Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Simply Amazing Under $5 Wine

No joke! This costs less than $5!


Zio Lorenzo picked up a bottle of this wine at the local supermarket. Of course this is the local supermarket here in Monferrato!

Sadly, we were unable to find a USA importer/distributor so you'll just have to come over here and enjoy some.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Magical Monferrato 2018

Magical Monferrato


Yesterday was one of those "postcard" days here at Piedmont Cycling Resort, if only we had a postcard photographer! Above you can see the snow-capped Alps beyond the soon-to-be-golden hills and fields on the short (55 km/34 miles) version of our cycling route to the west.


Cycling is a theme around here, with old bikes painted and turned into art works like this one in Pontestura.


Or these in Zenenvreto.

There are other works of art as well, the nearby village of Rosignano has a museum of photos and paintings along the roadside and of course the UNESCO World Heritage passages through these vineyards are works of art as well!

We're waiting for you. Click HERE to start your plans.

Monday, June 4, 2018

CAMPAGNOLO CENTAUR 11

What was old is new again.


Larry wanted to put this classic TOMI bike back on the road. You can read more about it HERE but this post is more about the new groupset that makes this great old bike like new again - Campagnolo's CENTAUR 11 here in polished alloy.

Above: Front
Above: Rear
Above: Front closeup
Above: Crankset
Above: Rear derailleur and cogset
Above: Gorgeous pantographing set off nicely by the polished parts
Above: Everywhere you look there are beautiful details to admire.

This groupset was created by the folks in Vicenza in the hope of gaining some OEM spec now that bikes come pre-built in a box vs the good-old-daze where you selected a frame and your local shop wizards built it up just for you, including lacing the wheels. This groupset is certainly built-to-a-low price but it seems a return to the good old Campy days when all of their stuff worked very well, spending more money simply got you a nicer finish and less weight due to the use of more expensive and lighter materials like titanium and carbon fiber.

The reviews of Potenza were so great (and backed up by our own experience) that we thought we should have a Centaur-equipped bike to show our guests and Piedmont Cycling Resort. They can even test ride it if it's close to the right size for them!

The polished alloy was a must to go with the beautiful chrome plating and pantographing wizardry on this classic Italian steel bike.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

COPPI DAY AGAIN

Another pilgrimage to Castellania


Our friend Piero Coppi was feeling much better this morning when we arrived to pay our respects to his famous cousins. Above you can see (L-R) Becky, Marco, Piero, Laurie and Carlo posing in front of the tombs.


After Piero treated us to lunch, we were off to see the Museum of Champions again. There was a special exhibition of bikes not usually in the museum's collection so we snapped some photos to share with you,


I think Girardengo won the Giro on this bike in 1919?


Merckx won on this one in 1968?


Coppi on this one in 1953?


And this one the terrible photographer clipped off the name.


Same for this one.


This was a special treat available only during these days. As always MILLE GRAZIE to our friend Piero Coppi and the nice folks at the Museum of Champions who kindly open the place up exclusively for us!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Giro d'Italia Stage 20 CERVINIA

Karl and Laurie wanted to see the Giro so off we went this morning to Cervinia. It's barely an hour (to the base of the climb) from Piedmont Cycling Resort so we departed around 9 AM with the idea of riding to the top, finding some lunch and waiting for the race. Why didn't you join us?


Larry decided to join in the fun and ride the climb himself since the plan was not to try to drive through road closures on the course. He's way short of cycling fitness but decided to prove "gearing and attitude" are more important. Above you see the iconic switchbacks which to us define this climb,


Zio Lorenzo was glad he had low gears as this climb was a struggle, but knowing the climb from countless rides up here helped a lot. Above is another shot of Larry's favorite part.


The ristorante Larry hoped to get a table at was full and no amount of pleading would make a table available, so it was time for Plan B. Why not pop over to the place we dined at last week with our other group? It will certainly be open and since the guy will likely remember me from last week scoring a table here should be easy. It was and soon enough Karl and Laurie arrived to enjoy a tasty Valdostana pranzo. 

And who should walk in? None other than RAI Sport's own cycling historian and main man with the cycling gossip, BEPPE CONTI. He was nice enough to pose for this photo and to chat a bit about this year's Giro and other cycling subjects. He's even got a new book out, "Mangiare, Bere e Pedalare" so he's well aware of our idea of "pedala forte, mangia bene) But we needed to get back to the road to see the race!


Above you can see the contenders coming around the iconic switchbacks around 5 kms from the finish line.


And the RAI TV camera moto,


From our spot one could look down on scenes like this.


And this.


But still run across the road to get shots like this.

Unlike many, we waited until the broom wagon came past before making our way back down to the Piedmont Cycling Resort car. But rain clouds were coming in and we wanted to avoid wet roads - we just made it!

So Chris Froome wins the Giro d'Italia (barring any mishaps tomorrow in Rome) 2018. As regular blog readers know we're not big fans of Froome or SKY, but rather than go on about that, you can read an opinion piece HERE that pretty much sums up our opinion.

As Heather said, "I enjoyed the play, I just wish the actors had been cast better." Now we wait to see what the authorities do with Froome's doping case. Beppe Conti told us that he thinks Froome will lose the Vuelta title where he gave the tainted urine sample, but barring any positive dope tests here at the GIro his victory will stand.

We think La Corsa Rosa deserves better and Conti seemed to agree,

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wash Day

Wash Day


Above you see bikes lined up to dry in the sun. We had two groups this week who just headed home..time to wash and service the bikes they rode to get 'em ready for the next guests.

Each bike gets washed and inspected with details noted in our logbook before it's prepared for the next client.

Bikes are ready for you - classic steel, standard aluminum/carbon or full-carbon...reserve your place HERE.