Monday, September 25, 2017

Interbike 2017 - Leaving Las Vegas...forever

It's done! Interbike 2017 that is. 

The show moves to Reno, NV next year which leaves Uncle Larry wondering - "Hmmm, you're trading a gambling, boozing, smoking mecca in Nevada for what exactly?" But what does he know?


The pasta (above) is not yet done. These bags of Italian pasta were used in a promotion for the Favaloro carbon-fiber bicycles. A much better than average business card, no?


Piedmont Cycling Resort now has a small fleet of Favaloro bikes for you to try during your time with us. We can even arrange a visit to Favaloro's workshop where you can be measured for your own 100% Made-in-Italy, made-to-measure masterpiece.

Meanwhile, our website is almost complete, so take a look by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CycleItalia's PIEDMONT CYCLING RESORT




Our new website is now live!

https://www.piedmontcyclingresort.com/

The details are being worked on now. Meanwhile Uncle Larry's off to Interbike, so after you check out the new website, check back here for bike show details.

Friday, September 1, 2017

What is Piedmont Cycling Resort?

CycleItalia's PIEDMONT CYCLING RESORT


In addition to celebrating the 20th birthday of CycleItalia, 2018 will be a transition for us. We'll take a break from our usual full season of guided tours and instead offer our clients open-calendar, personally customizable vacations. All packages include self-guided ride routes and the use of all the resort facilities including two swimming pools, laundry and our fully-equipped bike workshop plus post-ride snacks.


Join us for two days (starting at $299) two weeks or anything in between, it's your choice. Choose hotel lodging or a self-catering apartment ($1099 one week minimum)
We'll be there in our usual apartment overseeing the entire program. Each day you'll choose your ride route and cycle as far and as fast as you like, with others or on your own.


Bicycles (your choice of steel, aluminum/carbon and full-carbon) are available for rental starting at just $99 if you'd rather not bring your own. Post-ride massage services are also available. Don't forget to jump-start your recovery with a post-ride snack. 


The tiny town of Terruggia, nestled among vineyards offers a small market, pharmacy, post office, bakery and more. Piedmont Cycling Resort is barely one hour away from Milan's Malpensa airport.



Activities for non-cyclists abound. Wine-tasting? Cooking class? Guided tour of Milan or Torino?  Vineyard walk followed by candle-lit dinner? Shopping excursion to famous-brand outlets? We can arrange all of this and more to make Piedmont Cycling Resort the best vacation option for cyclists and non-cyclists alike.


Lunch and dinner are available either at the resort's Ristorante della Villa while many other choices are just a minute's walk away.


Cycling guides, vehicle support and airport shuttles are also available at extra cost.  You can even choose day-trip excursions to famous bike makers, cycling museums, bici d'epoca events, Giro d'Italia viewing and more!



Bring your friends or make new ones, the choice is yours!


Cyclists (and non-cyclists) of all types are welcome at Piedmont Cycling Resort

Our website is being revised now, but don't hesitate to contact us to start creating your 2018 dream cycling vacation. We're ready to make it happen!!!

Update: We've received many questions about our guided tours. All of them are still available but now on-demand rather than based on a fixed schedule. All you need is 3-4 friends and we're good to go! Contact us for more details.

Heather & Larry

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CycleItalia's PIEDMONT CYCLING RESORT


Picture yourself relaxing by this pool.


Or enjoying cucina piemontese cooked and served by Paolo and Davide


Perhaps served with freshly shaved black truffle?


After riding these idyllic roads with your friends.


On the edge of this tiny, peaceful village.


Where this fleet of artisan-built (by Favaloro) Made-in-Italy, Campagnolo-equipped bicycles is available for rent.


And a fully BiciSupport equipped workshop is there in case you want to adjust your own bike.


And FREE laundry machines are always available.

How 'bout a guided tour of nearby Casale Monferrato with a wine tasting and light dinner in a vineyard afterwards? Guided truffle hunt? Designer outlet shopping trip? Cooking lessons? Snacks after your ride? Massage for your tired legs? Maybe a guided excursion to cycle the famous climb of Cervinia (Matterhorn) or a day-trip to be measured for a custom bicycle? Wine tasting in Barolo or Barbaresco? Gourmet tasting tour of Torino? See a nearby stage of the Giro d'Italia? Ride in a bici d'epoca event?

All this and more could be yours in 2018 at Piedmont Cycling Resort!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Uncle Larry's Favorite Road Cycling Shoe

VITTORIA ELITE CYCLING SHOE

Uncle Larry's worn Vittoria cycling shoes for more than two decades. Before this he got free shoes from other sponsors, but he eventually decided to just BUY some good, Italian shoes. Italian shoes have always had a reputation for high-quality and Vittoria is no exception. Of course feet are different and these might not fit you as well as another brand but the fit was the deciding factor all those years ago.

At first, we had road and MTB shoes but gradually stopped bothering with "road" shoes as we phased out other pedal systems in favor of the SPD style with a simple, recessed, two-bolt cleat. No more slipping and sliding on plastic or metal bits contacting the ground, we want secure, rubber grip!

Then we met the Celestino Vercelli family through our friend "Chairman Bill" who used to own Torelli Imports. How fortunate to meet people who make something you already like enough to pay for and then have them become official suppliers!

MTB shoes are kind of overkill with their rugged, lugged soles, but up 'till now there were not many alternatives. When Vittoria introduced their highly-successful "1976" line of  vintage style lace-up shoes, the sole they chose was very interesting. We got some of those right away for our bici d'epoca adventures. Warning: If you worship at the altar of "stiffer is always better" you can stop reading now. This shoe/sole is not for you, though Vittoria does offer full-carbon sole shoes for those who prefer them. We don't.

The 1976 shoe fit and felt like a slipper! Super comfortable but while the lace-up, old time style looked great with our epoca bikes, Larry had doubts about using them with a SPD cleat bolted on, something we skip with our epoca bikes with their old-time clip-and-strap pedals.




Someone at Vittoria must have read his mind because this new shoe was shown at Interbike 2016. That same great sole with a stronger, higher-tech upper. Larry found the stiffness of the 1976 sole just fine and now he had a shoe perfect for riding his own modern bikes with SPD road pedals!


You can see this is a simple, nylon sole with rubber tread and a recess for the cleat (or you can skip the cleat and attach the included plugs, as Larry's done with his 1976 shoes) so they're almost like sneakers off the bike, but have all the performance Larry needs on the bike. Just as with bike frames and wheels, stiffness is over-rated and there can be too much of a good thing when your feet begin to ache from shoes (or frames, wheels) that are too stiff and unyielding.

Vittoria's taken care of Larry's shoe needs for years but Edoardo Vercelli had a bemused look on his face when Larry asked for a pair of these. I guess most folks would ask for the most expensive, high-tech shoe in the line if they were getting them for free, but Larry's had those and thought these would be perfect. Like most shoes the insoles supplied are not great, but once Larry slipped his favorite insole inside - heaven!

The velcro straps and "clicker" buckle work just fine and despite their looks, these shoes ventilate well - something Larry tested in Sicily in June. If walking safely off the bike is important to you, but you don't want to give up the benefits of real cycling shoes, Vittoria's ELITE could be your favorite shoe too!

Grazie VITTORIA!!

Disclaimer: Vittoria Shoes is an official supplier to CycleItalia

Monday, July 24, 2017

La Valorosa 2017

La Valorosa 2017 dei Borghi del Metauro

This bici d'epoca event was the 7th in the Giro d'Italia d'Epoca 2017 series and the only epoca ride (other than Eroica CA) that fit with our schedule this year. That's gonna change for 2018!


The 1st thing Larry always does when he arrives is admire the old bikes. The finish on this one is gorgeous and how'd you like to shift the gears? First, loosen the Q/R skewer via the long rod that goes up the seat stay. Then pedal backwards while selecting your gear using the other rod that controls the forked thing that pushes the chain back and forth.. The dropouts are slanted backward and serrated so the chain tension is taken up. Then close the Q/R skewer and be on your way in your new gear. We've seen this done and it takes less time to do than it took you to read this!!


La Triestina is the second part of the Wilier name but I didn't see WILIER anywhere on this bike.


Gorgeous crankset, eh? Obviously this bike has been carefully restored to probably better than it's original state, but who cares?


Bianchi bikes are of course everywhere, but you don't see too many of these!


Is this REAL gold plating? The pantographing was nice too.


The organizers invited me to the pre-event dinner where this was parked outside. This event was not all that far from Cesanatico, Marco Pantani's hometown and the passions still run high for The Pirate.



Young Giacomo (above) had a very old bike. Youngsters can make it around the course on these old things, but not yours truly!



Americo Severini, 86 years young was out there with a son and grandson! He was a pro rider during the time of Fausto Coppi!


Folks dragged some odd stuff out of the garage for this event. A full-on Moser chrono bike wouldn't be my choice for this course but it was cool to see it in action. Another guy rode a similar OLMO bike with disc wheels front and back!


Here's the start. I saw numbers up to almost 200 so the turnout was good on this very hot day.


The first ristoro came quickly as they wanted all of us to pose on the steps of the museum. Once I find the pages with those photos I'll put up a link. 

A lot of the staff, including the club president were dressed in period costumes and  transported around the course in old cars or on old motorcycles. It was a nice touch.


Larry's Bianchi takes a break while he enjoys some refreshments.


Marco was from Firenze and a veteran of EROICA. We hope to see him next year at EROICA Montalcino, the new name for their primavera event.


One of the really cool things about these events is the locally-made bikes. Adriatico is one I'd never heard of or seen before.


Here's an old Moto Guzzi - called the Falcone. There are lots of these still running in Italy. They're famous for the exposed "meat-slicer" flywheel you can clearly see above.

La Valorosa was a great event! These folks demonstrated their passion and hospitality with a band playing at one of the stops along with the caravan of period vehicles piloted by folks in period costumes. Sadly, it was insanely hot and somehow Larry got talked into riding the long course by the promise of the great scenery. They were right about the great scenery, but despite drinking a ton of water along with other liquids and eating well, Larry had the worst case of leg cramps...ever. The last 20 kms were a real calvary but it was all worth it...or will be once the cramps are gone. I don't think I could have driven home that night and I'm still feeling the effects a day later!

Many thanks to GS Ciclo Club Calcinelli for making me feel like a celebrity!!!


On the drive back from the event we passed by the HQ of the Mercatone Uno company, sponsor of Marco Pantani's team.


One might say they're still exploiting the Pirate's fame, but I prefer to think of this more as a tribute to Pantani, a man widely misunderstood by Anglo-Saxons. He was far more than merely a foil for BigTex. Italians revere him because despite all kinds of misfortunes (crashes caused by vehicles, black cats, etc.) he rose out of his hospital bed time and time again to compete with the best. His tragic death (just like Fausto Coppi's) just adds to the legend. RIP Pirata.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Legendary Climbs 2017 - finale

More photos of Angie and Dave in the mountains



The nice folks at the Rifugio Giau added a CycleItalia maglia to their collection


We concluded the tour (as usual) with a lakeside ride and final climb to the shrine of cycling, Madonna del Ghisallo.

If you're interested in this tour in 2018 let us know now as we'll be offering this (and all of our other guided, point-to-point tours) on an on-demand basis in the future. All it takes is you and a few friends!