Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Busy Weekend of Riding with a Visitor

Some friends of mine had suggested that a friend of theirs contact me as "Brent", from Orlando, would be visiting Verona this weekend and would be bringing his S&S coupled HAMPSTEN titanium bike. Brent was on business in Europe and he hooked up with me via email before arriving in Verona. I gave him a hotel recommendation and we met for the first time on Saturday morning in front of his hotel. From there we met up with the Gruppo 1 Saturday ride.

The club ride went to the southern part of Verona province which is primarily agricultural and flat. Like myself, Brent has an interest in vintage steel bikes so we had some nice discussions while riding about Masi, Cinelli, Richard Sachs, Dario Pegoretti and other famous framebuilders. For the occasion I rode my steel SLX Malagnini.

Late Saturday afternoon we met with Eros Poli, had a couple of glasses of wine, and chatted about pro racing, bicycle tours, and bikes.

Saturday evening Brent, Ms. E and I went to dinner at a restaurant on via Sottoriva which is the oldest street in Verona. This restaurant departs (swerves!) from the more traditional Venetian establishments in that it serves fish specialties from Puglia. We had a fantastic dinner which was nice because it was on the eve of Ms. E.'s birthday.

Sunday morning I met Brent again for this time we were going to ride in a raduno. It was a perfect morning and the raduno was HUGE. 700 riders for a leisurely Sunday morning ride through the center of Verona and into the outskirts of the city. Arriving back at the start we had some mortadella sandwiches and other goodies. As I had to be in Verona for a birthday luncheon for Ms. E. some gracious club members took it upon themselves to take Brent out to beautiful Lake Garda for a visit to some of the lakeside towns and lunch in Garda.

I believe Brent had a memorable Italian cycling experience for his weekend stay.

Photos: Brent visiting Eros at his bar in Verona; Gruppo 1 getting ready for the raduno at Porta Palio.

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