Sunday, June 5, 2016

La Canevesana 2016 - more bici d' epoca fun

Our tours scheduled for this period didn't get enough interest to run, so Heather took the opportunity to head off to Greece to participate in some academic meetings while yours truly took the opportunity to enjoy an event we've long wanted to attend.

Especially since the ride was held less than an hour away from our Monferrato HQ!

Here, even the registration people are in period costume.

Once they get you signed up, it's time to change into cycling stuff and....

...enjoy looking at some really old bikes

Believe it or not, there were folks out here riding bikes like these on the course - all 56 kilometers of it!

And these rides are far from a "vintage bike parade" More on that below.

But first you might want to score that perfect team car for your bike race model setup at home?

Finally it was time to ride. Skies looked threatening but I hoped it wouldn't be another soggy ride like last weeks GIOS Raduno. I packed my rain jacket and put clear lenses in my glasses, just daring the sun to come out!!! It didn't work last week but why not try again?

I was warned this was a challenging course by a couple of folks last week. They weren't kidding! The unpaved sections had big rocks and gravel, sometimes a bit deep - the kind that slows you WAY down while you try to steer straight ahead. There were a lot of puddles - some too wide to avoid, so you hoped that since the folks in front of you didn't vanish into the depths, you won't either, though I do the "ratchet" pedal style (the crankarms horizontal) so my feet don't get wet when it gets that deep!

They ran us up to a castle, but not on the normal, paved road. Instead it was the old, unpaved, switchback climb, each one numbered but I had no idea (nor did anyone else close to me) how many there were or whether they counted up or down! Plenty of folks seemed to have ridden this in the past as lots of warnings were issued as we neared a sharp turn off the asphalt, then instantly into a grassy, wet passage through an old gate. 

This was a real challenge and plenty were walking right from the start. Even with low gears, you couldn't just stomp on the pedals as your wheel would instantly spin on the slick surface. A delicate balance to avoid losing momentum or spinning your wheel was the trick.There was usually only one good line as well, the others were too muddy or too grassy/slick. I managed to make up without stopping, but it wasn't easy! 

At the top was the first ristoro where I saw this gorgeous Wilier and couldn't resist snapping a quick photo.

And then, who do I see at the top of the next climb with the view of Lago Viverone? A guy who spends all day in a bike shop, including last weekend running his own raduno comes out to events like these when he has a free Sunday!!! Marco really lives the life!!! BRAVO!

Not a drop of rain fell and the sun was actually out for awhile, especially at the pasta party and awards ceremony. The organizers had special prizes for the foreigners, not that there were many of us, but it was a nice gesture. This event, just like the other epoca events we've attended, lets us remember why we took up cycling all those years ago.

Grazie tutti!!


  1. thank you Larry for your partecipation, nice to had meet you.
    Sandro (second person to right in the First picture)

  2. My pleasure! You helped create a wonderful atmosphere - grazie mille.