We escaped the frozen plains of Iowa for a spring break in this undisclosed location. A place where citrus and olives thrive, very much like eastern Sicily in many ways, including power outages during torrential rainstorms. That's all done now and we're enjoying cycling in the warm sunshine. Why not join us in the warm sunshine of Italy this summer? Next posts should be from the NAHBS in Charlotte, NC.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
SciCon's Pocket Bike Bag is one of those things you don't know you need, until you DO.
It's NOT an airline travel case. What is IS, is the perfect thing if you need to put a couple of bikes inside your car. Pop the wheels off and lay the bike onto the bag, zip it up and you're done! We suggest you put the chain on the big ring to prevent the teeth cutting through the bag and your car's seats
Once it's zipped up, you can stow the bikes inside your car with no fear of scratches or getting grease on the interior of your car or whatever else you cram in with the bikes. We just toss the wheels in anywhere there's space, but you can use wheelbags if you want to be extra clean.
It's easy to pull the bike out once you're ready-to-ride. Just pop the wheels back on and zip the bag into it's own bag and you end up with a little pillow as shown above. Once you use one of these you'll ask yourself how you ever got along without it.
We're on a little spring-break trip ourselves and piling the stuff in the rent-a-car is much, much easier when our bikes are packed in these. Bikes packed this way are less noticeable in the car as well, making you feel better when the car's parked with bikes inside.
Disclaimer: SciCon is an official supplier to CycleItalia
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
" I knew I needed to find something I could be as passionate about as I was for racing. I knew it would be wine-related, because wine embraces the same culture as cycling more than anything else."
Above: Heather poses next to old wine barrels in Tuscany
This quote from American ex-pro Craig Lewis in this interview. Just when an old guy might think the younger generation doesn't understand the idea behind our slogan, pedala forte, mangia bene, he reads something like this. We need to figure out how to meet this guy somewhere in Italy, and even better, hook him up with some of our favorite wine producers who do not as yet have any importers or distributors for the USA. BRAVO CRAIG! In bocca al lupo!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Italy's Piedmont region is truly paradise for cyclists. So much so, our original tour in the region of Fausto Coppi (photo above) was actually called Paradise in Piedmont. These days its been distilled down to Best of Piedmont, but none of the magic has dimmed. Join us and experience it for yourself.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Marco "Il Pirata" Pantani would have celebrated his 44th birthday recently had he not passed away on Valentine's Day of 2004. We found this graffito scrawled on a building in Romagna (his home region) in 2005.
This memorial on the Mortirolo climb was sponsored by Bianchi in memory of his exploits, many of them astride a Bianchi bicycle. The inscription here reads:
To you cyclists. To you who pass by I ask a small gesture, a little greeting, a little thought for this great man who liked to make us dream. Let’s give homage to the Pirate! Let us remember that this is his climb, his peak, his way to make us experience emotions we experienced only as children. He will never be forgotten!
This monument stands atop Colle Fauniera, another scene of exploits by The Pirate.
When she learned of Pantani's death, Heather Reid composed this about the man who thrilled so many of us:
In Memoriam: Marco Pantani
It was just one of many slogans scrawled onto the homemade banners that floated above a sea of cheering tifosi gathered atop the Passo Mortirolo. But its truth rang though the chaos and sticks in my head today. It said, “Pirata—farci sognare” make us dream.
This is the precious gift of sports heroes. Marco did make us dream—he made us dream about what humanity could be. He was a shy, elfin, bald guy who showed that ordinary men could fly... When Marco was in the race and the road tilted upwards, even the cynical eyes of wrinkled Italian men sparkled with joyous anticipation. He made anything, everything seem possible for all of us. It’s as if he was a god from Olympus, holding up some magic mirror that reflected the potential in us all.
And so it seemed appropriate, a year or two ago, when I read that he was training alone in those Olympian mountains of Greece. It was right that he escape to those lofty, dreamy, peaks—because the world below had done nothing but drag him down.
A jeep strayed into his high-speed path on a supposedly closed race-course, mangled his leg and nearly took his life. But he rose from those ashes, first to sing poetry on the broadcast of a Giro he should have won but couldn’t take part in, later to pedal perilously close to the heavens, winning the Giro and the Tour, resurrecting our dreams again.
Then a legal scandal pulled him down. Guilty or innocent, he was chosen to bear the brunt of a massive backlash against the drugs that had infested his sport. For every would-be eagle inspired by his soaring, there seemed to be two vultures waiting to feed upon his wounds. And as the wounds multiplied so did the vultures—you could see them pecking at his soul in that last, valiant, return to the Giro.
Well, they, we, finally killed him off. Today Marco was found dead in a hotel. He didn’t die at the peak of his beauty; the modern sports machine had been sucking the life from him for years. Maybe he decided to take the last part himself.
I’d like to imagine that he’s really still in those hills, escaped from the world of big-time sport, soaring among the peaks of Olympian gods. You may say that’s just a dream, but dreams are one of the best things we have. And Marco made us dream.
Monday, February 3, 2014
If you've taken our advice on washing your bike regularly, you might be searching for brushes of the best size and shape for this task. Sure, brushes from the auto parts store or home improvement center work OK, but you may want to invest in THESE, sourced and selected by a pro who washes bikes all the time. We just received two sets, one for the shop here and one to take to Italy this season. They're more durable, kinder to the finish on your bike and do a better job. What's not to like? The only downside might be keeping your pals from "borrowing" them!
Thursday, January 30, 2014
No, not this guy (Italian Stefano Garzelli) but American Chris Horner has just signed with Italy's LAMPRE squad for 2014. This could be the first REAL challenge for the legendary Maglia Rosa by an American since Andy Hampsten.
Of course in January it's too early to tell what might happen, but why not join us in Italy for our Corsa Rosa vacation in May and find out?
We'll get you up-close (like in the photo above) to see the final week's decisive stages, feed you like a king (or queen) and even help you try your legs out on climbs like the famous Zoncolan.
Don't miss out - reserve now!