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Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

A photo op with the Carabinieri

A photo op with the Carabinieri

I did a short bike ride today and was on my way back home when I saw a couple of Carabinieri near the town of Trappeto. One of them had just stopped a car and was talking to the driver, while the other was just standing next to their car, looking like a real bad-ass with his black leather boots and impressive uniform (something like this). The car the carabinieri use is black with red stripes and has a white logo, just like my Ridley Helium SL. I slowed down and approached the carabiniere standing next to the car: “Good afternoon sir, maybe a strange question, but is it okay if I take a picture of my bike and your car?” -“No, I’m sorry, that’s not allowed.” “No problem, it’s just that the color schemes are similar, which would make for a nice photo. Anyway, sorry to bother you, have a nice day!” -“Hang on! Please wait until we send that lady over there on her way.” I waited...

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Posted by on Jun 7, 2013 in bikes, gear and gadgets, miscellaneous | 10 comments

Caption contest: win a Polar Bottle!

Caption contest: win a Polar Bottle!

Riding your bike in Sicily means for most part of the year riding in hot, sunny weather. With the high temperatures water in your water bottles will be lukewarm in no time, but with a Polar Bottle you can keep your water cool for 3 to 4 hours! Here’s how: Fill your Polar Bottle up about 80% and put it in the freezer the night before you go on a bike ride. If the bike route is less than 50 kilometers, then you should take the bottle out of the freezer at least one hour before you leave, otherwise you can leave the Polar Bottle in the freezer until the moment you start your ride in the Sicilian hills and mountains. If you go on a bike ride with me or one of the other local guides, we will lend you a Polar Bottle so you can test it yourself for free. But you can also win one! How? Very simple: leave a funny caption for the following photo...

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in cycling and bike pics, miscellaneous | 0 comments

Garibaldi and his “mille”, a ride to the Pianto Romano near Calatafimi

Garibaldi and his “mille”, a ride to the Pianto Romano near Calatafimi

I love riding my bike in the area near Segesta, but even though I’ve been there countless times, there are still some roads left to discover. So yesterday I decided to go in the direction of Segesta and explore a new route. I took the SS113 in the direction of Trapani and crossed the railroad close to the train station of Calatafimi – Segesta : and followed the road in the direction of Calatafimi. I passed Calatafimi and turned left on the SS188. This road (5.6% average with max. 10/11% gradients) leads through the hilly countryside with many vineyards to the small village of Vita. When in Vita, there are several options to go back in the direction of Calatafimi. I chose the SP61, which is a smaller country road (asphalted though). On the descent you can see the town of Calatafimi in the distance: The SP61 leads to the Pianto Romano, a hill where on May 15th 1860 a great battle between Garibaldi and his “mille” (Resistance Army)...

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in training | 4 comments

King of the mountain

King of the mountain

Now that I work with a coach, I regularly do some low HR zone rides. I never did a lot of those easy rides and when I did, there was always another cyclist in the distance that I decided to start chasing down… Now I really try to stick to the HR zones mentioned in my workouts. Staying below a certain heart rate has became a nice game, especially when climbing in the warm Sicilian weather. A few days ago coach Rob had a low HR zone ride planned for me, so I went out and slowly made my way from the beach of the coastal town of Balestrate through the lovely town of Castellammare del Golfo in the direction of Segesta. I usually stop a lot on these low HR zone rides to take some pics I can post on Twitter or this blog and this day was no exception: I wanted to update a photo I once took near the temple of Segesta when I did a...

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in bikes, gear and gadgets, cycling and bike pics | 0 comments

The most famous lawn in Sicily!

The most famous lawn in Sicily!

So you have decided to organize the Giro dello Scorpione, Sicily edition 2014 and you have a little bit of time on your hands. What would be a nice way to promote this upcoming cycling event? I took the lawnmower and a grass hand trimmer, went to my garden and this is what I came up with… Before: and after: It got picked up by Castelli Cycling and posted on Facebook, Instagram and on Tumblr. After circulating for several weeks on the internet I can now safely say that this is the most famous lawn in...

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