Poor form

Photo: Prizes for cycling events are slightly different here in Italy.

I was so glad to see the finish line for today’s Mediofondo La Panterissima. My first event after our return to Italy a week ago.

I struggled today, especially in the climbs. My poor form a direct result of yesterday’s ride. That was my first ride back with my Italian club mates, the Pansèrs. Jan’s last words to me as I left the house yesterday morning were “Ride safely, don’t get too excited”. It wasn’t me who was too excited, it was everyone else. I had to ride hard just to keep up, not something I normally have to do.

By the time I’d got back to the final climb back home I had ridden 139 km at an average of 27km/h. That’s a bit smokey for me. It’s way above the PBP training speed I’ve been doing of late. No way could I sustain 27km/h for 1,200km.

Like the global addressing system WhatThreeWords I can use three words to describe today’s ride. Cold.Slog.Warm.

Cold because my Wahoo reported -1° as I descended the hill outside our house at 06:30.

Slog because that’s what it felt like all the way round today. I just wasn’t feeling it.

Warm because we finished in 24° and drank ‘warm’ English beer.

Focussing on the warm part of the day, it was glorious when the sun rose and the temperature slowly crept up.

Another example of poor form occured about half way round. I felt contact on my rear tyre then the crunching noise of a rider going down. I stopped and walked back to the rider on the floor to see if he was ok. He wasn’t interested in engaging or even looking at me, let alone apologise. He was ok and got back on his bike. I later learnt from M that he’d undertaken her on the right then veared left to get past me into a space that didn’t exist. Ten minutes later we passed him as he repaired a puncture. Cycling karma.

This and my poor athletic form meant that finishing was the best part of the day.

The best part of the day becuase Jan was waiting for me when I finished.


The best part of the day as the Pansèrs proudly wore their Their Italian Job caps for the first time.


The best part of the day as we enjoyed English beer with the Pansèrs at room temperature. Every year when we return to Italy we bring a different English beer for them to try. So far they have enjoyed Meantime Pale Ale, London Pride, Spitfire and now Old Speckled Hen. A dozen empty bottles. I think they liked it.


The good news is that we won 6 bottles of wine and a leg of proscuitto. The plan s to eat and drink whatever winnings we have when we open our new club house. Looking forward to that.

In the meantime, I will have to be in better form next weekend.

A 300k audax, with 5,000m of climbing awaits…



Rides: 25

Distance: 2,953 km

Average distance per ride: 118 km

Elevation gain: 20,791m (2.34 Everests)

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