Saturday, November 3, 2007

Welcome Back to Italy Ride

About 18 hours back from a short vacation back home in the U.S. and it was time for a ride! As luck would have it the club had planned a ride up to Malcesine along the east coast of Lake Garda.

Brent, from Florida, also managed some time off from his project work here in Europe and came to Verona again for some more Italian riding.

It was a beautiful, sunny, day with the temperature reaching 19C/66F. From Verona nine of us rode to Bardolino where we joined the lakeside road. As you head north along the lake it continues to narrow considerably and by the time you reach Malcesine the cliffs on the other side are relatively close. In Malcesine we stopped at a bar with outdoor tables and basked in the sun with our espressos. Unfortunately, there wasn't any time for Brent to explore Malcesine as the plan was to get back to Boscomantico for lunch.

A chairlift (funivia) system in Malcesine which can transport you to the top of Monte Baldo at 1,800 meters above sea level. From there you have splendid views over Lake Garda, the Brentonico - la Polsa plateau and the Venetian Pre-Alps. It is possible to take a mountain bike with you on the chairlift (check times permitted) to access 40 km of paths, dirt tracks and roads covering Monte Baldo.

As we rode south we had full sun (the early morning sun was blocked by Monte Baldo on the way north) a slight tailwind, and wonderful vistas of Lake Garda.

The 130 km ride ended with one of our typically excellent and fun lunches.

November will have a number of cycling related activities: Milan Bike Show, annual Gruppo 1 dinner, Gruppo 1 assembly for elections, Eros Poli's dinner where he will unveil his trip plans for next year (looks like I'll miss it as it's Thanksgiving evening), the draw for the Maratona dles Dolomites, finishing up my Chesini INNOVATION project, and of course more riding.

Photo: Malcesine as seen from the chairlift

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