I am excited about an opportunity that has presented itself quite unexpectantly. My neighbor, who is aware of my bicycling exploits, put me in contact with some friends that cycle the Italian Alps every September. This year, from September 11 to 19, they will be based the entire time in Malcesine, Italy, on Lake Garda. I am sooooo much wanting to join them and am mulling it over (a dangerous thing for me).
They have planned five or six rides, with the emphasis totally on “vertical” rather than distance. The pace, as they so indicate, will be slow to moderate (everyone has their own ideas about that) but steady. The climbs vary from 500 or 600m vertical to 2,000m vertical or more. When climbing (or descending) the gradients typically are 6 - 9%, occasionally encountering a short double-digit stretch. I was glad to learn that the goal is always to get everyone to the top of the mountain, down the mountain safely. I am well-trained on hills, but mountains??
The nearest airport is Verona (VRN), which cannot be reached directly from the USA, but is reachable from all the major European air hubs. Obviously, I will be researching that further since the airline tickets will be the cost driver.
Because of their frequent visitor status, they have welcomed me into their hotel arrangement at 35 euro/night, which sounds very reasonable, U.S. dollar equivalent notwithstanding.
I fear that now that I have blogged it out, I may have started down the road to committment.