“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

Thursday, 19 September 2013

1 day to go here in Feltre

Second last day at school - done

Packing - done...well sorta done.
Cleaning the apartment - done
Bike race prepped - done.
Last 2 somewhat boring TT type training session -  done.

Monday ride

Last Feltre  ride

My new best friend in the bike shop told me there were very few TTer's in the Feltre area...and no wonder..there's far too many good climbs round here to channel younger riders into TT's.  Let's face it...you don't do TT's for fun, and unless you show promise your first TT is more than likely also your last.

So...what's left?
Tomorrow:  last Italian lesson, drive to Trento, listen to rider briefing, register, escape to BnB, ride part of the course 1 more time, find place to eat, bed,
Friday: brekky, warm up, race........ pack..remember to break out the jeans and winter gear, watch afternoon "wave" of TT racers go past my driveway, attend presentation.
Saturday: drive to Munich, give back car, go to airport, be bored for a very very long time...get home...freeze (although the forecast is sunny and 25C the day I arrive)!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

My favourite Italian verb and my fave Italian supermarket feature

and I've no doubt I'm not the first anglophone to snigger over this one:-

buggerarsene - to not give a damn

 however there do seem to be rather alot of verbs meaning the same thing...does this give an indication of the Italian way of thinking I wonder???
fregarsene - to not give a damn
infischiarsene - to not give a damn
importarsene - to not give a damn
sbattersela - to not give a damn
sbattersene - to not give a damn

Of added interest is that my fave word isn't found in "google translate" (not that that site is any great pinnacle of linguistics!) or in my online or travel Collins Eng/It/eng dictionary and in fact I began to wonder if I'd stumbled on a joke.  

However I did find it when I Googled it and what's more there were quite a few references.

and my fave supermarket feature??

FYOB (fill your own bottle) house wine bar:

sigh...I'm soooo gunna miss this place.  Hmmm better try and earn enough $$$ to return next year!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Last long ride for the hols...to Lago del Mis

At 0800 my German co students and neighbours loaded me up with food they didn't want to take home and so my fridge is more than somewhat overloaded.  Hopefully there'll be someone in that apartment next week so I can do the same for them.  Then, since it was a still bit chilly  I went for a walk around the walls of the historical centre and had a really close look at some of the older buildings.

Check out the sky... cold temp though!

Steps to or from the walls...they are everywhere

Door panel

3 different doors with door knobs

And then it was onto the bike:

As ever I set myself a time limit, which once again was 90 minutes...I could happily have gone further, but with a bit of a slog home up the hairpin bends I'd happily hooned down, and with a big race on Friday...90 minutes it was.  Actually I nearly went the easy but extremely boring way home via San Giustina but the lure of ensuring I had enough climb to succeed in the Strada "Vuelta Skelta" challenge kept me "on the straight and narrow"  Nope that's not right....narrow yes...straight..no!

I also needed to make sure I could take a pix of yet another great place name.  Dontcha just love it to bits!  I'm glad I don't live there though.

  Although circuits are interesting I'm tending to go for out and back courses. which allows me to mark what I want to take pix of but keep going/no stopping and then take the pix on the way home.

So.... home, download ride and be happy with the amount of climb, nanna nap, go for another walk, eat, sleep!

That's all for today!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Friday's ride to the iconic Passo San Boldo

First for a bit of history see this link  ..... there are plenty more links plus pix and utube clips but this one gives the story in a bit of detail....  and as it says the road is indeed called the road of a hundred days (la strada dei cento giorni).

This is the beginning of the narrowing of the road and as is obvious there's not only a very narrow 1 way road, controlled by traffic lights, max headroom is also in attendance.

Proof that I was there follows...the multi layer road pix on the internet are obviously taken from a better spot there where I was:


I set off for this ride later than usual and in fact forgot to take my maps...however after being here for 8 weeks..maps are something just a bit OTT for all but my longer rides.

I had set a time limit for myself since the weather was a bit iffy , the evenings were getting a bit cool and I didn't fancy being on the main road home during the rat run.  I never intended going through the tunnels since this would make it a very very long ride.  Downhill is the way to go I've been told, so as not to get caught midway in the very narrow tunnels when the traffic flow changes direction.

So with an aim to go no longer than 90 minutes on the outward journey I was delighted to find myself at the top  just a bit before the deadline.  The climb was not at all hard but the distance from Feltre to Trichiana   where the climb starts was further than I'd expected...and somewhat tedious.

This ride takes me to within cooee (6776m and 94%) of the Vuelta Skelta goal on Strava of 7135m climbing during the staging of the Vuelta and I still have a coupla days left. Currently I'm 1,641st of 9,129 participants and  64th of 341 women...just can't help my competitive streak showing!

And finally...just to show there  are "good ole' boys" all over the world...although 1 of them just HAD to be a bit different;-)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Officially still summer here..but

the summer sales are over with new stock in the shops and people generally starting to rug up  abit...except for me ;-)...I seem to be the only one still wearing shorts.  In case you are interested the colours dominating new stock are taupe and slate blue. These shades don't suit me at all...not that I actually need an excuse not to buy!

Anyhow now, with the temperature being less sweat inducing I am finally able to justify the arm and leg warmers , the Gortex fronted undershirt and the various sleeveless thin jackets I brought with me.  I can also justify wearing the jackets I splashed out on while in Austria!

Yesterday's ride was supposed to be up to the beginning of a large lake called Lago del Mis but that plan had to be shelved very quickly since I was riding towards and then under some very black clouds and when the rain/almost hail hit it was not only  abit painful it was also a game changer.

I u turned and looked for a less threatening looking patch of sky and continued..a balance of steady power and spinning efforts uphill..."hill" not mountain.  Although the temperature isn't all that low, it's a change and on return I had to run myself a hot bath to aid temperature recovery.

Friday marks then end of another group of students leaving...this week I have been amongst a group of German speakers all of whom depart.  Next week...who knows what company I will have.

Is this organisation going to be WMG re-visited?

check out the message on this screenshot  of the rider's guide done today 12/9  (click to enlarge it) and then check out the dates..... top and bottom left.  And yes I did refresh the page and I've just checked it again to make sure!.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sorting out my last few days

All good things have to come to an end of course and so now and finally this fantastic 10 week "holiday" is fast moving into that category. 

With 9 days left here in Feltre before I move to near Trento - out of an apartment and into a BnB I'm taking stock of everything I've got with me:
  • Checking my stash of food.toiletries and etcs and trying to work out if they'll last the distance. 
  • Balancing the weight of  things lost/chucked/posted home already against new stuff bought: 2 jackets, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 polo shirts, sandals presents, to name just a few things
  •  Checking locations I really want to see before I leave here.
And as a side note..how do *you* define the concept of a holiday?....some would doubt that school in the morning, exercising mightily in the afternoon/evening plus the challenge of racing fulfills the generally accepted idea of a "holiday"!

Misc Pix
 Cultural difference abound and perhaps none more than the traditions around a wedding.  Not that I'm sure of all the details...all I know is that when you hear a total cacophony of car horns blaring, blaring, blaring...it's not an emergency..well not of the normally accepted type of emergency ;-)...it's a line of cars off to a wedding. And to help you get to the party  you paint directions on the road...this "sposo" is definitely clever...others a somewhat more basic and lewd.
As an English speaker there are many words in Italian that are similar to English ones and then there are ones that are not...false friends they are called.  The word for a river is "fiume" and the word for a dry/almost dry creek bed is "torrente" which  I find amusing.  The pix above is definitely of a torrente.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Place names to play with...Lason,Lamen, Arson

I had no intention of having yet another climbing ride today...it sorta just happened...and on very dead legs too.

I also had no intention of giving myself about 10 minutes of fright descending a muddy, badly kept steep strada bianca road (last steep downhill on the graph), but when you're well down the hill and the road goes from bitumen to mud you either turn around and slog back uphill or...you suck it up and carry on.

On the way I saw something that perhaps Kevin from Grand Designs could take a look at with  a view to renovation:

Since I've been doing alot of climbing I thought I might sign up for the Strava challenge of Vuelta Skelta..whereby one challenges oneself to accomplish  in 19 days the same amount of climbing the pros did in 1 day during the Vuelta..ie 7,135 metres, so far I've climbed 5,253 vertical metres and am 73% of the way to the goal and have another 6 days to go.

Of the 8,355 people who have signed up for the challenge I currently am in 1463rd place overall and am 60th of the 289 women silly enough to sign up and 11th (men and women ) 65 and over.

Christine and Vincent travel to the Dolomiti tomorrow and so we had a farewell meal at the Trattoria Aurora..a lovely meal topped off with wickedly chocolatey profiteroles...yum yum.  Seems as if tomorrows ride will have to be a calorie rather than a vertical metre counting one!

Monday, 9 September 2013

An epic weekend

Some time during the week I got an email from my Orienteering and Physio friend Christine who said that she and her husband Vincent were going to the Dolomites and would it be ok for them to stop off in Feltre for a day or two.  Would it be ok?...of COURSE it would!  woo hoo!

They arrived on Saturday but telephone reception was appalling (never again will I complain about Aus internet and tel reception...well not for a while anyway!)  so my planned ride + visit them in their B'B morphed into a ride  punctuated by calls that wouldn't/didn't go through,  SMS's that presumably went into the ether never to return and the feeling that we might well miss catching up with each other totally!  So this is the ride i did while waiting for them to arrive/get in contact.

I'd been wanting to ride to San Gregorio for some time...it was a turn off on one of my down hill hoons which normally I shot by too quickly..it appears their "animal logo" is a fox! and it's face is all over the road and there's even a pub by that name.

Eventually contact was made, but not before I was back in Feltre and so we agreed to meet here at Feltre and have a meal together.  I'd already booked at the very popular Crash Osteria at the earliest possible time...1930..almost criminally early by Italian standards .... an attempt to get it 30 minutes earlier failed! 

The food as ever there was very good and the prices reasonable and during the meal we agreed to have a good long ride the next day.  I had read about a Palio in Vidor,(link to 2012 version..part thereof) themed as an "assault on the castle" so it was agreed that if there was time we'd go there too.

so this was the ride which began at 0900 and finished at about 1900 (loads of stop for food, drink and a Palio(!)...~100km in total and here are a coupla pix from the Palio

Saturday, 7 September 2013

What you all missed today: a ride in Prosecco country

Looks as though I'm riding the valleys until you look at the profile
vineyards 360  degrees and as far as you can see..I'd need an aerial shot to do it justice..

don't ever complain about people's parking wherever you live, 'cos Italian parking has got you all beat...hands down..this car was parked literally AT the entrance to an almost empty car park!

Living here must get difficult if you can't climb steps

and with no railings at all, clearly the "I'll sue you if I fall on your property" mentality hasn't reached this neck of the woods yet.

Just hangin' around, waiting!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Today's ride was pure bliss

beautiful weather, a beautiful steady ride, hardly any traffic, great views etc etc.  not sure I want to leave this place ...although now I think about it, I'm not sure I could live here when the weather gets  brutal.  On arriving at Faller I was a bit spooked....there was no noise, no sounds at all...100% silence......weird..especially for Italy where people are very vocal...loudly(!).
On the way there...apparently you need permission to gather mushrooms!

The road to avoid a tunnel...+ escape hole for incidents in the tunnel?
Rock climbing  outside, tunnel driving inside

The start of the climb

Somewhat later
Now this is an idea  that I like+++

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

3 pix

Passo Croce D'Aune

Childish giggle

Today's ride..more TT efforts than climbing

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Back in my other home from home..Feltre

On Sunday morning really early I left Austria with the rain pelting down but as I drove south I was pleased to see the weather cleared up and so I was all set for a quick trial of the TT course I am to ride near Trento on 20/9...then the traffic and the queues came out to play.  Then the exit I needed was blocked off...then the emergency traffic started wailing.  I ditched plan A and  drove straight to Feltre..

1st stop...the laundrette!  The set up is really good here...for 4 euros you not only get the wash but the soap is provided...no dramas about what type and how much.  2nd stop the apartment to unpack then back to the laundrette on the bike and finally on to the 1 shop open on a Sunday to stock up the fridge and the "larder/pantry".

So it was back to school on Monday to find myself in a  class of 3 with 2 Dutch guys.  In the afternoon, following a morning of checking the clouds, I rode up to the Passo Croce D'Aune. The ride is a steady one ascending from Pedavena for ~10km.  It was non too warm going up and downright cold coming down as it was mostly in the shade.


this is the monument to honour Tullio Campagnolo..professional cyclist, inventor, engineer...at the location where the idea of a quick release skewer was born.

My climb began at Pedavena (the local mountain is Mt Avena)

Pedavena and Feltre in the valley

The irony of the decade has to be that climbing is less of a problem for me than descending.  I enjoy hooning downhill..a bit...but the combination of  being alone, dicey Italian road surface and my arthritic fingers has made it a bit of a production.  All photos are taken going downhill to give my hands a bit of a rest from gripping the brake levers.  Just a bit of a wuss actually.

Soooo...I have opted  not to ride Monte Grappa unless I can rustle up someone to ride with me...although even then the thought of 27km downhill makes my hands ache!  Instead...weather permitting, I'll do them same Passo as yesterday from the other, steeper side and add Monte Avena into the mix.