Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Io sono un ciclista!

"In fact, I'm a cycling super freak!". Ok, I may not be a Rick James protege, but I like to suffer a bit. Suffering and penance have a long and storied history in our sport. Our cycling forefathers endured excruciating races, with none of the technical gear and support we enjoy today. In case you forgot, Magni nearly won the Giro with a broken collarbone in '56; he held a rope in his teeth to give him leverage for turning the cranks. Our own NoCar has rivaled this feat, tweaking his skeletal structure on several occasions, riding through the pain, and claiming a medal made of pure Ti.

No matter the circumstances, we are drawn to pain, and perhaps to the notion we are paying a penance on the bike. Like we must make amends for some long lost sin. If that is the case, I will be paying up for many years to come :)

In norther Italy, near lake Como, they have a patroness saint of cycling, the Madonna del Ghisallo. At a small church near the top of a mountain pass, a flame burns for lost riders, and all comers may give an offering or prayer on their way through. They have a tiny museum, with artifacts and bicycles from legends and their races. I am drawn to this form of religion, to the blending of cycling and spirituality.

Whether it's guilt, wanderlust or the search for a decent shot of espresso, your councilman will make a pilgrimage to the old country in the coming months. I wonder if they make an It's It with gelato? More on that at the Knot table.

Live long, ride well. I will see some of you at Mosquito at 5:45.



  1. It's a great spot. Right on the route of the Tour of Lombardy. I've ridden the climbs and visited the chapel. I think they have a new museum over to the right of that picture, it was WIP when I was there.

    I'll have to reflect on my past history of cycling feats as I'm still not ready for FT3, too soft.

  2. there is a 3 in his post, right toward the end, and in front of "too soft". Stones are not soft. I would guess he will grace us with his regal and now Parisian presence tonight.

  3. That was an excellent and inspiring call out Councilman. Makes me want to hop on the Atala.

    Alas, like Soft Rock, I am out for the evening.

  4. I just got back from a CX ride on the trail and those meager inclines had the HR meter pegged, even got an audible warning signal once; so feldspar is generous.

    You guys enjoy and stay warm, I had to fend off Peter on the connector section between west bike trail and town.

    Thanks for bringing back memories of HS Earth Science, I actually got a good grade in that class.

  5. You guys hear soft rock and think goelogy and earth science. I hear soft rock and think Journey and Fleetwood Mac.

    I am surprised I didn't see rock on the ED trail as I just fired off a lunch ride that way.

    Looking out tonight.

  6. The road adventure sounds fun B, I wish I could join you but alas, I need to schedule chunks of time off in advance...probably wont make it to K-wood either

  7. And, indeed, great post Councilman. Europe is call in you, eh?

  8. Great post Councilman! Thanks RG for sharing your knowledge. It may be another cold ride tonight with a 30 degree low forecast for Pollywood. As for the secret training opportunities presented by B, I most likely can't take the time off tomorrow with such short notice and have to stay around town this Sunday. Anyone riding Saturday?

    If you don't mind a slowpoke, count me in.

  9. So I take a ride or 2 off, and it's like I got the plague. Speaking of "The Plague", I will be heading to Tuscany in mid Jan. More tonight, for those who show for tacos.

    Ci vediamo!

  10. If you can make the Squito lot Cappy, I'll have the jersey with me. Hope to see your bike at 5:45ish!

  11. Short RR: Councilman, B and I left knott lot with the temperature reading 34 F. We took off up the qualifier but ventured out another climb and ended up decending back the same trail to finish climbing qualifier to Park Creek. We dropped wedding march (top still full of logs/branches) and tried to find Rock Garden but didn't. We went down a single track to the lake. I heard counterclockwise around the lake, took a wrong turn and ended up on the sandy shoreline. When I got back to the trail I was dropped, couldn't find them, and ended up riding for awhile on my own as B and Councilman were waiting in the cold for me. Eventually we re-groupped for tacos and met up with Xterric (hope he's feeling better). Great conversations were held as always over tacos.

  12. Correction: I heard clockwise lake loop.

  13. You're welcome B. Did your ride to west Sac go as planned? I may be heading that direction tomorrow, Saturday, but shuttling to Folsom. Yes, Councilman's post does deserve front page status so I don't mind putting up short RRs in the HCF.