Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: challenge

Il tuo numero di pettorale è 1558

I always do sports in January and February. Something involving skies, mostly: alpine skiing, ski touring, even – occasionally! -cross country skiing. This winter, instead, no skies: I have ridden my bike. For over 1200km. In the rain, cold, fog; and sometimes in the sun too. I have always been alone, except for three or four occasions when I rode with Giallu, Daniel, Jonas, Bjorn, Benedikt. There were several moments of hanger and and borderline burn-out; and some, rare, moments of enlightenment in Chianti, Mugello, or Val di Pesa. I saw all the kind of animals, waterfalls, trees, elderly, and children. I  never fell, but I was hit by an ambulance. So I guess it is fair to say that I did not get bored. But these moments – each single one of them – were mine and unfortunately mine will remain, because I am not able to communicate them with words.

In the end, only the cold numbers remain. I spent over 50 hours training on my bike (all the stats from January 20 are here). I also invested more or less 10 hours of my time to get the medical certificate and all the vaccinations I needed; a few more hours to get the bike set, change the gears and the tyres, book the hotel in Siena, and make sure I got my spot in the race. And this is the reason why I have done it all. But the thought of the race itself would not have been enough. When I prepare for a competition like this I need some kind of extra motivation to keep myself going. So this month I bought cycling magazines, I read cycling books, I watched cycling videos. (Not that I did not do that before… just a little less than now). Yes, yes, yes: I became some sort of bicycle maniac. Anyways: the one below is probably the best video up to date on the Strade Bianche. It is the 2013 edition highlights.

Rarely have I been as monodimensional as I have over these last two months. Now I am headed to Siena and on Sunday I will take part to the Strade Bianche. It is a moment I have been waiting for quite some time. Please, please, please, let me get what I want.

Eroico?

Decision taken: if the organizers will accept my application I will compete in the 2016 Strade Bianche Gran Fondo, also known as the Heroic race of the gravel roads which starts and finishes in Siena and is a hell of an event. This is what I am talking about.


So the pro race will be held on March 5th and the Gran Fondo where I will compete will be held on March 6th. This leaves me a good month and a half to train. This is far less than it would normally be necessary, but time is a tyrant. Anyways: since I brought my road bike to Florence I kept track of my -slow- progress on a paper. Very old school indeed.

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This isn’t much. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I downloaded Strava and will start using it to monitor my progress from now on. As Marco told me in Montreal, half of the joy of participating to such an event comes from your capacity to keep up with the training schedule you set for yourself. And never before had it been more important to link again this memorable video to keep me going during these freezing days of Winter. Ideally, I should aim of doing 1.500K before March 5. Time will tell whether I am heroic enough.

Parampampoli

I met Manuel in Novi Sad and we went running together. He was doing competitions then (it was 2009) and suggested that if I wanted to do the same I should stay away from alcohol, sleep regularly, and eat healthy. But then he also told me that his best race was the one he ran right after pulling an all-nighter. He concluded that at the end of the day there is no way we can fully control our human body.

I think of that story every time I am badly out of shape and still decide to embark in some kind of sport activity that is clearly beyond the reach of my limited physical possibilities. Which is something that happens more and more often. Last weekend I abruptly resolved to run the four-men relay of the Livorno marathon after a forced four-month stop from running due to several injuries to my right leg. I was out of shape, out of sleep, and definitely not on a alcohol-free diet. But, hey, I/we did it. Next time I should try the all-nighter and see what comes out of that.

We are the Parampampoli and one year after running the Firenze-Fiesole together we finished this 42K race in 3 hours and 13 minutes.

The place where we were

So I wrote I was going to upload some more pictures concerning this little adventure I had together with my dad, Giallu and Nico. Here they are: they have been taken by the organizers themselves and I highly recommend taking part to at least one of their next events.

Addendum: people complimented me about the new glasses. In fact, they belong to Giallu. The reason why I am wearing them is I lost both contact lenses on the way to the lake – yes, crazy: they flew away, both at the same time, while we were speeding up in the dust. Loyal Giallu was kind enough to borrow me his glasses. We are almost equally blinded, so that worked out pretty well.

El socialismo sólo puede llegar en bicicleta

La consiglierei subito, non la rifarò mai più“.

As I anticipated yesterday, there is yet one more experience in my life that deserves to be documented on this log. I am talking about the event that took place on the night between Saturday and Sunday and was organized by Witoor.

It goes like this. Upon coming down from the mountains we relax for a few hours. Three. And then my father, Giallu, Niccolò and I assemble the bikes we need and drive to Bolzano.

Loren, vai a prendere tre luci, una sella, due pedali e una camera d’aria per queste bici.
E dove le trovo tutte queste cose, babbo?
Fai come si fa nell’esercito, quello italiano. Ruba tutto il necessario dalle altre bici che abbiamo in cantina.

We get to Bolzano at 11PM: it is dark, it is cold, and it is pouring rain. One hour later we are on our bikes (well: my father’s collection of bikes, technically) riding towards the scenic Lake of Resia, naively unaware of the fact that the final 20 km are a very steep, long, extenuating climb.

It takes us three restoration points, 120km, 1,200 meters of ascent, and 7 hours. We reach our final destination at sunrise. We are completely wasted. So in the end our long, long weekend makes me think of this movie I watched and more precisely it makes me think of this: “I don’t think we are going to suffer quite as much on this trip. I don’t think it is going to be that bad. … Naaah, I mean, it’s definitely going to be bad“.

It’s on

How are you doing brother? I would like to make you a challenge over summer. Let’s make a piece of art each and sell it for charity. This will be a competition; whoever earns the most money will win. I know we will both be shit in making art, so this is a real challenge. Let me know if you are in. 

Iris