A quick aside before jumping into this entry. I’ve been asked about the neckgaiter comment in the title. Perhaps an entire blog entry dedicated to the neckgaiter is in order, but that will come later. In the meantime, I just need to let my American audience know that the neckgaiter is nearly as… actually, no, the riding neckgaiter is MORE ubiquitous than the man-purse in Europe. Gaaawwck. Throwing caution to the wind and dirt in the fact of fashion for the sake of function, the neckgaiter is here to stay.
The whole of New England is trying its darnedest to make me feel badly, because the weather is hospitably nice here in Italy this week, but downright brutal back home. (Yes, this week, implying that other weeks it hasn’t been so pleasantly sunny and warm. Last Saturday, in fact, I remember riding through some rather miserably cold and wet conditions at the 61st Giro della Reggio Calabria.)
I write this on February 3, and I think so far in 2011 New England has received two or three “legendary” storms and at least one that was downright “epic”. No doubt in the next few day, even more frozen precip’ is due. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and Ryan Kelly’s The Roller Cam is an example of that. I applaud his ingenious/ridiculous (okay, awesome) creation. That said, I’m not terribly dismayed to have not yet joined the fun on my rollers as of now; I will merely join the fun periodically as a heckler to the folks stuck inside spewing out the watts on theirs.
However, my New England brethren, let me tell you that despite the springlike conditions here in Italia, today I was slogging through some serious snow myself! Sure sure, New England has more snow than they know what to do with causing gridlock and havoc on the picklejuice-less streets. Well let me inform you that so does Italy. Except here we call it Neve.
I had a mountainous four hours of training today and so I began my ride by zipping (slogging) up Pizzorne — a big ol’ mountain just north of town. Topping off a bit shy of a billion meters, it’s gosh darn high. Here’s a shot I snapped while dodging avalanches just short of the summit. I think the angle makes the snow look less severe, but those snowbanks are at least three inches high in some spots.
You can see the biggish snowball up there a handful of feet in front of my bike…? I started a snowman making contest, but with no competition in sight, I deemed myself the winner by default and continued riding.
Here’s an photo-worthy sign at the summit. Thankfully I did not take my trumpet along with me today. Trombone and kazoo, yes and yes, but no trumpet today.
Again, hey New Englanders, please have pity on me here in Italy. Don’t let the blue sky lead you astray; it’s snowy (albeit far away and up on yonder mountains) here too.
And lastly, here’s a photo for comparison. That’s my car hibernating for the winter back in New Hampshire. I certainly hope the anti-freeze is topped off.
Okay, gotta run. Off to camp first thing tomorrow! Ciao ciao.