Another Sunday in Italy, another bici d'epoca event.
La Mitica started and finished in Castellania, famous for the brothers Coppi. During our recent visit, our friend Piero Coppi asked if we were coming back to take part in this event. We replied that our schedule wouldn't let us, but once we looked closer, Sunday was a day with nothing in particular penciled in. Our More Monferrato clients had departed (except for Don and Cindy, who stayed on to enjoy more cycling in the area) while one Vineyards to the Sea client arrived two days early.
So...why not?....as we often ask. Don and Cindy were up for a new experience and new arrival Jim thought it was a great idea so we asked the organizers if we could get our friends in despite their (our) bikes not being truly "epoca" if they really got into the spirit of the event along with us. Once we got the OK, we signed everyone up.
An early morning drive over to Castellania had us searching for cappuccino which we finally found in a bar in a town close to the start. We had plenty of time to pick up our schwag bags and numbers before the 8:30 AM start. A bright, sunny day was on tap as you can see above.
More than once I heard "This is like riding in a museum"...but enough about the riders...the bikes are gorgeous and never get old, especially when they're polished and looked after like this gorgeous MASI. There were too many beautiful bikes to count, sadly no pictures came out of a wonderful FLANDRIA bike said to have been raced by Freddy Maertens. It's owner was decked out in total replica kit, just like the Belgian champion and star of "A Sunday in Hell."
Our friends rode our "standard" rental bikes with steel frame and fork while Jim (above) went a step further and mounted old-time clip-and-strap pedals to better get in the spirit. He donned an old-time wool jersey as well and seemed to enjoy the experience.
Above you see a ristoro in Tortona, complete with pizza, salami panini, fruit, water and both red and white wine plus music and dancing. Don and Cindy were called up as two of the 5 Americans registered for the event and were thanked by the organizers for coming all this way to participate!!
Of course our friend Piero Coppi was there, here you see him with Heather after the pasta party.
BRAVI to the organizers and MILLE GRAZIE for their help in getting our friends into the event. We've said this time and time again, but the atmosphere and camaraderie at these events reminds us why we took up this sport all those years ago. Bici d'epoca events are a wonderful experience!!!