Monday, July 10, 2023

Summer Vacation 2023

 Vacation...from vacation?

Yes, we know. Once you retire you're always "on vacation", right? So we'll call this a little trip - up to Piedmont where CycleItalia's HQ used to be.

First things first, right? Lunch at the place we used to call "the BBQ shack" but is really la cucina come una volta  Where we found the new "Queen of Gnocchi" at work but she kindly posed for a photo. Her mother used to make 'em but she passed on the touch!!!

One reason we came up here was to enjoy La Mitica once again.

New friends and old, all passionate about vintage bicycles and those who raced them. Pietro Cordelli and Co. put on a great event each year.

Next we headed for Valpelline and a hotel we'd stayed at more than two decades ago when we had some free time. During one of our last guided Alpine tours we took a ride that passed by here and stopped for a drink, wondering if the same management/owner was there?

Zellino was still there but now two people who were just children back when we first visited were running the show. Zellino remembered us from way-back-when. We decided to stay for a few days so we packed Heather's e-gravel bike and Zio Lorenzo's beautiful TOMI bike and drove up to the mountains a few days after La Mitica.

Zio figured slapping some meaty (Panaracer Gravel King) 28 mm tires on the bike he'd been enjoying the hills of Monferrato on would be fine - even if they went off the pavement a time or two.

Uh, wrong. Heather's 38 mm slick tires, low 1X gearing and e-assist made her riding fun while Zio struggled - not enough gearing, not enough tire and not enough legs/lungs for the Alpine altitude,. but we still had a great time.

On the drive back to Hotel Ariotto it was decided that Zio should cave-in and "go electric" for next time. Barely-used examples of Heather's Bianchi E-Impulso Allroad (since replaced by something more expensive in Bianchi's range) were showing up, so a few days later we drove over to Torino to score one from a private seller at a reasonable price.

Zio will be ready for the Alps next time!

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