Hi All ... I'm on a cycling holiday in Riccione, Italy.
On Sunday, our group of about 15 from Toronto joined 12,000 others to ride in the Gran Fondo Nove Colli.
The 135 km short course includes 4 major climbs. They are each about 7 kms long, with 5% average gradient and a maximum 18% gradient.
Our times ranged from 5 hours to 8 hours. I came in at 7 hours and 14 minutes, but the total ride time on my computer was just over 6 hours. I stopped at each food or water station and had a cappuccino in a small town along the way.
The long course is 200 kms. Two of our group did that in 10 hours.
It was a great experience. The start time was 6:30 so we had to be up at 3 a.m. for breakfast and a bus ride to Cesenatico. Unfortunately, car horns were honking late into the night to celebrate a soccer victory. I think we got an hour or two of sleep.
The first 20 kms are flat. You had to keep your focus as large trains of riders would pass close-by at higher speeds.
On the first climbs, we were shoulder to shoulder. There was considerable weaving to get around or between other riders. By the last climb, the road was much less crowded.
Each climb was followed by a steep and curvy descent.
The last 20 kms were a lot of fun. I rode as hard as I could drafting other riders before bridging to the next group ahead.
We're staying at the Belvedere Hotel in Riccione. Each day, 4 guided rides of varying lengths and pace are offered.
I've done two of their rides and I'm looking forward to a week of riding ahead.
Ciao for now.