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!

Amerigo Severini, 86 years young was out there with a son and grandson! He was a pro rider during the time of Fausto Coppi as well as 3 time Italian National Champion in cyclocross with silver and bronze medals from the World Championships.

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.

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