Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Thoughts on LeTour 2020

 Thoughts on LeTour 2020

Above: Lorenzo and Erica at LeTour 2019

Zio Lorenzo's thoughts on Le Grand Boucle 2020 can be found HERE.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Double Standard?

 Double Standard or ?

Hmm. Watch the bonehead move in

this video clip.

Then watch

this one.

Then tell me why one guy was tossed out of the race while the other wasn't?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The latest on travel to Italy from the USA


No good news to report:  

Non-essential travel (i.e., tourism) to Italy from most non-EU countries (including the United States) is prohibited. Essential travel is allowed and includes students, businesspersons, EU residents, and relatives of Italian citizens.

  • The Department of State has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for Italy recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Health Notice for Italy due to COVID-19 concerns and similarly recommends that travelers defer all nonessential travel to Italy.
When this (finally) changes we'll begin publishing La Gazzetta dello CycleItalia again. Until then stay safe!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2020


 Whatever happened to "Larry T"?

jcSaturday, 5 September 2020, 10:34 am

Anyone have any idea whats happened to “Larry T”. I know the TdF is not as good a race as his beloved Giro 🙂 but his rather idiosyncratic view of cycling was always interesting even if I rarely agreed with his point of view.

  • BCSaturday, 5 September 2020, 11:54 am

    Larry has probably felt the impact of C-19 in both his business and private life.

    I am sure he will return when the world has returned to a more normal state.

  • This was not one of the blogs that banned Zio Lorenzo, but one he just stopped posting on along with all the rest.

  • Why?

  • The online stupidity around the Coronavirus pandemic just got too much to handle even on cycling blogs, as previous posts have described.

  • This blog (the name of which you'll have to guess) was full of the same stuff but once cycling started again Zio noted the (now about cycling again, grazie!) comments were no longer anything resembling the thoughtful, civil, cycling discussions he'd previously enjoyed there before it all fell apart with the pandemic. The place now seems more like a bar where drunks just yell at each most of social media!

  • The only bits worth reading there now are pretty much just what the author posts - the comments have devolved into the same old moronic crap found on the more mainstream cycling blogs. Zio Lorenzo no longer posts on any of them and is much happier for it!

  • As my wife says, everything has a time and a place. There could well be another bicycle racing blog with intelligent content and interesting, civil comments, but Zio's in no rush to find it.

  • Just today we were live-streaming  coverage of LeTour and the Italian technical commentator was lamenting this same problem, so we know this is not limited to English-language cycling blogs.

  • Is TV or video entertainment made better when morons at home in front of their screens are allowed to vent their opinions during the coverage? Larry T. thinks not so he'll vent his only here so all 5 of the blog readers can read 'em..or not.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Omerta in the bike biz?

 OMERTA - In the bike biz?

Most people are familiar with the term omerta when it comes to doping in cycling, but what about equipment failure?

In yesterday's Tour de France stage there was a crash resulting in a scary-looking breakage of a bike frame*. If this video link still works you can see it HERE but the major cycling websites pretty much ignored this.

So much so that I was unable to find a still image of a broken bicycle in a racing situation to include in this post. Most of the images viewable online are of bikes destroyed by collisions with automobiles, something nobody can blame on the bicycle.

Our theory is the cycling "enthusiast press" is so loathe to offend a potential advertiser they self-censor when it comes to equipment failures. They show bike changes all the time but don't seem interested in the reason bikes are so frequently swapped out these days, like changing a bandage.

Chains drop, tires go flat, electronic shifting batteries go dead, handlebars, seatposts or frames break and if there's a TV camera nearby the director nearly always cuts away quickly from any image that would suggest equipment failure. As a result video rarely seems to make it to places like Youtube. You might see the rider being pushed back into the race on a spare bike, but rarely do you see what happened to the one he/she was riding before the change.

Of course unlike F1 or MOTOGP, (where the TV coverage seems far less likely to shy away from these types of images) the bike biz is trying to convince you to buy bikes exactly like those ridden by your favorite pro racer rather than an F1 car or MOTOGP machine so our guess is the last thing they want you to see is how fragile some of this equipment truly is? Especially when you're gonna be riding it around on your local roads.

While we'd not go so far as to suggest the sport return to 1913 when Eugene Christophe had to carry his broken bike down the mountain to the nearest village and weld his fork back together, only to be penalized for allowing someone else to operate the bellows, perhaps a limit to bike changes or some more honest press coverage would be an incentive to make modern bikes a bit more resistant to crash damage/failure.

If we're going to read about how the "Groundpounder 5000" helped Joe Crankarm to victory, shouldn't we also hear details about when it fails, costing him a victory or worse, risking injury or death?

Finally, we're firmly against any attempts to further reduce the minimum weight of bikes used in competition below the current 6.8 kg, not only for safety reasons but also as a small measure of cost-control in a sport where expensive technology already plays a too-important role.

*Update: Two days later a big star's chain somehow comes off as he begins his final sprint. What do we get for explanation: "That's f__king cycling!" the rider said. So far one of the few video clips capturing a rider's frustration with equipment failure is THIS. 

Since then we've watched a few big stars remove their right foot from the pedals and kick at the front derailleur with their heels before putting up their hands to request another bike from the team car while the TV director seems to cut away ASAP. Later, one of these stars took yet another bike from the car - this time it looked like the bike he started the race on, now repaired. What is going on?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Piedmont Cycling Resort 2020 - visit by GIOS

 Piedmont Cycling Resort - visit by GIOS

Piedmont Cycling Resort may technically be closed but Hotel Ariotto is open-for-business!

We came up for a brief visit and to collect some things from storage to bring back to Sicily with us. We'll head back on Sunday with a car full of bikes, parts, clothing, etc.

Our friend Marco Gios and his friend Silvia stopped by to ride and dine with us the other day, as you can see above.

We enjoyed their visit and now they might visit us during their vacation in Sicily next week!

It was a pleasure Marco and Silvia!!! See you in Sicily!!!!

Above: Bellissima in blue!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Gran Piemonte 2020-Up close!

 Gran Piemonte 2020

Another day, another race as the pro bike racing scene restarts in a concentrated way. 

We set up our pop-up sunshade and folding chairs at the top of the La Morra climb where the race route turned towards the Barolo finish.

The race was to pass this place 3 times so we thought it the best place to watch. Needless to say we weren't the only ones!

There's something special about being this close to a race though we wore our face masks as the racers passed. Once the rain came we put away the tent and huddled under an umbrella during the final climb, then raced home to join our friend Marco Gios for dinner. More on that next time, meanwhile a couple of photos turned out well enough to share.