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Day 5: Feltre to Venice – legends/leg-end

June 30, 2015

And so it’s over for another year.

Legs may be tired, undercarriages may have taken a beating and some may be thankful that they can find their own way to a destination with relying on the input of others, gathered at a dusty roadside, staring into a small bleeping screen in brilliant sunshine.

But it’s still over. Back today to normality, where getting up means going to work, not smearing cream, pulling on lycra and heading for a breakfast regime of stuffing hotel food down throats that lead to stomachs which have long since lost their appetite.

Yesterday was the final run in from Feltre to Venice. The route profile looked bumpy initially, then pan flat. After a trundle out along main roads, we turned south for the Passo San Baldo, our final climb-proper of the trip. We’d seen the pictures, but few had bothered with the words – not many can adequately describe this theme park ride of a hill. Here’s one – ridiculous:

LVG15_Day 5_1

 

A pass that tops itself out with a single-track section consisting of tunnelled corners, with tight hairpins, short straights and traffic lights. Fantasy roadbuilding.

The thing is, it never seemed to come. As we approached, the road banked up, then down a bit, then around, then up a bit more. We were all in ‘where’s this bloody hill then?’ mode.

Until it dawned that we were already at the top. The tunnels bit was the south side – we were going down it.

I could wax lyrical about that for more space than is duly permitted here. Suffice to say I was laughing most of the way down, not quite believing what we were doing. The stuff of legend.

Befitting then, that the last day of a legendary trip, the first joint outing of LVG and Blackheath  Velo, should end with such a legendary hill.

The rest of the ride was less legendary, but still a great and fast run in to Venice. Flat, increasingly hot (particularly if you’re wearing a pink morph suit, pics to follow I’m sure) and with the smell of the sea (well, swampy lagoons) in the air.

And then it was over. Time though for one last legendary lunch. Surrounded by innumerable restaurant options in a beautiful town off the lagoon, there was just time for one last baguette’n’van luncheon par excellence. To depict the full scene, only a picture montage can really do justice:

LVG15_Day 5_2 LVG15_Day 5_3 LVG15_Day 5_4 LVG15_Day 5_5 LVG15_Day 5_6

Another legendary week of summer cycling, legendary for being a dual-society ride. It worked well.

Thanks everyone who put so much time and effort into organising this year’s Italian job, in particular:

-Matteo Oweniani for the research into hotels and general getting-togetheredness of the arrangements

-Gianni Stradale for the route mastery and adjustments, and quick-thinking in the form of lagoon bridge gymnastics

-Tomaso Doncani for being the third and oft-vocal part of the triangle, and never minding too much when being nominated (despite maintaining the look of a guilty man each evening)

-And the support crew, Howardini, Vaidasimmo and Ericetti, who kept us all safe and sane.

One question remains though: why did I risk not just life but limb by doing this on a broken ankle (well, a healing ankle, three weeks in, which is obviously not so sensible)? Why would anyone want to do that, given the mountains, the distances and the need to chomp painkillers constantly while riding around with a cycling shoe so fat it couldn’t be closed?

The answer is in the stars. It’s because you’re a long time dead, mate.

A week that was the stuff of legend. And for me, also the stuff of leg-end.

Ciao bimba.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Beev permalink
    June 30, 2015 7:59 am

    Gianni Stradale! Deptford John has never sounded so bello!! Nice one guys

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