Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Eurotrip Day 5

Day 5 Has me waking in Lecco on Lake Como.   Worried about the swelling in my knee and pain up my i.t. band.   I rubbed about 2oz. of arnica into it last night, did every stretch I know and woke to thinking 'hey, it doesn't feel too bad'   Then I did a slight squat and thought "fuck.  I might be ending my tour on Lake Como." which was really not part of the program, so I resigned myself to another easy day to hopefully let it settle down.

The upside to that is that Lake Como is beautiful beyond words or pictures.  Nevertheless I'll post some mediocre pics anyway.

Not having planned or thought of anything specific for my unscheduled rest day on Lake Como, I doddled a little at breakfast, considered renting a kayak or racing canoe and getting out on the water for a bit, but in the end I decided to go with what I know and jumped on the bike.  I was just too curious to see if my leg was going to be a problem.   About 15km down the road toward Bellagio I was at the base of one of the climbs to Ghisallo and figured what the hell.  I'll use the climb as a little test, so up I went, and things felt ok.  The climb was beautiful. not too hard but hard enough to slow down the cadence and make me work.  I found that with the slower cadence of climbing I could focus on engaging some lesser developed muscles (glute-meds) and consciously track my knee better and the pain stayed in the background.  Before long I was at Ghisallo and elated that I was there and that my leg didn't feel much worse than when I started.

Ghisallo is incredible.

why wouldn't I be in the same frame as Coppi??

It could be said that every cyclist should  try to make it to Ghisallo.   I'd go so far as to call it a Mecca-esque pilgrimage but that allegory may be a little inappropriate what with the mixing of religions and such..  On that topic I'm not catholic or even religious in any conventional sense but this was awesome.  not awesome like "totally awesome dude!" but awesome like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.  Like, loss for words, stop the clocks, overwhelming type awe.   I was more than a little shocked at the effect it had on me and more than a little surprising and very encouraged that cycling is embraced enough at least somewhere to have such a large institution as the catholic church bless and dedicate a chapel to cyclists.
..a far far cry from the marginalization of cyclists that is endured in North America.
In all the visit was uplifting, restorative and even emotional.

Fabio Casartellis bike from the fateful crash in 95'

a Who's who of Italian Champions  

Who are you going to be today?

The museum of cycling is located only a couple hundred meters away too and that was totally worth the 2hrs I spent there.  I photographed practically everything in the place from artwork to old tools and every type of ancient shifting mechanism.  I'll probably just dump them into a picassa folder and link it sometime.

From the museum I buzzed down the super tight switches leading to Bellagio where I soaked up the grandeur, sucked back some cappuccinos, and felt very good about things.   The scenery was magnificent, my knee felt fine, the weather could not be improved on and all was well.   I came to the conclusion that having experienced Ghisallo and celebrated in Bellagio that the trip had paid for itself.  Everything from here in was icing.   A couple hours spent strolling around Bellagio between coffees and then back to Lecco to peruse the cafe offerings along the piazza.   A fella could get used to this.

1 comment:

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