Posted by: fizzhogg | May 13, 2012

The Italian Job

The weigh-in…


I cannot tell you how angry I am at myself for that debacle last week. I was losing a pound a week without riding and I gave it all away.

To punish myself and to get back on the descent, I am going to ride longer and harder this week than I have in months… and I am denying myself any crap food.

Because I suck.

Today I awoke very excited to ride. I’ve been watching the Giro d’Italia this week – a race I love as much as the Tour de France. The Giro is often more brutal than the “Tour” and the scenery is absolutely astounding.

Channeling Coppi, the Pirate, and Basso, I rode more than I have since early March. Tomorrow I plan the same. And I will ride during the week – even if it gets me fired.

Please don’t fire me.

My ride today was truly great. A nice combination of group riding and solo. I’ve typed much around here about how much I love my club, and love riding with a club.

I’ve also written about my Rapha rides, where being alone and discovering new worlds is heaven.

I had not ridden with CVC in a while and so this morning I had promised some very nice folks in the “Purple” group that I would ride with them, and catch up on everyone’s lives.

The Purple group is our club’s beginner level group. The rides are usually between 18 and 24 miles, at an easy pace, with much stopping to regroup. No one is dropped. It is a very cool thing my club does to introduce folks to the wonders of cycling.

I rode over to the starting point (about 8 miles from my place) and then proceeded to embark on my first Purple ride since January of 2010. It was great. Lots of chatting, lots of stopping, fixed someone’s flat, helped fix a dropped chain. All in all a great time.

At the end of the 21-mile ride, I decided to get some more miles in by myself. I took off with no destination in mind. I rode over some familiar roads that felt like old friends, and I find some new roads.


The shot above was taken on one of the new roads I discovered. A nice, long, slightly rolling route that traveled through areas like that, as well as horse farms where I saw two newborn colts. Why didn’t I stop and photograph them? Steve would be ashamed.

My new road took me into a little town center I had ridden by before, but never stopped at. Today I stopped. And found a Mini Cooper Club having their monthly gathering.


I spoke to one owner and asked if it was possible to fit a bike into the back of one of those. After all, they are pretty freaking cool, and get nine million miles to the gallon. He said he has a road bike that he hauls all over town.

“You just take both wheels off.”

Both? Eh, no thanks. I’m good with removing the front wheel to load a bike into a car, but both wheels? Too much hassle for this lazy Hill Slug.

I rode on.

Eventually, I ended up back home, just over 48 miles on Hal 9000, and just over 2200 feet of ascent.

Speaking of Hal 9000… he, uh, had a little issue on one of my rides last week.

According to Hal, about 36 miles into my ride, I suddenly made a hard right turn and rode straight into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

It was my longest single ride to date:  2,387 miles according to Hal. But the best part was how fast I was riding.

My average speed was 857mph.

That was my average.

Now I did feel a tailwind, just before I hit the water, but I didn’t think it was quite that strong. Let’s see Mark Cavendish do that!

I submitted my Garmin info to the Guinness Book of World Records, but they returned my letter with a nice cease and desist order.

Tomorrow I think I will do another combo of group/solo riding. I rather enjoyed today.

Eat better.

Ride your bike.

Wear rain gear if you ride into an ocean.


Fair winds and following seas, Willy


  1. At speeds like that, it is a small wonder why you weren’t able to photograph the wildlife! Congrats on a great reintroduction to the club and your old haunts. It’s fun for me to visit a place I haven’t been to after only a few months. Your extended absence must have made the ride all the more sweet.

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