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The 6Ps Of Cycle Route Planning – Leg 3 Recce

Cycling Blog

The 6Ps Of Cycle Route Planning – Leg 3 Recce

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Madonna del Ghisallo

March 26th, 2014

Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance

Every trip we organise involves us spending weeks working out the best routes. Getting it right is vital to ensure everyone loves the trip.

We have to ask ourselves a lot of questions…before we can come up with the perfect route for Ride25, such as…

  • Do we see the most beautiful scenery and key landmarks?

  • Do we get to have lunch in a good spot?

  • Are there enough hotels?

  • Are the roads quiet and safe enough?

  • Are there any horrendous tunnels?

  • What’s the road surface like?

  • Is the area safe?

A lot to consider!  We spend weeks reading up on an area and doing the desktop research but the real fun starts when we cycle the routes.

Last week I went out to Milan to make sure the last 80 miles of Leg 3 from Como into Milan worked well.  I arrived at the airport at 10.30 am and was delighted that my bike in its bike bag arrived with me.  An easy train ride followed into Central Milan to our hotel which is next to the station.

I put most of my bike together and was feeling rather smug until I realised that the hanger for my derailleur was not connected to my frame – DISASTER what does it normally look like??  I then needed to find a bike shop – 2nd disaster – none of them opened until 3PM!  It’s a bit different in Italy.  I’ll do another blog post soon on the value of using a bikebag vs. a bikebox – or not as was the case here!

After the shop opened it took 3 guys two hours to make a new part for my bike to enable me to cycle to Como.

The next day was magnificent – I aimed to cycle 80 miles but may have needed to go further if some of the route didn’t work well.

A great start – the first 20 miles out of Milan are perfect – traffic free but smooth tarmac.  I even made friends with fellow cyclist Angello who told me about his trips around Europe.  I then needed to make various diversions to avoid some unsurfaced roads – it just shows the importance of trialling all the routes.

The afternoon was tougher but the chosen route was perfect – quiet roads and a wonderful climb up above lake Como to the Madonna del Ghisallo – the patron Saint of Cycling. A quick whizz down followed by 20 miles in failing light from Bellagio to Como and the train home to Milan – mission accomplished.


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