Velo Veneto - Ciclismo Italiano !

Stories from the Velo Veneto bike racing camp in Castelcucco, Italy

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

I'm a 50 year old kid who loves to race bikes. I operate a bike racing camp in Northern Italy. When not in Italy I have the good fortune of living in one of the best places to ride, the Northern California Wine Country.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Low Morale...No Sun

It's been awhile since I've written anything because my morale has been down in the dumps. I don't have any personal racing goals for 2005. My main objective is to have our first year running Velo Veneto be a success. So my racing will have to take a back seat this year. That plus the fact that the weather has sucked since Christmas, that is until a week ago. So I figure I'll go to the group ride on the first sunny day in awhile...and nobody shows up by five after for a 10 a.m. ride. What the heck? Two minutes later, just as I'm ready to leave one guy rolls up. So we head over Trinity and I stay in the saddle in a gear that keeps my cadence close to 60. He jets up the hill then sits in the sun waiting for me. Down in to the Napa Valley we go and we're just cruising along about 20-22 mph. But every time there is the slightest little roller he goes to the small chain ring while I shift down to the 53x21...and have a faster cadence than him. Finally after 10+ miles of this I ask the guy if he wants a little advice as he says he's going to do his first road races this year. I suggest that he leave it in the big chain ring unless there will be a sustained hill (i.e. longer than 30 seconds) that he'll be going less than 15 mph. He talks about cross chaining or something and I point out that my chain angle in 53x21 is less than his in the 39x14, and I'm spinning more. Go figure? I guess a lot of newbies don't understand gear inches. I also suggested that if you don't have to shift between chain rings in a race, there is less likelyhood that you'll drop your chain at just the wrong moment. We were going to come back over Spring Mountain but the road was closed from a rock slide, so we went over Franz Valley instead and again I went the 60 rpm, this time in 53x21 and he jets away again. At the top I explained what I was doing and he was totally unaware that such training was something to consider. I guess that's why you start out as a Cat. 5

So anyway...the sun has been hiding alot and we love it when it's out. Most of my friends who ride around here say it's been lots harder to stay motivated this winter...I guess that's why they say us Californian's are soft!!!


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