“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Recovery time

Exhausted by 3 days of testing out the TT course  and completely rattled by  all the traffic on the course (it's one of the roads to Como and Switzerland) and not really enjoying Varese itself, I opted to leave a day earlier than planned. 

So after my last ride and then a climb  to see a church up a very steep hill, I drove back to Mellame.  I could have taken the funicular and then a lift to the top..instead I drove to the car park and then walked.  Others cycled up..not me, my legs were toast already.

the tunnel is the entrance to a lift!

On the way out I had come via Vicenza but there are endless road works on the route so this time I opted to go via Trento..and once passed Milan, it was definitely a better option.

However I did see some incredibly bad driving near Trento when a car in the fast lane realised he wanted to exit right there and then and so cut across all lanes to do so. It's the closest I've been to being taken out and certainly shot adrenalin through my system at warp speed....I stopped at the next set of shops to settle the nerves.  Bad or incredibly skilled?..who knows but whichever it was as scarey as for me....

There are many ways to buy wine here in Italy..by the bottle, ie the usual way,  BYO bottle to the shop and fill up by tap or chateau cardboard in a variety of sizes....some cute

soo..back to Mellame with a few days of sunshine before apparently another coupla days of thunderstorms.  10 days of wearing sandals and the telltale feet tanlines are starting to appear,,although so far you have to know what you're looking forπŸ˜ƒ

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Varese recce

Recce involves not only riding the course but checking out the accomm and how long the drive is from it to the race village.

Accomm a palazzo in a small village...check
Village.check check..has a bakery and a cafe and a load of photo opps.
Distance...about 30 minutes..and with my start prob being at about 0730...it's lucky I wake up early!

More anon

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Nothing quite like a thunderstorm in the mountains

Every day day starts at 7am.., whether I want it to or not... it has to because the church tells me so.  There might be a tree growing in it's  tower and birds nesting there too, but every day the bells ring loudly and for E.V.E.R at 7am...dammit!

Drama the other day in Feltre when the mother of all hail, thunder, lightning and wind storms all took place together and for what seemed like for a very very long time...front page news with roads blocked, cars damaged and rivers flooding.  I got soaked and my car is now peppered with hail damage.  Could have been worse...and  for some it was..

Telling it as it is..Italian style

I've been reading about the serial road poo poopers..apparently there are quite  a few around...even in Aus.  I'm not quite sure if this one counts but whoever wrote the note wanted everyone to notice and take care, afterall it was situated right at the main entrance into the old mediaeval part of the city....please note I was not alone with the camera

After a couple of days of serious bike training I needed a day off so what to do to burn up the calories/keep the crazies away?...visit Marostica and climb a hill!  Torture for a cyclist really.

High humidity and 27 degrees C made me wish I was in shorts not jeans.  The path up to the top is cobbled, steep...extremely steep in places and just, well, tough..last year Alex and I went up and down in the rain and it was a bit dicey descending..  But when you get to the top, the reward makes it all worth while.

THE view
In the town square there is a giant chess board when you can play with giant  chess pieces and in September there is a  festival with humans, horses etc as chess pieces..
Waiting for someone to play
Here in Italy banks, jewellers and post offices have security doors..the double airlock types...maybe, given all those raids in Melbourne over the past years or so  jewellers in Melbourne might need to follow this trend. I only discovered the jewelry shops were also secure last year when I needed the battery in my watch changing....I felt a bit foolish being scanned and checked out and then to ask for a battery!

and finally... I've never quite understood why people buy water when the stuff coming out of the tap is ok........
 Roadside DIY..6 cents/litre natural,8cents/litre fizzy

I asked if the tap water was bad..the answer was no but this is better.  

Monday, 11 June 2018

More random pix and comments from Germany and Italy

Last year I got a speeding fine in Germany..I went too fast over a stretch of roadworks …I have a sorta feeling it might happen again..the speed limit changed so often and so unpredictably I was often going too fast…but then…I was not alone(!)

I’m not sure what I think about this..if it’s for safety after dark reasons then kudos..if not for safety, then…. not happy Jan (to quote the best TV ad ever).

Travelling broadens the mind?..well certainly allows you to compare and contrast ablution and toileting facilities...first time I've seen  a shower with waist high doors and surrounds in addition to the shower curtain.  One good thing is that the curtain stays in place instead of curling lovingly around one's legs!...

Today’s training is to find a hill and do 4 x 5- 8 mins uphill efforts……”find a hill”  !!!!

and finally my car and a cute new friend(!)

Sunday, 10 June 2018

UK-France-Germany-Austria and finally Italy!

3 days of  a school reunion (great fun and many laughs) followed by 4 days driving from York-Folkestone-Karlsruhe-Sankt Johann in Tirol to Feltre and finally no internet coverage has created one of those “I wonder what’s happening in the rest of the world” feeling.  The no internet thing is particularly peeving as I arrived here late on Saturday and  all 3 shops that provide SIMs are closed til Tuesday.

Folkestone and Karlsruhe were, to me, merely dormitory stops so I’ve nothing to comment about them except that the mozzies found me before leaving UK..having a good solid munch on the left hand side of my face, neck ,hand and thigh.  I really do reckon last years wasp sting has increased my insect bite sensitivity…I still look like I have an infected tooth and its 3 or 4 days ago. 

I’ve got 3 weeks where I am now, which is just outside of my favourite named place..Arsie which is in the pre dolomiti area of Veneto.

The tiny hamlet is called Mellame and is 6 hairpin bends above Arsie.  I had planned on taking pix on my way up this morning, anticipating the need to rest occasionally but surprisingly , there was no need.  Pix will eventually come..taken on the way down!!

With 3 weeks, I should manage to finish this jigsaw, although I may need Alex's help when he arrives in week 3

Thursday, 31 May 2018


The view inside:
bikes get to stay inside of course

and  ditto outside:
fat and bold

We had an extremely bizarre experience in a London mini  mart  the day I arrived.  We were waiting to pay and the couple in front were arguing as to who should pay for their purchases with the woman using her card and the man proffering a 20 pound note which lay on the counter for a while so I said, well if neither of you want it, I'm happy to take it.πŸ˜€  The woman won by paying quickly with her card and they went away.  Then just as we were fishing for cash, the guy returned and said that he just had to pay for something so he paid for our stuff!!!!!!!!!!!  Pity it was less than 5 pounds really;-)  weird..must have missed his meds or something.

The way our itinerary is, there's only 1 time when the car is going to be over full and that is right at the end of the holiday when Alex and I and our 3 bike cases and all our miscellaneous gear are finally making our way to Munich airport.  Currently I have quite a bit of stuff, so I checked to see if the front passenger seat could fold out of the way and it could.  BUT I found I couldn't get it back..it was stuck in the brace position:

I tried every lever in sight and since the manual is in French, I ended up having to find a Citroen dealer to get help.  It was embarrassingly simple.. it was just that the lever was stiff...well that's my excuse anyway.

Losses so far: 2 tubes of XXXX strength mints and 1 ear bud rubber thing...no stereo... listening with 1 ear now.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

We have a red car this year!

Check out the groovy RED lease car..mine for 3 months

Sooo...guess where I am πŸ˜€..it's cool to cold, it's wet, the sky is grey and very low, the grass is ++very green and long...... the roads are narrow, parking is a nightmare and the tailbacks are famous but as yet no road rages instead patience and politeness from all drivers.
wet days...some places you just have to visit if only to get the pix!

 misty mornings

no snakes....wouldn't catch me walking in deep grass like this back home!
it's that time of year.