Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tour Rest Day: Pau, 1947/2010

Never one to shy away from the crowd of fans, I decided to go for a ride with the Liquigas boys yesterday. Of course, I brought the Legnano with me, which means full on retro clothes and the rest. To fully appreciate the technology of today, don't you need to understand the tech from the past? In the old days, riders actually had to think and plan before shifting! Everyone was quite interested in the cambio corsa and I tried to explain it as best as I could in Italian, French and English. 'My' mechanics Arco and Gian Carlo, who helped me with finding certain parts, were amazed that I built this thing up myself and that it works. Of course, they gave me loads of crap, all in good fun (I think).

Since the Liquigas guys were on a rest day, they were going to go for only an hour and a half. I figured I could stay with them even with my limited gearing. Once we got out into the countryside, you could hear me coming from a mile away - my alloy waterbottles bouncing around in their cages on the rough roads.

At one point, the guys stopped for a nature break. I kept going, taking the opportunity to shift gears safely. Unfortunately, they decided to turn around. Luckily, Francesco Bellotti came to get me. We chased - me spinning as fast as I could in my 40/14 - and finally got back on. Time to shift back to the 16, since the 14 was making some noise. I think the chain was a bit too tight for this ride - gotta look into it. ZZZIIINNNGGG - my fingers touched the rear tire slightly, but loud enough that Roman Kreuziger heard from behind and came up next to me with a big smile. "I knew you'd do that! You better be careful or you'll lose a finger in that wheel!" A good thing to remember, indeed!


  1. Cousin Rory, thats a Wool shirt I'm guessing. Maybe thats better left in the Old and Worn out pile. Come to think abt it, most of my kit from the last 20 years is still in that pile. I can't seem to part with any of it.
    Roberto in Atlanta

  2. Ahh, Robbie - to appreciate the cycling of today, you should learn about the cycling of yesterday. In preparation for l'Eroica, I rode 110km with 1300 meters of climbing yesterday... on a 73 year old bike with 4 speeds.