Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A sundial measures time by the position of the Sun. In common designs the sun casts a shadow from its style (a thin rod or a sharp, straight edge) onto a flat surface marked with lines indicating the hours of the day. As the sun moves across the sky, the shadow-edge progressively aligns with different hour-lines on the plate. Such designs rely on the style being aligned with the axis of the Earth's rotation.
Sundials are associated with the passage of time, and it has become common to inscribe a motto into a sundial, often one that prompts the viewer to reflect on the transience of the world and the inevitability of death, e.g., "Do not kill time, for it will surely kill thee." A more cheerful popular motto is "I count only the sunny hours."
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Mario Confente, Part I
Mario Confente is certainly one of the finest frame builders that ever put a torch to steel. Tragically, Mario died on March 8, 1979 at the young age of 34. He left behind a legacy that includes 135 frames bearing his name. Most frame builders spend years and build a thousand frames to achieve the recognition that Mario garnered in such a short time. The respect that he achieved is a testament to his devotion and passion for the bicycle. His standard was nothing short of perfection.
Mario Confente was born January 29, 1945 in Montorio, Italy, a small town a few miles from Verona. He was the third of five children and the only male child. His sister Gianna Confente recalls, "his infancy was not rosy because we were a modest family and only our father was working. It was a difficult period following the war."
As a result, Mario began working at an early age. He first served as an apprentice in a hardware store. His mechanical aptitude soon captured the attention of a family friend, Mr. Tiberghien, who gave Mario a job in his wool factory. Mario worked as a mechanic and often repaired the looms. As he grew older, he furthered his mechanical education by attending the state trade school, the Leonardo Da Vinci. Displaying his artistic side, he also made religious crosses which he sold to the Vatican.
Like most young Italian boys, Mario was captivated by bicycle racing. He was just thirteen when he joined the Aquilotti club, his town's local club. His prowess on the bike was evident due to his numerous victories. At the age of fifteen, he won the provincial championship as a junior while riding for the Gaiga club.
When he turned eighteen, the Bencini bike club invited Mario to join their ranks. The Bencini team was the best Dilettanti (semi-pro) team of that period. Local riders from Verona filled the squad's roster. The director sportif was Guido Zamperioli. From 1963 to 1966, the Bencini squad members produced impressive results:
1963: Gold medal, Amateur World Championships, won by Bencini rider Flaviano Vicentini
1964: Silver medal 100km team time trail, Tokyo Olympics with Bencini riders Pietro Guerra and Severino Andreoli
1965: Gold medal 100km team time trial, World Championships, Bencini squad members, Pietro Guerra and Severino Andreoli, are part of the quartet.
1966: Bronze medal 100km team time trail, World Championships, Pietro Guerra is a member of the quartet.
Due to the demands of this higher level of competition, Mario chose to quit his job and race full-time. Soon he was traveling with the team to Torino, Milano and Switzerland. He supplemented his income by building frames. Mario's father urged him to give up racing because it paid poorly and the risks were high. His father even remodeled a small workshop adjacent to their home to enable Mario to build frames. Soon, he built himself his first frame. Before long, his teammates were requesting frames as well.
As a semi-pro, he placed well in several races and even won a few. One teammate Severino Andreoli recalls, "Mario was a strong rider, not too much of a winner but often among the first places of the classification. He sacrificed a lot for the team during a break away or to block, while a companion took a flight for victory."
Renzo Ferrari, another teammate of Mario's from the Bencini club remembers, "I met Mario when I was 17 and he was 16. We were in a gym and we became friends even though we raced for different clubs. Mario was of good character and he got along with everyone even when he was racing. He was generous and highly esteemed for his passion of cycling. He distinguished himself from the other fellows for the attention, maintenance and care that he had for his bicycle." He adds, "Mario was always adjusting my bicycle and he even taught me how to pick wild mushrooms!"
In 1963, during a race, Renzo and Mario broke away together and rode the last 20 km together. Renzo won the race and Mario had to settle for second. However, they remained friends long after. Bencini rider and former World Champion, Pietro Guerra recalls, "Mario did not win a lot of races but he was strong, generous, and always ready to help everyone."
While racing on the velodrome in the fall of 1968, Mario sustained a severe injury from a crash. Once he recovered, he gave up racing and threw his energy into frame building. Mario's work was impeccable and his reputation grew, thanks to his friends and teammates Pietro Guerra and Flaviano Vicentini. Both riders won numerous races and World Championships on Confente built frames.
Pietro Guerra remembers, "When Mario stopped racing, he didn't know what to do. The passion he had for the bike was still strong so he learned right away how to build racing frames. He became a specialist in building racing frames and to make himself known in the field he gave me a track bike. It was a real jewel! With it, I won three Italian professional individual pursuit championships, 1970 at Varese, 1971 at Milano, and 1972 at Bassano del Grappa."
From 1968 to 1970, Mario continued to build frames in his home workshop. During this period, Ditta Bianchi asked him to build frames for his company under a piece work agreement. Soon, Mario had more work then he could handle by himself. He quickly outgrew his facility. In 1970, Mario hired several apprentices and was forced to relocate his frame building business. The new shop, though modest, was expansive and he lived above it in a small apartment with his parents.
His reputation continued to grow and Pietro Guerra adds, "We presented Mario to the famous Masi of Milano. In the beginning, Masi brought work to Verona for Mario. At the time the bike market was slow in Italy, so with the Masi project he transferred to California in search of better luck."
In the early seventies, the US experienced an energy crisis and a subsequent bicycle boom. Roland Sahm, a wealthy business man from San Diego contacted every Italian bicycle manufacturer on licensing their name and building frames in the US. According to Sahm, Cinelli, Colnago and Bianchi all refused him. However, one Italian bicycle manufacturer recognized the potential of the growing US market. Falierio Masi sold Sahm the rights to produce a Masi bicycle in the U.S.
Mario arrived in Los Angeles in October 12, 1973. As evidenced by the following letter he did not expect to stay long. Dated October 21, 1973, Ernesto Colnago wrote to Mario in California:
Dear Mario, A few days ago I passed your house to say hello but I was surprised to see your mother and father a little demoralized by your leaving. They assured me that you will be back in 20 to 30 days. This pleases me because as we agreed I was going to propose a business with large profits. Come back soon and when you arrive in Milan, give me a call and I will come and get you and bring you home. Write to me. Sincerely, Colnago
Although Colnago and Confente never engaged in a joint venture, it would certainly have proved interesting. Confente did build for the Masi California project and eventually built under his own name. His impact on the U.S. bicycle market was profound and he quickly established a new standard for U.S. custom builders.
Faliero Masi sold the rights of the Masi name to San Diego businessman Roland Sahm. Under their agreement, Masi bicycles would be built in the United States. Failero came to supervise the start of the new venture. He brought Mario with him to initiate production.
At the US Masi factory in Carlsbad, Mario oversaw production of some 2,200 bicycles over the course of three years. To reach that level of production, Mario was required to train a number of Mexican workers. They were hired to do the majority of the preparation work that goes into building a frame.
Mario's widowed wife, then girlfriend, Lisa recalls, "Mario respected the Mexican guys who helped him. They would often have lunch together, Mario enjoyed the tortillas. These men would come up from Mexico and make a sacrifice to take care of their families, send home every penny. These were the people that Mario admired, people who worked hard and took care of their families. He was so Old World."
She also recalls meeting Eddy Merckx when they traveled to Italy together. "We went in when Eddy was getting a massage. He was getting ready to ride the Milan-San Remo race. Eddy said, "hey Mario, I love your bikes and I want another bicycle." Mario said that he made many bikes for him but he would always put his own decals on the frame. One thing that was sad about Mario being in the U.S., is that he did not have a strong command of the language. In Italy, he was like another person, he was so strong over there. We went to see Signor Campagnolo, Eddy Merckx, Signor Cinelli and all of these people. They way he spoke to them was so different then how he was over here."
However, when it came to building and marketing bicycles Mario was anything but "Old World". In an effort to conquer the US bicycle market, Faliero Masi and Mario went to the Encino velodrome one evening. The reigning sprinter of the 70's, Jerry Ash was at the track working out. He was offered a Masi track frame.
Ash recounts, "Before I received the Masi, I was riding a Rickerts and before that, a Paramount. I went to the Masi factory at Carlsbad and I was measured for the frame which Mario then built. I wanted an all-around track frame that would be good for sprinting. The ride of the bike was tremendous."
While it was encouraging that top riders were bringing recognition to the new Masi venture, Mario was not content. The one thing that eluded him up to this time was the chance to build frames bearing his name. As the Masi California operation struggled, a New Jersey businessman, Bill Recht, attempted to buy the business from Roland Sahm. Unable to reach an agreement, Recht did succeed in hiring Mario away from Masi. Mario would finally build a bike with his name on the downtube. It was a dream come true, or so he thought.
Custom Bicycles by Confente was located in Los Angeles. One of the first things Mario did was contact Jerry Ash and offer to build him a road and track bike. Ash went on to ride the Confente track frame in the World Championships in 1976, 77, and 78. In 1977, he finished seventh in the match sprints, the highest finish for an American in over a decade. Before long, other top riders, including Jonathan Boyer, were traveling to Los Angeles for a Confente frame.
Lisa recalls that Mario poured his heart and soul into this new venture. "He worked like a fiend. I would have to tear him out of the place in LA. He would not leave until it was spotless clean. I would help him sweep the floor - anything to get him out of there!"
Confente frames were the rage at the New York bicycle show the first year that they were unveiled. Tom Kellogg, of Spectrum Cycles, recalls, "Mario made beautiful stuff and he pushed the American builders beyond a look that we all had, which was kind of simple, plain lines. He forced us to class up our act. Mario's frames were the first to combine American quality and the Italian look. That had never been done before. Fairly rapidly after that the Americans made their frames look slicker."
Ben Serotta adds, "After seeing Confente's bikes at the New York show, it was clear that he raised the standard." Richard Sachs recalls looking at the Confente brochure and shaking his head in disbelief that someone could charge $400 for a custom frame. At the time, Sachs was charging $180 for a custom frame. Sachs notes, "I remember asking myself, what could a builder possible do to a frame to make it cost so much more?"
As beautiful and skillfully made as the Confente frames were, they were also expensive. Recht decided to capitalize on Mario's name and innovations. Unbeknownst to Mario, Recht was preparing to launch another, less expensive bicycle frame. When Mario ordered 100 dropouts for the Confente bicycles, Recht ordered 200. The Medici frame was to be unveiled at the next New York bicycle show. Prior to the show, Confente learned that his name was going to be used to launch this new frame. He perceived the Medici frame to be an inferior product. He promptly handed in a letter of resignation and was immediately locked out of the factory. Unable to retrieve his tools, Confente headed north to the one place where he knew he could continue to build frames, Monterey.
Mario had traveled to Monterey previously to meet with Boyer and a sponsor of Boyer's, George Farrier. Farrier had a machine shop in his garage and Confente was impressed by the size of the shop. In the year that followed, he worked without distraction. Farrier recalls the day Mario showed up at his property, "Mario pulled into the driveway in his car. I was surprised to see him. I asked him what he was doing here and in his thick Italian accent he said that he was here to build bicycles."
While Farrier's accommodations were first class, Mario still longed for his own shop. He and Jim Cunningham put together a business plan. In addition to developments in his career, Mario's personal life was taking a new step forward. Mario proposed to his longtime girlfriend and the two were married shortly thereafter.
Lisa remembers, "I left Mario. I went to Houston for a while. I wanted to get married and I knew that he would never marry me. He sent a lot of money home to Italy. Yet, Mario thought you had to have a lot of money to be married. I had a little house in Encinitas and I believed that we would be all right. When I realized it wasn't going to work out, I said that I'm out of here, we've been together for five years and there is no future. Mario was bummed out and very lonely after I left California. Six months later, when I returned from Texas, he asked me to marry him."
The newlyweds settled into Encinitas and Mario renovated the garage into his new shop. Sadly, as Mario was on the verge of achieving his dream, he abruptly passed away. Mario and Lisa were married less than two weeks. An autopsy later revealed that he had an enlarged heart and suffered from heart disease. Lisa remembers Mario on his last morning, "He was going to go back to Masi to work for a short time, just to make some cash. He was supposed to meet with the Masi foreman that morning. He was really upset and stressed about going back there. I felt like it was something he didn't want to do, yet he felt he had to."
The next thing she remembers, "This biker guy found him... a Hell's Angel kind of guy. He banged on the door, it was 5:30 or 6:00am. , he says, "Lady, lady there is a man out here and I think he is dead." I went out there and saw him lying in the road. I just lost it. All I said was, "are his hands okay? He works with his hands." He wasn't breathing or anything. For some reason my car was in the middle of the road. He may have been trying to move my car. He was found beside the car, sort of out in the road."
The cycling community was stunned by the death of Mario Confente. In his all to brief career, he was transforming the cycling industry. With the talent and passion that he possessed, one can only wonder about the frames he would be building today. One can only wonder about the man he would be today.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Atala, From Racing to Mail Delivery
Monday, February 25, 2008
Do You Recognize These Features?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Riding in Colà
Saturday, February 23, 2008
1001 Miglia Randonee Update
Friday, February 22, 2008
Visit to Peschiera
My most recent ride was a longish one, slowly winding my way to Peschiera. Peschiera is located at the southern edge of Lake Garda and is protected by a fortress. The fortress is on an island in the Mincio River at its outlet from Lake Garda. When Lombary-Venetia was under Austrian rule, Peschiera was the northwest anchor of four fortified towns constituting the so-called Quadrilateral.
This fortress configuration remained unchanged until the French arrival in 1796, after the fall of the Venice Republic. Initially the fortress was kept as originally, a border watch building. From 1800 and during the French domination (1801-1814) it was partially dismantled in order to build a set of fortications: a system of separate forts, which surrounded the town, on dominant positions, within the countryside.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Visit to Brenzone
The village of Brenzone has a very small harbor, and is dominated by Monte Baldo.
This was an out and back big chainring training ride only stopping for a few photos. I'm getting ready for the Garda granfondo of March 9th, or as they say, "fake it until you make it"....that's me. The lakeside road is generally flat but there are a number of roads, with varying degrees of pitch and length, that you can take from the lake up to Monte Baldo and its ridges to get in some hard climbing.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Super Mario On His Own Wavelength
In fact, 'Cipo' is using virtually none of the team's officially sponsored gear. His bike is fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace instead of Campagnolo Record, Lightweight Standard wheels rather than the official Cole Products hoops, and he even uses Specialized tubular tires instead of the officially supplied Challenge rubber. In place of a Stella Azzurra stem is a carbon fiber Bontrager Race XXX Lite model (painted black on one bike) and Cipollini's head is protected by a Specialized helmet, not a LAS.
But what of the frame itself? Cipo's frame bears no resemblance to anything in the DeRosa stable and is decorated only with large 'Cipollini' badging on the main triangle. Even JFK conspiracy theorists would be impressed with the amount of speculation that has circulated around exactly what the make and model is. We confirmed today that it's not a DeRosa of any sort, but contrary to popular belief, it isn't a Specialized or Max Lelli model, either.
Cipollini's aluminum frame does apparently use a handful of tubing and dropouts similar to what he used on his old Specialized E5 bike but it isn't welded in a Specialized factory. According to our sources, his frame was built by Simone Carlesso of Bassano del Grappa, Italy (note: here in the Veneto region), the same person who built his bikes when Cipollini rode for the big 'S'.
In fact, it seems that Cipollini's choice of machine has little, if anything, to do with a dislike of Rock Racing's official equipment but rather a desire to stick with something familiar. The flamboyant Italian sprinter may still be fast but at this stage in his career he's not terribly interested in getting accustomed to something totally new. Seeing as how he is Mario Cipollini after all, apparently even Michael Ball can't tell him what to do.
"I'm forty-one years old so basically it is not a profession for me anymore, it's just my passion," said Cipollini in a post-race press conference. "Just sprinting here with riders that could by my kids is a victory – I'm very proud. I like to challenge myself with something that is almost impossible to accomplish. It is just a challenge against myself. Although it makes me sad to take away the space for the young riders, from an egotistical point of view, I like the challenge and for me it is very good."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Bike Prices in Italy
The following prices, from the February, 2008, CT are in Euro. You can use this currency converter to calculate the price in your currency: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
I've selected a sampling of high end offering of each manufacturer to give you an idea of pricing here in Italy. In some cases the top models may be available in either Record, DuraAce, SRAM Red or Force.
Bianchi 928 Carbon Sl with Record 7,600 Euro
Cannondale Super Six Ultimate with SRAM Red 11,999 Euro
Carrera Phibra with SRAM Red 6,640 Euro (in photo above)
Casati Marte with Record 7,091 Euro
Cinelli Best Of with Record 6,400 Euro
Daccordi Sansone Full Carbon with Record 5,640 Euro
De Rosa X.S. Titanium frame only 3,600 Euro
Felt F1 with DuraAce 5,999 Euro
Fondriest TF1 with Record (or DuraAce) 6,200 Euro
FRW Somona with Record 6,250 Euro
Gios Carbon Lite frame only 1,600 Euro
IBIS Silk carbon frame only 1,590 Euro
Klein Q Elite Xx with DuraAce 5,690 Euro
KTM Renegade Presitge with DuraAce 5,399 Euro
Kuota KoM with Record 5,759 Euro
Lemond Tete de Course with SRAM Force 8,490 Euro
Litespeed Archon frame only 4,490 Euro
Merlin Extralight frame only 3,299 Euro
Museeuw MF1, gruppo not mentioned, 4,350 Euro
Olmo Zeffiro Vct with Record 6,320 Euro
Orbea Orca with SRAM Red 6,299 Euro
Parkpre RS 99 Team, frame only, 3,300 Euro
Passoni Mito, Ti/carbon, frame only 4,542 Euro
Scapin Ekle SL with Record 5,200 Euro
Specialized Tarmac SL2 with SRAM Red 6,290 Euro
Trek 6.9 Madone, group not specified, 8,199 Euro
Wilier Cento with Record 6,165 Euro
If you are American coming to visit Italy and are paying in dollars...well....it's going to be painful.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Cipollini Blasts Back After Three Years
Super Mario explaining his thoughts on the starting ramp, "Mi sono emozionato. Strana la vita. Mai dire mai". "I was very emotional. Life is strange. Never say never."
Mario on the 3.4km course. The Italian press reported that he used an 8 year old TT bike.
Mario is happy with his result:Mario finshed 17 seconds behind World Champion Fabian Cancellara who won the prologue. Fabian, although Swiss, is immensely popular in Italy because of his Italian heritage:
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Cicli Montante and the 2008 Giro d' Italia
Friday, February 15, 2008
Pegoretti Named Frame Builder of the Year
"It is an extreme honour to be recognized in this way. It is my hope that the frames I make are used on the roads and not hung as art on the wall," he said, upon hearing he won the award.
Pegoretti became well known for the frames that he made for some of the biggest names in the pro peloton throughout the 80's and 90's. Today his frames are now more sought out by cycling purists seeking a unique machine.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Buying A Bike In Italy, a 1986 Story
By LINDA JEFFRIES
In northern Italy on a pleasant day, the roads are filled with bicyclists: many in racing gear; whole squadrons of teen-agers on training runs; pairs of fathers and sons; lone middle-aged or white-haired veterans. For others, cycling is a more practical matter, a way to get around. Housewives hang shopping bags from their handlebars; old men carry melons to market, and children pedal to and from school. Bicycles are very much a part of the Italian scene, especially in the less mountainous parts of the central and northern regions.
This strong commitment to the bicycle fosters a lively industry in Italy. And with the country's tradition of fine design and workmanship, it means that Italian bicycles are among the best in the world. In a good many American bike shops, the top-of-the-line model on display in the window is likely to be Italian. Even if the frame is different, the parts will probably be Campignolo, an Italian label recognized around the world. Such a bicycle - a Bianchi Vittoria, for instance, with all Campignolo parts - might cost $900 or so, and the top-of-the-line Centenario is priced at about $2,500.
However, in Italy the same bicycles cost substantially less (about two-thirds the American price). Italian bike shops also carry many less expensive but well-made bicycles not found in the United States. Manufacturers like Bianchi tend to export their more expensive models, and many other manufacturers do not export to the United States at all.
So if you are a cyclist and are planning a trip to Italy, you may want to consider buying a bicycle there. Shopping for one can be a welcome change of pace from sightseeing, and besides, since cyclists and shop owners are a friendly group as a whole, you may find their enthusiasm inspiring.
If you decide to explore the Italian bicycle market, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you are better off shopping in a larger city in the North where bike shops are more numerous and more used to dealing with foreigners. The Milan area, an important center for the cycling industry, probably has the most bike shops and the widest choice available, but you could also do well in Bologna or Florence. Rome is a possibility as well, though because of its congestion it is probably not a city you would want to cycle in. Remember also that bike shops, like most other shops in Italy, are generally open only from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. and from 4 to 7 P.M.,and a good many close in August, the country's traditional vacation month.
The cheapest bycycles ($100 to $200) are the solid, three-speed ones that most Italians use to get around town. They are sturdy and durable, but also heavy. Then there is a whole range of bikes for amateur racers who want some speed as well as lightness and durability at affordable prices. There is a large market in Italy for these bikes, and they are also the best ones for the American interested in recreation or touring.
Prices vary according to the quality of the frame and the parts. Your first question should be about the frame (telaio) and whether it was handmade (artigianale). Handmade frames cost more than those assembled in a factory, but since bicycles with handmade frames are still reasonably priced by American standards (as low as $250), it may be worth your while to pay for the better workmanship. Another question should be about the tubing. Columbus tubing is the lightest and is used in most handmade Italian racing bicycles. This kind of tubing requires careful handling, since too much heat in the braising process can weaken the frame joints. Look for clean lines, and if the builder is not well known, check his reputation among cyclists or mechanics. High-quality tubing is also made by Reynolds, an English company, and by some Japanese companies, but Italian bike builders are very loyal to Italian products, so you are not likely to come across too many imported frames. Note that Columbus or Reynolds tubing should be labeled as such on the frame; an unmarked frame is probably made of a cheaper Italian tubing.
After the frame, you need to examine the parts, especially the derailleur (cambio) and the brakes (freni). With a Campignolo derailleur and other fittings, you can be sure of the best quality and also of finding replacements in the United States. Finally, you should make sure the rims and tires are the appropriate ones for you. Racers use a tubeless tire known in the United States as a sew-up and in Italy as a palmer or tubolare. These are generally not advisable for recreation or touring, for they puncture more easily and are tricky to mount. So if you are buying a racing model, ask for normal tires with tubes (normale) and for rims that fit them.
Those looking for a well-built frame of high-quality tubing and good parts - and willing to spend $350 to $750 - have many manufacturers to choose from. The particular maker does not matter much. You might as well let color, style or the feel of the bicy-cle be your guide. However, for the best buy, stay away from names you may have seen in the United States. since these manufacturers tend to charge more than others for the same Columbus tubing and Campignolo parts.
The one area in the cycling market that the Italians seem to have neglected is touring. Young Italians have not been too interested in traveling by bicycle. Though this may be changing, in general it seems that Italians prefer to travel by car or train. Until recently the lack of interest in bicycle touring has meant that anyone who wanted to see Italy by bike had to come fully equipped. To some extent this is still true, especially in the south, where the bike shops are less well stocked. Elsewhere the situation is improving. For light touring, any of the lightweight amateur racing bicycles will do, and in many shops in the north you can find adequate (if unsophisticated) front handlebar bags and rear panniers. For more serious touring, you will need a touring bicycle with a more flexible and comfortable frame. You might also prefer to bring your own bags and a rear free-wheel with a large (34 or 36 tooth) sprocket. The largest sprockets available in Italy have only 30 teeth, which is not adequate for heavy touring over hilly terrain unless you have thighs like some Italian racers.
Sending your bicycle back to the United States is less of a problem than it might appear from the other side of the Atlantic. If you want to take it with you on the plane - for no extra charge if you count it as a piece of luggage - it must be boxed. You can box the bicycle yourself if you have the tools to dismantle it. (Boxing requires removal of the seat, handlebars, pedals and front wheel.) Boxes are found at most shops, though you should call ahead to make sure some are available. Most bike shops will box the bicycle for $15 or $20. Another option is to buy an airline bag specially designed for bicycles, which costs about $50. Many shops will also ship bicycles to the United States by air freight. Shipping companies charge by volume, but the cost still varies from shop to shop: about $150 to $175 for an assembled bicycle, $75 to $100 for an unassembled one.
Another problem may be language, yet it need not be too much of a problem. In many shops someone usually speaks some English. But if no one does, it is relatively easy when discussing a bicycle to use fingers for numbers and otherwise demonstrate your ideas. A little Italian, however, can go a long way. With a few key words and phrases, you'll quickly win friends among cyclists and shop owners.
Cinelli (also known as Gran Cicilsmo, 45 Via Folli in Lambrate on the outskirts of Milan; 215-1643) has handmade and factory-made bicycles, touring equipment and books (in English) for touring.
Rossignoli (71 Corso Garibaldi; 804-960) is the place to buy parts as well as bicycles.
Guerciotti (55 Via Tamagno; 200-424) offers handmade bicycles.
Doniselli (11 Via Procaccini; 381-545) has racing bicycles in a wide range of prices.
If you have the time and some knowledge of Italian, you might seek out some of the smaller, independent frame builders in the Milan area. Ask around among cyclists and shops for names and addresses.
Florence: Giuseppe Becucci (24R Via de Leone; 298-005) offers a full range of bicycles and touring equipment as well as Kryptonite locks.
Bologna: A. Villa (10 Strada Maggiore; 221-716) has a large selection of bicycles in all price ranges as well as some touring equipment. Patelli (1 Via Matteotti; 353-848) makes bicycles to order and specializes in racing equipment.
Programma "Cicloraduni strada” 2008
The reference to "pulmino" refers to the availability of the club van to take riders to the events should they not want to ride there and back. The reference to "punti" refers to a point system that is used that is based upon the distance of the event to your club, the further it is the more points are involved. It encourages all clubs to participate in the more distant events.
You can search in my blog under "raduno" for a full explanation of the type of event this is.
Verona ZAI (9,30)
pulmino ore 8,00
Verona Porta Palio
pulmino ore 8,15
pulmino ore 8,15
pulmino ore 8,00
pulmino ore 13,30
tutti ore 7,15
pulmino ore 8,00
pulmino ore 8,00
S.Pietro di Legnago
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 7,45
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 7,45
San Martino B.A.
pulmino ore 8,00
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 13,30
pulmino ore 7,45
pulmino ore 7,30
Porto di Legnago
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 7,30
San Pietro Incariano
pulmino ore 8,00
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 7,30
Verona Piazza Brà
pulmino ore 7,30
pulmino ore 7,45
pulmino ore 13,30
pulmino ore 8,00
San Massimo 2000
Verona Croce Bianca
Isola della Scala
pulmino ore 7,45
Lomb / Veneto
pulmino ore 8,30
Lomb / Veneto
pulmino ore 8,15
pulmino ore 8,30
Sunday, February 10, 2008
G.F. International Citta' Di Bardolino
The 155 km riders will start from Bardolino at 0900, and head south and ride around the lake clockwise. The 90 km riders will take the ferry at 0830 and will start from Toscolano Maderno at 1030, I believe joining the 155 km riders at that point:
Before reaching the Bardolino finish line you can see a small loop on the map. There is a nasty climb in that loop of about 2 km that's going to really hurt coming near the end of the race.
The race passes through two regions, three provinces, and many towns. Organizing it must have been a substantial undertaking.
This is what the registration and event information looks like in Italian which, by the way, I can understand all of it now:
Data luogo: e ritrovoDomenica 9 marzo 2008 con ritrovo alle ore 7.00 presso Villa Bottagisio Lungolago Cornicello Bardolino
Percorsi: Gran Fondo km 155 (disl. 930 mt). – Medio Fondo km 94 (disl. 670 mt).
Partenze: La Gran Fondo di km 155 partirà alle ore 9.00 dal Lungolago Cornicello a Bardolino, mentre i partecipanti alla Medio Fondo si imbarcheranno alle ore 8.30 dal porto di Bardolino sulla motonave per essere trasportati a Toscolano Maderno dove sarà dato il via alle ore 10.30. A Toscolano Maderno, in zona partenza, possono essere ritirate le eventuali sacche numerate contenenti indumenti personali. IMPORTANTE il servizio di trasporto è usufruibile per i soli atleti che abbiano già verificato l’iscrizione e in possesso nel numero di gara.
Partecipazione: La manifestazione è aperta a:cicloamatori: comprende atleti possessori di idoneità al ciclismo agonistico in corso di validità, che abbiano compiuto 18 anni, d'ambo i sessi, tesserati alla F.C.I. e agli Enti di Promozione Sportiva riconosciuti dal CONI. Atleti stranieri in possesso della tessera della federazione di appartenenza per l’anno 2008.ciclosportivi: comprende i tesserati possessori di idoneità allo sport non agonistico o non tesserati in possesso di certificato medico di sana costituzione fisica.
Consegna numeri di gara e pacco garaPresentandosi muniti di ricevuta originale del versamento, verrà consegnata la busta tecnica, sabato 8 marzo – dalle ore 15,30 alle ore 19,00 presso il Palazzotto dello Sport in via XX Settembre - BardolinoDomenica 9 marzo – dalle ore 7,00 alle ore 8,30 È indispensabile presentare la tessera o il certificato medico.
Quota di partecipazione e termine iscrizioni: Quota maschile € 30,00. – Quota femminile € 20,00 Termine iscrizioni al raggiungimento di 1.300 partecipanti e comunque entro le ore 24 di lunedì 3 marzo.
Modalità di iscrizione: Il pagamento della quota di partecipazione può essere effettuato:> Tramite BONIFICO BANCARIO su Banca Popolare di Verona, Agenzia “C”IT31 A 05188 11704 000000049882 – da estero SWIFT MT700 to VRBPIT2V> Tramite CONTO CORRENTE POSTALE n° 60446853 Intestare i pagamenti a: SPORT EVENTS - via Monterosa 7 – 37132 Verona. Compilare la scheda di iscrizione in modo chiaro e leggibile, disponibile anche sul sito della manifestazione - www.granfondobardolino.it – indicando sempre l'indirizzo del concorrente e un recapito telefonico. Inviare copia comprovante l’avvenuto pagamento unitamente alla scheda di iscrizione ai numeri di fax 045.532808 - 045 8956342. L'iscrizione senza il pagamento non sarà accolta.
Pacco gara: Con il ritiro del numero di gara verrà consegnato il chip – fanalini anteriore e posteriore che devono essere applicati e accesi prima della partenza – prodotti “Enervit”: borraccia – barretta energetica – integratori – buono pasta partyAl termine della gara, dietro riconsegna del chip, gli atleti possono ritirare il pacco gara contenente: gilè antivento in tessuto “Zero Wind”.
Cronometraggio: La misurazione dei tempi e l’elaborazione delle classifiche, a cura di Timing Data Service. Gli atleti che non termineranno la gara o che, per qualsiasi motivo, non riconsegneranno il “chip” al termine della gara, dovranno spedirlo a: Timing Data Service via delle Macchine 14 30038 Spinea /Ve) In caso contrario, saranno obbligati a versare € 15,00 a titolo di risarcimento danno.
Premiazioni: Le premiazioni inizieranno alle ore 14.30.Saranno premiate i primi tre classificati assoluti maschile e femminile dei due percorsi E i primi cinque delle seguenti categorie:SP – età 18/29 anni, M1 – età 30/34 anni, M2 – età 35/39 anni, M3 – età 40/44 anni,M4 – età 45/49 anni, M5 – età 50/54 anni, M6 - età 55/59 anni, M7 - età 60 in poi. W1 – età 18/39 anni, W2 – età 40 in poi.
Classifiche di Società: Verranno assegnati premi alle 3 società con il maggior numero di atleti iscritti nei due percorsi
Ingresso griglie di partenza: Sarà consentito dalle ore 8:30. Si raccomanda il massimo rispetto delle griglie assegnate. Ogni atleta dovrà essere munito del proprio CHIP. Chi non partirà dalla griglia assegnata o non seguirà le disposizioni degli addetti alle griglie verrà squalificato.
Tempo limite: Il tempo massimo della Gran Fondo è fissato dopo 3 ore dall’arrivo del primo concorrente.
Traffico stradale: Il traffico stradale è aperto. Vige l'assoluto rispetto e l'osservanza del Codice Stradale. Si ricorda a tutti i partecipanti di tenere scrupolosamente il lato destro della strada. Osserva con attenzione tutti i cartelli predisposti dall’Organizzazione.
Veicoli al seguito: Nessun tipo di veicolo (scooters, motociclette, automobili, ecc.) è ammesso al seguito dei concorrenti. Tutte le forme d’accompagnamento sono tassativamente vietate, pena la squalifica del concorrente. Automobili o motociclette possono creare seri problemi d’incolumità ai partecipanti.
Controlli: Ricordiamo che i controlli installati alla partenza, sul percorso e all’arrivo, costituiranno l’unica prova dell’effettivo completamento del percorso. Chi prenderà il via senza il dovuto controllo situato sulla linea di partenza verrà considerato non partito. La mancanza anche di un solo transito/rilievo determinerà l'esclusione dalla classifica finale.
Casco protettivo: È obbligatorio l’uso del casco protettivo (tipo rigido) che dovrà essere indossato ed allacciato.
Variazioni del regolamento: L’organizzazione si riserva di apportare eventuali variazione al presente regolamento. Il regolamento aggiornato è consultabile nel sito internet www.granfondodamianocunego.it
Ristori: Sono previsti 3 ristori sul percorso. Ogni area di ristoro è ricavata all’esterno della sede stradale e pertanto non saranno rifornimenti volanti. I concorrenti dovranno sostare e rifocillarsi all’interno del ristoro. Non gettate borracce o altro sul percorso.
Atleti ritirati: Sono previste delle postazioni di recupero atleti ritirati più due automezzi di fine gara.
Prenotazioni alberghiere: Contattare il numero 348.2688030 (Sig. Dante Armanini)
Informazioni: Informazioni generali 348.2341068 - 339.7080831 – 333.6032770 Il programma della manifestazione è disponibile sul sito http://www.granfondobardolino.it/ INFO ISCRIZIONI: 340.6675293