Granfondo Yunnan 2018...Part 1..

Ni Hao !

Ciao & Welcome to China in the beautiful & colourful Yunnan area.

 A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

For me is the second time attending the lovely Granfondo Yunnan thanks to the great relationship with Niclas Hellqvist & Kris Van de Velde from Nordic Ways.

We(Tom & I) arrived from London on Friday in the local town of Manghsi where Kris picked us up from the airport to go to the hotel followed with a lovely catch up chat to inform me of all the new changes are in place this year edition since 3 years ago when i have last attended.

 The Start Line!!

The Start Line!!


The Saturday,which I was supposed to be home due to wife’s birthday, I was instead a prepping the bikes and get few bits & pieces(cit A.P) sorted before the 8.5KM Prologue (Individual Climb Time Trial) in the afternoon.

As expected knowing the great qualities of Kris to pick and choose for his events only the best routes, that in the afternoon we were going to have a go at something peculiar & stunning.

The start was by the side of a lake next to a dam,then we had to race around the perimeter of this lake with some “mangia e bevi” before hitting a nice 1.1 Km tree covered climb with 8% average incline finishing at the top by the entrance of a temple. Some of the serious boys here racing for the prizes made it in a stunning pace.

 Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Stage 1, on Sunday was the so called “ Border Ride” ,105km race to the town of Ruili coasting along the border with Myanmar(Burma) and finishing at the border check point. Due to the location & altitude the climate is tropical, where trees,plants & flower grow freely all year round to enable us to experience an enrich sceneries with plenty of colours & smells.

 Lunch Stop.

Lunch Stop.

After the stage some of us went together for lunch to an amazing restaurant.The groups of us was a mix of 14 riders from 4 continents and 13 nationalities.Taking part at Nordic ways events are always great experience,because thanks to our passion of cycling individuals from different origins comes together for the sport.

 Dinner time.

Dinner time.

Stage 2,on Monday we start & finished from the border check point routing us through the city of Ruili before hitting only after 9km from the start a nice 16Km climb with an average of 5% with peaks up to 10%. The ascent was pretty via little villages & nature before reaching the peak and throwing us descending into a false plain with a misty & foggy atmosphere. Followed by that we had at km 56 a climb for 10KM with an average of 6% before riveting in a serious of roller coasting hills taking us back to the finish line…

 Tom being chased.

Tom being chased.

Kris has been good to all of us participant giving us a rest day,so we could rest but also move from Ruili to Tengchong for the Queen’s stage(Stage 3) of the event with 185km with a total climb of 3000m.

 Teng Chong at Sunset.

Teng Chong at Sunset.

For now is Ciao & Arrivederci from Yunnan on Sunday the 11th of November part 2 will be published…

STAY TUNED TO BE CONTINUED……

SD

The Passionate Italian Weekend

Aprile 2018

Ciao a Tutti,

It has been a long time that I have not written something about Cycling Experiences to share with all our followers.

 AYRTON SENNA MEMORIAL

AYRTON SENNA MEMORIAL

I will try not to bore you too much.

Few weekends ago a group of 16 from the SaddleDrunk Cycling Friends Club ( join us on Strava via this link ) went for a long weekend in Faenza, Emilia Romagna, Italy, Europe, Planet Earth.

They flew out early friday morning from the beautiful London to Bologna, capital of the some of the best Italian food…Like Bolognese Sauce the way it is called outside Italy,  Ragu another good one, Cappelletti, Tortellini, Ravioli , Tortelli, la “ “Mortazza” (Mortadella) & much more…not to mention that Bologna host the oldest university in Europe….

 Agriturismo La Sabbiona

Agriturismo La Sabbiona

SD staff & I pick them up from the airport and whisked them away to Imola to have an amazing lunch inside the tragically famous Formula 1 race track  where 2 pilots lost their lifes long time ago…RIP Ratzenberg & Senna where we visited their memorials. Really a big touch feeling for me as I saw it with my eyes that tremendous weekend…

OK!!..let’s get a grip and bang on Cycling…We got to the lovely Agriturismo La Sabbiona, after check & prepared out bikes we headed out to the lovely Brisighella a Medieval town.

 Local Delicacies

Local Delicacies

After our lovely ride in the hills to get new fresh oxygen in our lungs, plenty of fun during the ride including a lovely crash in the first downhill.

We refreshed ourselves & headed out to Town for a meal in a traditional Osteria.

Osteria la Sghisa as usual made us feeling at home with their friendly staff and the astonishing food where we partied until late to celebrate Laura's Birthday.

 Laura's Gluten Free cake

Laura's Gluten Free cake

The Saturday, we woke up gently by the sounds of the "Galletto" in the farm.Followed up by an Italian & Intercontinental breakfast fuelling up for our day on the bike. 

We spent all day on a bike touring around the hills and preparing for the Granfondo Le Cime Di Romagna 2018 the following day organised by the Gruppo Sportivo Ciclistico Avis Faenza.

 Local Art

Local Art

In the evening we had another amazing meal at Casa Spadoni where everyone was able to enjoy more culinary delicacies from the area of Emilia Romagna

 Italian Style Aperitif Time

Italian Style Aperitif Time

 A team photo at the feed station!!

A team photo at the feed station!!

The Sunday morning we had an early wake due to the 7:30 start of the event.The 3 various distances were perfect for the different group abilities. The distance covered were Corto, Medio & Lungo

Everyone had great fun,and we all enjoyed the “LOCAL’s” attentions, the friendly event’s staff,the well organised event and routes and the well stocked feed stations.

We were awarded 2 trophies due to be the furthest team. The trophies were a really long & thick      “ SALAMI “ and a big ceramic vase from one of the local ceramist in Faenza.

Faenza is very well known in the world thanks to be the home of Ceramics.

 Prize Ceremony to be the farthest travelled Team.

Prize Ceremony to be the farthest travelled Team.

The last day of our trip was a realxing day where we had a really slow where we enjoyed our breakfast.

Our local host Serena owner of La Sabbiona, prepared our class room with flour,eggs, rolling pins, chef’s hat & all other items needed to complete the cooking course.

At the end of the course all the “students” were able to eat the food made during the class & well earned after sweating.

As the weekend was more than amazing, we will make this an annual event for the club.Therefore if you like to be part of just join us at ride@saddledrunk.com

I hope you enjoyed the reading and remember to be safe on the road.

Ciao

SD 

 Setting new best FTP's while making Pasta.

Setting new best FTP's while making Pasta.

La Vacanza e' Finita!!

Ciao a tutti,

Now the holidays are over and we will be getting back to the normal life,routines, activities.

We will spent the next few rides chit chatting away about the amazing holidays we had & peoples we met..

 Photo Credits of PA-Cyclism

Photo Credits of PA-Cyclism

Brain cells will start to plan for your next trip,goal.target or PB's...Always remember to stay concentrate on the road while talking on the saddle.

Therefore if you let me, I would like to give you few cycling events which are worth taking part:

  1. The Road World Championships 2017 Granfondo in Bergen,Norway just less the 4 weeks away;
  2. Leg of Steel 2017 in the Surrey Hill it say on the tin..good riding.Amazing event organised by Ful On Tri (30th of September); 
  3. Our few days trip around the Mount Ventoux, 8th to the 10th of October email us at ride@saddledrunk.com for more info;
  4.  The stunning KOM in Taiwan ,for real climbers not for the faint hearted (October 2017);
  5. The Granfondo China in November ,multi stages event in the stunning Yunnan (November 2017);
  6. We also have another little trip away to Majorca from the 6th to the 9th of November, email us at ride@saddledrunk.com for more info;
  7. Ethiopia Wild Bike organised by a good friend Willy at PA Cyclism (December 2017);
  8. Another one is the Patagonia,Argentina & Chile ride, for real wilderness (December 2017);
  9. Finally my favourite...The Mongolia Bike Challenge....Mongolia is a stunning country,people are amazing and this is the best way to see the true colours (August 2018);
 The beautiful Colours of Yunnan.

The beautiful Colours of Yunnan.

Those ones are my favourite that I would like to share with you. So now is time to shape up, to keep dreaming or start dreaming.

Be determine and you will reach your destinations, push your limits.Don 't create barriers that are not needed.Just do it.

SD Team.

Sh*t mechanics say: sights and sounds from the Tour Down Under service course.

Author James Raison.Photos: Chris Komorek, EcoCadd

I talked baby wipes, infinite cassettes, and dishwashing detergent with the Tour Down Under mechanics at the cycling village that springs up in the middle of Adelaide, South Australia.

“I’ve never worn out a cassette.”

Mechanic “Brownie” has my undivided attention as he scrubs down one of Katusha’s gorgeous Canyon bikes, its rider Tiago Machado hovers nearby.

You’ve never worn out a cassette Brownie?

“Nope. I have 3 chains. Every Friday I change the chain. I take it off, clean it, and put on one of the others, and I’ve never worn out a cassette.”

Brownie’s making a big claim, but if there’s no friction, it could last a long time. Could it last forever?

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   “John working hard on the Lotto-Soudal bikes”

“John working hard on the Lotto-Soudal bikes”

I wander down the line of mechanics, past hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of pro bikes. I stop and chat to “Nashy,” who’s cleaning some strikingly green Cannondales, to get his thoughts on Brownie’s bold claim.

“Ahhhh Brownie!” he shouts down the line, “you don’t wear out your gears because you don’t do enough kays (kilometres) mate!”

I love the service course.

Mechanics furiously scrubbing, de-greasing, spinning frames on their service stands, standing in soapy mud, and always shouting jovially to each other. 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    “Machado makes sure Brownie doesn’t miss a spot”

“Machado makes sure Brownie doesn’t miss a spot”

The rapid clicking of gears, clanging of freewheel ratchets as they engage, and the explosive noise of air compressors drying the bikes inside the tents.

You see things here you won’t see anywhere else.

Earlier I saw riders stream back in from the end of today’s stage, a hot and dusty outing in the South Australian sun. They’re wearing backpacks, gilets in the summer heat, some have torn kits from crashing. They shove each other playfully, pretend to run into their mechanics, pick up the hoses and spray their team assistants, and dive into tubs of pasta covered with grated cheese.

Because teams usually bring one or two mechanics from home and then draft in locals to save some costs there is a melting pot of accents and languages.

I carefully pick my way through the carbon jungle to John, Lotto-Soudal’s Adelaide-born mechanic and ask for his pro tip

“Baby wipes,” he says. Baby wipes? “Yep, baby wipes.”

John points to his immaculate Cipollini RB1K sitting nearby, as Adam Hansen’s Ridley sits on his service stand.

“I use baby wipes on everything, frame, drivetrain, wheels. After every ride I hold a baby wipe over the chain and just turn the cranks.”

What’s John’s preferred baby wipe?

“Johnson & Johnson” he answers quickly, “I dunno, I think it’s the oils in it.”

I wander over and inspect his bike. Story checks out: gleaming. I make a note for next time I go shopping.

Alex at Giant-Alpecin ponders my request for a pro tip carefully, surprised that a journalist is even in the filthy service course.

“Just the regular stuff, really” he shrugs. Behind him I spot the scoop I’ve been looking for: Fairy dishwashing liquid.

There has been an explosion in bike cleaning products over recent years, but the pro peloton runs on ordinary dishwashing detergent. Bottles of green and yellow Fairy are at every cleaning station. I wander back to Alex. Surely dishwashing detergent isn’t good for bikes?

“It’s fine. We just wash it down with water afterwards. No worries.”

The answer was in our kitchens all along.

I notice Francaise Des Jeux (FDJ) mechanic, Nick, standing idle by a rack conspicuously empty of Lapierres.

Nick has a hard job, FDJ have that most oh-so-pro touch on their bikes: white bar tape. How does he keep them looking new every day?

“Morgan blue chain cleaner in a bit of water. Then you just use a sponge. A clean sponge obviously!”

Great tip. I’m sticking with black tape though, ain’t no-one got time for that.

I run Brownie’s claim by Nick. He coughs into his hand with a clearly audible “bullshit!”

If you are ever lucky enough to go behind the scenes at a bike race, spend some time in the service course. Have a chat to the mechanics too. Those clean, shiny bikes, gleaming kits, and silent drivetrains are all thanks to their hard work. As they say, a clean bike is a fast bike.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stock up on Fairy and baby wipes.

THANK YOU from the SD TEAM