I was on holidays for just over a week and gave myself a forced media black-out. No TV, Radio, Web – Nothing! Only a little bit of training. I didn’t take my bike with me since it was for only a week. Instead I hired a bike from http://www.bicyclinginitaly.com/. Pietro, the owner, is a nice guy and can fix a bike for you and even provides guided tours around the region.
On day 1 I headed on a loop of the southern section of the lake, taking in Como, Lecco and two incredibly high peaks. It was to this day one of the best cycles I have ever done in my life and I was thankful for the fact that the bike I had was equipped with a compact chainset – something I previously frowned upon! The gradients are just too steep and the hills too long for any other option. Map and gradient graph below:
Day 2 was a shorter affair that took on the same first section as day 1 – once again tackling the first climb of 1000m before heading on the pilgrimage to the church of Madonna del Ghisalo – church adorned with cycling memorabilia…
I tackled the Ghisalo from the wrong side, but having missed my ferry in Bellagio, I then had time to ride back up the first half… An incredible experience!!!
I have just discovered that the program I use with my Garmin -Ascent_- shows VAM data: Mine is 1060m/hour while climbing steady for an hour. I have no idea what I could do If I pushed it, but I see that Alberto Contador climbed at 1800m/hour during the Tour… Incredible!