“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, 30 June 2016

Moena-Pradazzo–Cavalese-Passo Lavaze’

4 days of rest and recuperation and it’s time to test the legs again, although perhaps I chose a test too far! On the profile below red indicates a 10% climb or worse and in this climb it was worse!  Just like  x rays, these profiles are really a shadow of the truth  and here the red is telling porkies and should actually extend  almost to the top. Also  I  saw 14% on my garmin, so maybe the next worse colour should hae been present too…and yes I was still on the bike at the time of the 14% and no I wasn’t hallucinating.

Later on I struggled and had to walk a short while as I just couldn’t keep going without a rest.

profile of the 10km climb red -tough
doesn't look very hard does it!
Proof I was there and able to take a photo!
It was grey and cold up on top, but very pleasant lower down.

Good to know we (Aussies) are included but actually it was an invite for motor cyclists not us,

On the way up I paused to take these pix in Cavalese:



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Dolomiti climbs then flat valley rides in Sankt Johann


In the days post granfondo I was shattered. 

Monday I drove here to Moena and didn’t ride at all…what I did do was eat eat eat eat and continued to do continuously  for 3 days…I just could not get enough food   and fluid inside me!


Tuesday I did a couple of valley rides up to Canazei and then the other way to Pradazzo, but valley rides here are rather lumpy.

Wednesday I rode the Passo Fedaia…the easier side from Canazei below is the  profile




Thursday the Passo San Pellegrini

sa pell

san pellegrino

and Friday the Passo Costalungo , although on this last ride I needed a rest part way as my back was painful. 


costalungo 1

costalungo  2


There were also far too many motorbikes on the road and as my legs needed a rest from all that  climbing, I decided to retreat to Sankt Johann in Tirol for the weekend.  The valleys there are much flatter and really isn’t much else apart from climbing in the dolomiti!

I had a great 2 days on well known roads and rediscovered a cadence greater than “grind” and return here refreshed and ready to add climbing metres to my year’s total.  Maybe something a bit longer if the weather permits.

Yesterday was pick up Alex from Munich airport day and all went very smoothly until we were trying to get off the autostrada at Bolzano, where at the toll booth we encountered a long queue of apparently stuck army vehicles

As with all queues like this first there is silence, then much horn tooting and eventually impatient drivers emerge from their cars to asked WTF. It turned out the army were to be escorted through Bolzano city by the Carabinieri but had taken the wrong exit from the autostrada!

We arrived too late to discover whether it was the army or the  Carabinieri  who had led them down the wrong path but that matters not really...jokes abound.

Next week we’re in Bormio where climbing the Stelvio and the Mortirolo feature strongly in our plans…yet again.  Last year  I had a dental issue while in Bormio and so spent more hours in the dentist’s chair than on my bike.




Thursday, 23 June 2016

Moena..just a few odd pix

Moena, located in the north of Italy shows huge influences of Austrian architecture, language and culture.  Parts of the north of Italy were in fact Austria before and during the 1st WW.
As well as this influence there is also a significant minority cultural group who speak Ladin.  As a result signs in this part of Italy  are in at least 2 languages,sometimes 3 and although I’ve not asked the question, the spelling of my apartment seems less Italian and more Ladin to me

As ever I’m mistaken for a German speaking person here..no-one would ever pick   me  as being an Italian!
I thought, in fact I am certain I had asked for a small/klein/piccolo glass of coca cola!!  sort of glad I didWinking smile
and here we have a small issue:
I’ll keep an eye on things and let you know if the prodigal son returns.

and finally…dont you just love the colour of glacier melt water

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Granfondo time

I entered the Sportful Dolomiti which starts and finishes in Feltre some time ago but it was only as I got closer to the day that I realised quite what I had let myself in for.  There are 2 courses in this event but I was only allowed to enter the shorter one and that one was said to be about 135km long with over 3000m climb.

I had hoped to stay in Feltre itself but the rooms left by the time I got round to searching were all waaay too expensive, so I stayed 22km out of town in a hotel at Primolano. Just like many regular events, people book their favourite accomm a year ahead.  I’ve sorted this problem out by doing just that as I plan on returning next year.

On the day the weather was cool with just a small amount of rain on the final ascent for me, although others on the longer course got wetter.  I had my goretex fronted under shirt plus arm warmers on  so didn't need to stop before every descent.

Over 4000 riders and the organisation was brilliant. Coloured coded signs all around town directed riders to the rear of the start queue with a side corridor to allow passage to the more forward pens.
The start was essentially very slow for those of us at the back even after we had crossed over the first transponder mat (there were mats at every climb) and the start roads were totally closed.  The rest of the course also had closed roads, but only for specific periods of the day and so when I was descending my second last descent, which was only on the shorter course,I had traffic to contend with but the last descent was on both courses and so was closed…hence a PB descent!


I was going ok until 5km from the top of the Passo Brocon when I had an explosive rear wheel puncture.  I had tossed up which of my clincher wheels to bring and while the ones that got the nod are just a bit difficult to change, recently I’ve managed it ok. However in the cold and in the heat of the moment  I struggled.  A good samaritan stopped to help  but when using the CO2 had failed to seat the tyre properly and so I ended up having to deflate it and re-do….more time and CO2.


In all, looking at the graph I lost about 20 minutes + the time lost later on when stopping at the mechanics van asking for a spare tube  That was sad as I had been with a group of riders going at my pace, whereas when I re-started I was with slower riders and so ended up being solo more than previously.  My downfall came over the final climb up Passo Croce d’Aune where my strength finally gave out and  as I was going so slowly  had to get off and  walk a short while  or fall off!
Nutrition and hydration during long rides has always been an issue for me but thanks to advice from the dietitian at Rise Health Performance I got the hydration bit sorted by adding 2 or 3 SIS, Multipower or Enervit runny types of gel to my water bottle, and diluting it with water.

And for nutrition rather than dealing with small gel packets and ending up with sticky fingers I bought one of these and filled it with 5 gels,which is what it's for.....
GU Energy Flask
There was a plea in the GF info book asking for no littering, mentioning that empty gel packets weighed little…totally ignored of course(!) and missing the point completely ..its not the weight, it’s the stickyness that causes people to chuck them.

Post ride I was very tired and struggled to  my chew evening meal!

My next stop is where I am right now for 2 weeks, in the Dolomites at Moena, staying a rather nice apartment although I’d prefer it if the TV had more English speaking channels..I think I've had enough of Brexit stories.  Of the approx 600 channels available at least 1/3  have either "sex", "porn" or "erotic" as a title...I think if I was tempted at all it's be the one labelled "Mobile Sex" that would get the nod.

The apartment's owner lives on the top floor and the apartment is so “nice” I’m not allowed to bring my bikes inside, instead there is a secure garage where both bike and car are living.  There is a festival on from Thursday to Sunday and I've been warned there will be much noise/music....Probably of the oompah oompah variety


Valley  recovery rides were all I could mange yesterday, although even valley rides have 10% gradients here.  Today?  perhaps Passo Fedaia..the easier side then maybe Passo San Pellegrini tomorrow....sort of depends on the weather and how I feel.

Alex joins me on Monday and, given the weather forecasts back home, I suspect he wishes it was a day or two earlier.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Feltre and the Sportful Dolomiti Granfondo

Here it is:
133.8km long for me…the lower loop and it’s a bit lumpy.
the first climb is the worst at 18km long…and so is the last one!
These pix were taken on the reconnaissance ride and are 6km from the top of the first climb …133km and >2000m climb is considered “medium”.
this is the weather forecast at the same place..you know the type ..if you can’t see it, it’s foggy, if it’s horizontal it’s windy etc etc!
and now for something different  and it’s nothing to do  with the Doctor!!
it’s a community book exchange…saw one in Sankt Johann too.  Honesty system.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

UK to Austria

UK = rels and school re-union followed by far too much driving.


Culture clash

Baby sitting Bramble..a very young black lab…….


Meeting up with old school friends:



Driving, driving driving through truly crap weather:


Staying a day in Austria and finally back onto the bike for a 50km ride in Austria and Germany:

Capture 1


View from the laundrette!


how long will “old” customs houses between European countries stay “old”?

Friday, 10 June 2016

RnR time…..rels and a school re-union

Between the Tour of Cambridgeshire GF 135km with very little climbing and the GF Sportful Feltre medium course  which is 133.8km with  2,750m of climb I have time to kick back and be sociable.
I confidently anticipate being very slow
Currently I’m staying with my niece in Wiltshire..home of chalk downs/white horses, near to horse racing stables at Lambourn in the Valley of the Race Horse (Dick Francis fans anyone?), steep escarpments and thatched cottages. 

The terrrain is very lumpy, which is  good practise after riding in the  Fenland...and the weather has been good.

  I’ve been on 2 rides, the second one up Hack Pen Hill which has a significant stretch of 14% climb ...it's the strange wiggle on the SW travelling road and  where there was another white horse giving me a good excuse to stop and take a photo but it turned out to be  rubbish as I couldn’t get close enough.

Somewhat different to riding  back home(!) on  this ride I also rode past a Long barrow, and the standing stones and henges at Avebury.
Thatched pub and standing stones, Avebury

A final pix from the event at Peterborough:

oop north tomorrow for the school re-union...55 years on  ;-0

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tour of Cambridgeshire


First there was the TT

Screenshot 2016-05-08 10.37.24

with a VERY nasty hill  in it. 

The start was inside a big building and with 60 ergos set up for one’s use if required was all set to be very efficient.  However……..first of all the  person holding me was useless tipping me first one way..clip out, then the other…clip out and finally let me go  almost sideways down the ramp…over a minute early!  Luckily I have enough experience to banish all that from my mind and start racing.  I was supposed to have  company in my grade but she didn’t turn up, so once again I won..and was  also last!  I would have placed in the M 70+ and every women’s class down to 55-59.  I  felt I’d given it a good shot despite being  barely off the plane.


Then the was the gran fondo, which despite the pix below was actually 135km..a bit of a psychological blow at 129km when it was obvious we were in far too rural area to be near the Peterborough Arena.


The weather was kind as far as sun goes but unkind when talking about wind……the first and last part of the race was lumpy…the middle bit  really flat as only fenland can be and so  extremely wind effected.  Towards the end of the race I had to decide on battling the wind solo or risk being in a tiring group who were exhibiting sketchy behaviour.  I saw at least 10 bodies on the road being attended to and many many punctures. 

My time was 4hrs 21 mins.  Sadly there was a stuff up with the timing and so there were  no presentations although I went back stage and explained that I was the lone 70+ women racing and please could I take the jersey, medal, flowers and gift voucher anyway..save posting them to me in Aus?


The people living in the villages where there was a whole day road closure were wonderful…..sitting out on the grass, in pubs, etc cheering us on, with no harsh words or tacks to endure. 

This is an event I would recommend..there are  few wriggles to iron out, but generally it was quite quite brilliant.

Friday, 3 June 2016

A First Class Start!

When an upgrade on Frequent Flyer points is offered, the answer is YESSSSSS! 14 hours of luxury which I enjoyed thoroughly but wouldn’t actually pay for as I didn’t arrive any fresher.


France and especially Calais on the coast was very ++ cold and windy.  The car is good, the Tunnel crossing uneventful and driving a LH drive car in UK no issue so far.
I’ve driven the TT course..lumpier than expected and maybe a dead road…on the bike today to check it out.
More anon.