing the yellow jersey in the tour of California, sad to hear that Stuart O'Grady broke his collarbone in a crash .
You also have to wonder about Robbie McEwan, when you take into consideration that most of the big sprinters are not participating in the Giro, it would be great to see him win a stage.
Really nice to have Aussie, Richie Porte in the leaders jersey.
There is a ride planned for 9am from Lancefield tomorrow morning.
Photo was taken on last Sunday's ride up Mt. Macedon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Postcard from Rome.

Got an e-mail from Andy the other day.
Dear all,
Good times in Dubai with an unbelievable no. of big buildings and dozens more on the go.
Got to Rome Monday arvo, put bikes together and headed off with my written instructions because I couldn't find a map that had our destination on it. After one early wrong turn managed to get on to the correct road (in the rain). Instead of crossing the Autostrada my road deposited us onto it. Only exits were onto other Autostrada which happened several times. We eventually found a secondary road which took us into central Rome (very scenic if not a bit scary!) After zigzagging along the Tiber being thwarted by one way streets we found Vatican city (7pm by now) and several hours later we managed to navigate the rest of the 4 or so kms to our little street. Don't know how many k's but over 6 hours to do the 20k direct route. A very late dinner capped off the date. It is right up there in terms of first days on the bike!
Yesterday (Tuesday) did the Fora, Pantheon, Trev.s fountain, Spanish steps so have ticked off a few. As we were leaving the Roman Forum I decided to check whether we had covered every thing only to find that we had missed the Palantine hill - probably 3 times the size of the forum itself. Maybe it was there in 2003 because we didn't see it then. Staying in the suburbs has the advantage of much better, cheaper food.
Off to Vat City today then back on the bike, treno or ferry tomorrow.
Pete's phone, Glo's phone not working, and I will try to buy a telephono oggi


There is a ride planned for Sunday 9am, in Lancefield, let me know.
See you there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And another thing...

Could you imagine if the boys at team Radio Shack left Lance behind, don't even try and imagine it because it would never happen, for starters, waiting for the team leader would be the natural thing to do, and any rider that didn't wait would be looking for another team before the stage even ended. Then there's the thought of facing the boss when he catches up with you.
Lance would be yelling down the radio in two seconds flat if the Dumb ass team director wasn't already telling the boys to wait. That's who I blame the most, the team director, as he should be backing Cadel and getting the guys to support their leader.

Same ____, different team.

Easy come, easy go. As easily as Cadel got into first place, he was out.
From leading Vinokourov(who is now in first place) by almost 20 Seconds he is behind him by over 40 after being caught in a pile up.
Prangs happen, and contenders get stuck behind them, but in most cases when a team leader is involved the rest of the team will wait for him and tow him back to the leaders group, but that was the most noticeable thing about the whole thing, no support for Cadel. Yep, maybe he's not a likable kind of guy or he's too quirky and a loner or none of those things but he's the man in the BMC team and he should have had heaps of support rain, hail or shine. No wonder he gets a bit irky.
The race is far from over, but it won't be easy if even possible from here and I bet he's got a pretty strong sense of deja vu. He can only hope he can out climb Vino and Basso in the mountains and pull off a couple of great time trials.
Team time trial tonight, First mountain stage Sunday night.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In the pink

After Bradley Wiggins took the first stage time trial, he lost it yesterday when he had a spill in the second stage.
Cadel stood on the podium in first place wearing the "Maglia Rosa".
Theres a long way to go and I can't see him wanting to keep the pink jersey till later in the race, but the colour suits him.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunday's ride

Hi gang,
There is a ride planned for 9am Sunday Morning. See you there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Giro d'Italia

Awesome, the first of cycling's holy trinity is about to start, the Giro gets underway this weekend, and with Franko Pellizotti (among others) being busted for "irregular readings", Cadel is now a favourite. Even though it's sad this sort of thing goes on, I'm glad they were caught now and and not after the race, then placings altered and hollow victories awarded months after the race, as in the Tour De France fiasco of was it '07 when Floyd got on the juice.

Cadel was a pretty good chance even before Pellizotti got the flick, he's been in good nick and has a bit of confidence, his new team also offers better support than he's had in recent years but he still has to contend with the like of Sastre and Vinokourov, Basso is about due and Bradley Wiggins could be a dark horse so cross your fingers.

The route this year is a killer, 7 great mountain stages mostly in the latter part of the race. Stage 16 is a 12.8 km time trial with an average gradient of 8.5% and it's steepest section being a torturous 24%, to put things in a bit of Lairs perspective, the South side climb of Mt. Macedon is 6km with an average grade of about 7.5 % and a maximum of about13-14%.

I was hoping SBS would be showing a few live stages, perhaps on a Friday or Saturday night they could have an extended highlights package followed by a live stage, but nah ! It seems the programmers feel that another "boob movie" repeat followed by world weather for four hours would be a better nights viewing.

Three big names will be participating in a rebel Giro, riding for the Lucky Buggers team. Andy, Glo and Peter are leaving for Italy on Saturday morning and will be zig zagging across "the boot" on their bikes for a few weeks. Bon voyage guys.

A Quick, good on ya, to Al, who did his first big climb a few weeks ago and ticked off Mt. Buffalo on his birthday.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Will be the last one for Glo and Andy for a while so come and join us tomorrow at nine in the usual spot. Steve's having a bit of trouble getting going but may be about to join us. Lancefield has turned 150 officially so make sure you are with us for the first ride of the next sesquicentennial!
see ya