“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

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Here we go again

You know you're almost on hols when you cancel both Zwift and Netflix!  

After 5 weeks of long exhausting hours working for the Federal Election I am now over fat and under fit.  A somewhat extreme example of the long hours  is that on the last day of pre-polling I worked from 0730 until 23:45 and then started work  the next day ... election day.... at 0700, finishing that day at 2230! The end result was only 1 day on the bike in those 5 weeks...BUT I didn't get sick.  No touristy type places this year..just loads of training in an effort to be fit enough not to get dropped in the neutral part of the races in Austria!

This year's itinerary is firstly in Italy..and all in the north of the country...

Feltre is again our hub and we are super grateful to Isabella and Silvio, our hosts there who have  kindly allowed us to leave our extra stuff in their garage since last September.

I look forward to riding these particular roads again ( both photos borrowed from FB):

After staying in Feltre for a while..well actually Mellame a very small village waaay above Feltre, our first stop is a return to Castello Cabiaglio in the Varese area.

We're staying at the same place as last year which will allow me to return the scissors I managed to walk off with!  

Then we travel north and east  to Brentonico, south of Trento a small town   on the plateau above  lake Garda..hopefully I'll learn where to place the accent on the place name..BrentONico or BrentoNIco..I suspect the former although even my Italian teacher wasn't sure, 

Then a bit further north to Kurtinig an der Weinstrasse, which is again a very small town, hopefully within reach of some decent rides, followed by Bressanone AKA Brixen , then into the Dolomiti firstly to Colfosco AKA Calfosch(Ladin) and  Kolfuschg (German)  and finally Moena (Moena/Moyen) before returning briefly to Feltre to pick up bike boxes etc.  

Then into the serious part of the hols... Hartberg for racing , Budapest 'cos we have a few spare days, Sankt Johann in Tirol for racing  and finally Oudenaarde to ride the roads of the cobbled classics and also to visit  WW1 sites and monuments...we've been there before but have decided a re-visit  would be worthwhile.  
This year since I'm not taking my time trial bike we have a fair amount of luggage allowance to play with..we've just got to make sure we don't get tempted and pack the kitchen sink!

I'm leaving on a jet plane....will I manage a points upgrade again??

more anon

Saturday, 25 August 2018

That's it then...final tourist destination Verona.....no more being a tourist....

I'd have to say that I didn't really give Verona a chance as walking around in a humid 30 degree+ heat I soon lost the will to live.  Juliet's house was swarming with people, Romeo's isn't open to the public.
not sure which church these 2 are from

where is my Romeo?

always read the fine print

Friday, 24 August 2018

Sankt Johann in Tirol and to Verona for an overnight then Varese

I've been coming here since 2002. 

Long gone are the days when I could race every race provided for me...this week I only raced the TT and didn't do too well .  I won my age class but in a rather slow time and felt really ill afterwards.  We were last to start on what was a hot and humid day and the weather got to me.  As my coach said..you were never really in it..never got started.  Actually I felt sorta ok for the first 3 km, realised I was in strife by 4-5 km...slowly grinded up the hill and to the turn around, ok on the downhill then fell apart, having a coupla quiet chucks and needing to sit up and soft pedal for a while before finishing off apparently looking ok but going rather slowly.

So now I'm having a few days off. We've left the cool of Austria for the heat of Italy again..grrh. I'm going to have to arrange some ice packs for the TT at Varese.

Of course the moment I get home into Australian winter/spring I'll be groaning about being too cold...but right now I could do with a bit of cool!

We left Austria a day earlier than planned and it was the right decision...the roads were packed and tomorrow will be worse, but at least we are over  half way to Varese.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018


no chance of lying about one's age here in Hartberg!

Add caption

plenty of birth notices here

but.......you were expecting exactly what if not a baby!?

Random pix from Italy

Typical Rome treescape..pine trees cut to this shape are everywhere

The following broomstick people are from Mugnai near Feltre...no idea why

Not dead..just resting

more houses built into the rock
sooo over it, I can't recall the name of this place!

car with ??external airbags..just in case??!!

our washing out to dry..Italian style

View of the main Feltre square from the clock tower
A motocross park and I'm thinking red wine probably means blood!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Fleeing the heat

In the end, one can have too much of a good thing and the narrow lanes, small apartment, no AC and relentless heat ..38 and 39C got to us.  We couldn't see as much of the area as we wanted, were in fact advised not to walk the ancient Etruscan narrow,  deep carved out lanes and ended up leaving a day  earlier than planned.  Actually I wanted to leave even earlier but that didn't happen.

So farewell to the south and mid section of Italy and back up to Veneto and hopefully cooler climes. 

entrance to the Synagogue 

Butcher..wild boar is the delicacy of the area

Not quite sure why he is in front of this olive grove!

letter box fun

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Pitigliano and neighbouring towns

On the way here we stopped off at Todi  (instantly called Todi in the Holey)...another beautiful town high on a hill.
I am in awe of Italian parking skills!

once again far too many photo opps and steps/climbing

This town became  a refuge for the Jewish community as they fled from Christian persecution in  Rome and Florence during  the 16th century until they were forcibly moved by the Nazis. 

Our  apartment is on the same vicolo(lane way) as the Synagogue and not far from the historic Jewish bakery and the Jewish museum..and as a sad reflection on our times..the Carabinieri are on guard outside our apartment every day.

As with many of the local towns, it is a hill top town built on top of and carved into  the Tufo (rock) and is of Etruscan origin.

The kitchen work bench in our apartment

our apartment vicolo entrance


the water is drinkable

3 baths for???.animals/humans/what??

We also visited local towns Sovana and Sorano..although I'm struggling to recall which is which!  suffice it to say one was authentic looking  whereas the other was so beautified and touristy it resembled a cute Cotswold village...It was full of arty type shops making Etruscan style things.....mind you that opinion could well have been because we were so hot and jaded.....
Etruscan archway-the slots were for a drawbridge mechanism

natural indentations in the Tufo rock..enlarged by Etruscans..