Winning weekend

Photo: Only in Italy would you see a marshal dressed like this

The old adage of “Winter miles, summer smiles” pretty much describes a great cycling weekend.

Friday was the third anniversary of my first club ride. That brought a smile to my face as I recalled all the wonderful times I’ve had with my Italian club. It was a ride in the hills of Marche, eight months before I joined Islington CC. I’ve come a long way, literally (32,684 km) and metaphorically, since then. My letter of thanks was published on the club website  As it’s in Italian then here’s what I said:

6th April 2018

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my first ever ride with the Pansèrs. It was 57km from Fano, via San Costanzo, Orciano di Pesaro and back to the bar in Centinarola. I remember the wind, the rain and (at the time) the long distance. Most of all I remember the welcome. A foreigner from London in your midst. I was made to feel at home from the very first time.

Pino was my teacher. He helped me progress from the track to the road. I had much to learn. So many Pansèrs have helped me since then.

In the last three years I have had the most wonderful experiences on the bike and with all my new friends. Rides in the hills of Marche, rides along the coast, rides up the Cippo, rides in the Dolomites and many fun times around the table and on the dance floor.

Three years later we are now twinned with my London club, Islington CC, I am now a Director of the club and we are beginning a new adventure – learning English.

I broke my back four years ago. The Pansèrs have helped me so much with my physical and mental recovery. I have developed as a cyclist way beyond my dreams. I cannot thank you enough.

Amici e Bici



Picture the smile on my face on Saturday. My first ride of the year back in Italy. 152km under a clear blue sky with a strange yellow ball above us that I’d not seen for quite some time.

Sunday was my first event of the year. A relatively short 80km mediofondo taking in my favourite road in Marche, the Via Panoramica between Gabicce Mare and Pesaro. It was organised by an all female club called Pantere Rosa – the Pink Panthers. This explains the marshals costume. Points are awarded for the numbers of riders registering, starting, and getting to the control points, but not for finishing. I have no idea either. We came fourth, which is excellent for such a small club. As the prizes tend to be food and wine we collect them during the season then have a big party with all our winnings. We opened our account with six bottles of wine and a leg of prosciutto.


The cherry on the cake for the winning weekend was the pair of socks I won in the raffle. I am due to start teaching the Pansèrs English soon. I wonder what word I could teach them using the socks as realita ….


Year to date

3,751km / 37 rides / 101.3km average per ride

32,411m elevation gain (3.6 Everests)


  • Good to see you recognising cycling and cyclists who’ve helped you since the skiing accident. That you are a director of the club and Tefl too is a measure of the respect you engender from those around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thanks Mike. It’s good to give something back to say thank you. I volunteer as much as I can for ICC when we’re there. It’s very satisfying to help new riders / leaders in particular.


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