Gentlemanly conduct

Photo: Are we nearly there yet?

On my ACSI Ciclismo (Italian Cycling Association) membership card it says I’m in the category “GENTLEMAN 2”. I have to confess I don’t really know what that means or what I have to do to be promoted to “GENTLEMAN, FIRST CLASS”.

On yesterday’s ride I performed a duty that might count towards my imaginary promotion. I stuck with one of my club mates at the back of the group as we took on Monte Petrano. It’s a 10km continuous climb rising 816 metres. I could see that S wasn’t as strong as usual so I dropped back to keep her company.

What we weren’t expecting was the force of the wind. Easily the windiest conditions I have ever ridden in. I kept changing my position relative to S so as to protect her from the wind as much as possible. As we took on a series of hairpins we were battling the wind in one direction then going with the flow in the other. I’ve never experienced going uphill without pedalling before.

On one very exposed corner the wind was so strong S dismounted and walked to the bend for fear of being blown off the road and falling down the valley. On the descent we stuck together as a very slow group. When the wind was from the left I unclipped my right leg just in case, and then swapped after each hairpin. We all got down safely and headed for a “birretta”.

The irony of our President’s kit was not lost on me….


Year to date

5,073km / 48 rides / 105km average per ride

48,467m elevation gain (5.4 Everests)

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