10 June 2008

Epic Italy '08 Prologue

Epic Italy ’08 Prologue

We tried to run this camp last June but the impending birth of young Thomas Newsom and Gordo’s plan to prepare for IM Canada caused a re-think so here we are – finally – this year.
If you’ve read any previous blogs/Epic updates then you are aware that we choose the locations and times for these camps based mostly on my whim. I’ve trained in many fabulous locations around the planet but there are still many places left to explore. This camp is intended to fulfill my dream of riding through the Dolomites which I’ve never done. After the Pyrenees trip in ’06 with Ian Wright of www.pyreneesmultisport.com assisting us I knew this camp was certainly feasible. We’ve got Ian and his wife Julie along to help us and that’s put my mind at ease. We tried to get some one fluent in Italian to come along as well but didn’t quite get there so we’ll just have to see how it goes. We’ve also got super support crew massage therapist/mechanic John Ellis along too (his 4th time helping us) so it looks like we’re in good hands.

In planning the route I’ve sent John a whole bunch of routes from the map book and he then got to work finding us pools and lakes to swim in, places to stay and comes up with a practical route. Sometimes I get a little carried away as I don’t want to leave out any routes that are worth doing, but with only 8 days to s/b/r all day its impossible to hit all the good spots. So perhaps we’ll need to return for another camp at some point. Last week I was in Tuscany for the second time and I’m sure I could spend a couple of years riding there and still not ride every road. The sheer amount of roads in Italy and France astound me. They can lay some seriously great tarmac here!

Tuscany is certainly one of the finest places to ride in the world. The food and wine aren’t bad either! J Since we were there before the tourist season started the roads were incredibly quiet. That part of Italy has less traffic than we have in Christchurch.
Its hilly there too. Although there are no mountains the amount of vertical gain there is significant. Its all either up or down.
I’ll have to look around for some good pools there as it will be a place to have a tri camp one day. I did go for one ocean swim and it was still a bit nippy.

After seeing the profiles of some of the climbs here in the Dolomites and following the Giro Italia for so many years I decided to put on a triple chainring for this trip. I’ve now got a 30x27 as my easiest gear and I’m damn happy about it! I hope the others have also got an extra gear or two. Its fair to say everyone’s been warned!

We’re starting in Verona with a run and swim in the morning followed by a moderate ride to Trento. Hopefully we’ll get some dry weather this week as its been a little soggy here over the last month. It sure is green!

We’ve had out pre-camp meeting and are just off to dinner in the hotel here so I’ll end here and try to figure out how to get online at some point to send this.