Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bologna week five or six or whatever

So its a wednesday night and Robyn and I are hanging out in an internet cafe. the thing is that our computer busted down and we cant get on it and access the internet so here we are... that is our excuse for not adding any blogs lately.
This last week Robyn fell in love with someone new. this time its actually a woman... a metal woman named lady carrerra. she is a white a red carrerra bike. her old bike named nova-lee had a breakdown and couldnt perform anylonger so we went out to the bike store and found a cute little frame. now she cant part with it and loves to ride it everywhere. its about six pounds lighter than her old one.
I had my second race also. race number two was 150km long with some huge hills. however this time it was sunny and warm so i felt alot more comfortable out there. i raced as a pro because the pros get to start at the front of the group. it was easy to lie about because my licence is in english and they cant understand what it says. they asked me if i was a pro and i said... I am an elite... it worked... I finished this one in 7th place but 25 minutes behind the winner. i did alot better than race number one in pomerance last week.
tomorow we are going to train down to the island of elba to do race number three. it is 155km long. unfortunately i am already registered as an age grouper so i will have to push and shove to get to the front of this one.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Race One... Gran Fondo In Pomerance

We just got back from our trip down to Toscano. Its an awesome area! there are farms, mountains, hills, vineyards, castles, ancient towns built on the hills and on the tops of the mountains... We got down there by the train. We had to take like four trains though because there were no straight routes. the last train we had to take was simply a Deisel Truck on the tracks... no bigger than one passenger car with an engine underneath. So we got to this town called Saline, Then we had to jump on our bikes ride uphill for 10km to Pomerance, Register for the race, ride around town only to find no rooms in any hotels, ride back down the slope, then back up it... finally after like three hours and lots of worrying we arrived at this agri-tourism farm. It was owned by a huge family. They showed us the "room". It was a huge kitchen, dining room slash living room, bedroom with kingsize bed, and two bathrooms. It was fully equiped for cooking, cleaning ... anyways it was really nice. the floor, walls, and ceiling were all built with brick and stone. and best of all it was heated!!!!! something we havent had for a while. All this for only 30 bucks !!! We should just move down there. The next morning we awoke to find the sun had decided not to be warm and the rains came down. After a crappy warm up and tour of the town I headed to the start only to be the last guy there and started at the back. I need to start at the front or I have no chance at all. Anyways we headed out on the race course and I got up to 40mph on the downhill, then shortly after started the climb to Volterra. It was a sweet medieval town up on this huge hill of about 2000 feet elevation. There was a tall wall around it and cut backs all the way up to it. At the top there was an aid station, but only juice in little Dixie cups. So I just rode through without any. Coming down the other side was fun and fast. 40-45mph around the tight turns was fun especially on the slick surface. I had to take it easy though and hold back because of all the people on the course at that point. Because I had started so far back I was constantly behind people. So then the flat road began and we cruised at about 26-27 mph for quite a while in a large tight packed group. Nobody wanted to take any turns pulling at the front so we went pretty slow and the folks in front of us got quite the advantage I am sure. There were two or three more climbs… a little smaller than the volterra climb, however one of them was so steep I almost went backwards on it. And because the road was wet I slipped a few times and my wheel spun in place. People were flying off the road and sliding around everywhere, but luckily for me I had fallen in similar conditions in Australia a month ago and I knew my limits in the conditions.
After 100km in the saddle we made our way back through Pomerance and I was in the lead of our group. I passed by the race headquarters and saw Robyn sitting there… she started to scream and shout and wave her arms… it was awesome. She said that she wanted to chase me down and run next to me, but it was too cold. Well this was the time the race started to suck. There were three more huge climbs the biggest was to a town called castelnuovo. It was a steep climb about 12 km long and ended in this town that looked like it was used in the lord of the rings movie. But my hands and feet were too frozen to feel anything and I was having trouble shifting and braking.
I ran out of water and food and the rain continued on. My bike also had some problems, it started to make funny sounds in low gear and I was afraid that I had ruined my rear wheel. Well I made it back to the town and finished the 135 km race. I had been dropped by the 10 guys I was riding with though and finished in 75th place overall out of 1200 or so people. I felt great about it and enjoyed every minute of it. I just wish I could have taken some pictures of what I got to see. Robyn was waiting for me there alone, and helped me get back to the room to warm up.
Later that night I ate an incredible amount of food. So much that I was sleep talking later that night shouting that my stomache hurt!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March 14

We had a nice sunset last night and we wanted to post up a picture of it from the apartment. Today was a good day here, a little chilly but a good day. Robyn is feeling really fast running and has found some good trails around town to run on. Dan rode up a small mountain today 3 times and would have done more but his pedal broke. Now we are out the door to get some thai food at the local restaraunt...
The Food was great. Dan had the thai Chicken with rice and steamed vegies. We followed it up with some bowling in which robyn Scored an amazing 296 on 3 games... 100 more than last week. It was a good night. And Dan had three strikes in a row (turkey) gobble gobble.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Robyn is the newest high score bowler at the local bowlerama!
here is our stats...:

March 7
Dan 297
Robyn 197

March 13
Dan 285
Robyn 175

We had an awsome time tonight for FHE
Oh by the way Robyn got hit today by a car... she was riding down the street and a car sideswiped her into the curb and she flew and roled and ended up on the sidewalk. the car never stopped to see how she was but Dan rode after the guy and kicked the door of his range rover a few times till he drove away. we try to be carefull here but sometimes the trafic is terrible... hopefully we can make the move down to tuscany this next week where the cars are very rare, and the roads long and empty.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Well I went to the gelatto place right by our place and got a a mixture of strawberry, cookies and cream (sort of) and pistachio...yum! Dan ate most of it but I managed some bites. It was so good. I hope you are having a good day. i am going to try and go to bed soon but after my nap I am not so sure if I will be able to!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Italy has been awesome. We live downtown Bologna in a four story apartment building. Its like seven stories tall though but since its so old they have knocked out some floors and stuff and not each story is like twice as tall as a normal one. We have our own bedroom and we share the little kitchen and living room with Max. Action Max he calls himself. He even has a website were you can look at him posing and flexing. He is a personal trainer. He is a very nice guy. Today he is in the hospital for 2nd and 3rd degree burns he got in the tanning bed. Terrible burns… I don’t think we will be going back into one of those things any time soon.
So far we have put in about 50 miles a day each. There is great long roads here with nobody on them. Large wineries, orchards, old churches…etc etc. very cool. I will let the pics do the talking. We are going to take much more and post them later. We only have a few so far. Its hard to ride with a camera on our back, but we have seen some awesome back drops. Today we bought a internet connection, and some groceries. Fresh parmigian cheese… so good and pasta five times a day… Dan rode his bike in the snow capped hills all week.
Good times everybody, good times.
Miss ya’ll
Talk to ya soon


England was brown flat and cold. we had to take our gear from the first airport and walk it about three blocks to the bus station where we bought tickets and some hot drink for Robyn. When we got on the bus we were two of five passengers. So we both took our own row in the back of the greyhound sized bus. There we left and headed out to the other airport on the far side of the city. It was about an hour long trip. Neither of us remember any of it because we were out cold. With the time difference it was like 2 in the morning for us still. Its like a 17 hour difference or something crazy like that. When we checked into our flight to Bologna we were told that we had about 60 kg too much weight. At 8 euros per kilo we were charged 500 USD approximately… and we were advised that “this is not mickey mouse money!” Dan was taken aback at his ignorance. He thought it was monopoly money!! and since we had like an extra 200 each from passing go we were ok. This is a picture of Robyn at starbucks in london airport.

london segment

It started with a little layover in Calgary. Yes that is rite. You ask yourselves "hey didnt you leave from Calgary" yes we did. and we waited in the airport for like 4 hours to find out our flight was delayed too long to catch our adjoining flight in vancouver. so they rescheduled us on a flight straight from calgary to london later that night. So we went to Chili's in the airport and ate another meal then rushed off to our new gate. we hustled around in the airport trying to get our bags re-tagged also. it was a huge pain in the butt. Well we got on the plane and realized that everything had to be explained in English and in French. This is ok on the side of a cereal box, but it was long and crappy on the plane. We fell asleep fast because the crappy movie sucked. (pride and prejudice). Don’t go and see it. It is pretty retarded. We made it To London though and awoke from our slumbers.


Calgary was fun. We almost froze to death every time we stepped outside. Staying at Lynne and Steves house in Cochrane was awesome! They have a sweet house with an entire basement that we could move into and live in for a few years before anyone would know we were there. So we made an extra big mess in the weight room with our bikes and in the bedroom and hallway with our clothes, books, bags, and jackets. While there we got to go to the mall and get some new warm clothes, go to the grocery store and get some good food, movie theater for a great movie about the huskies called -8, and we also got to lay in a tanning bed for a half hour. Both Robyn and Dan Rode their bikes on Stephens indoor trainer each day and Dan even tried to shovel the front driveway in his sandals. Cochrane was nice and we really want to go back there and check it out soon, and hopefully when we can ride our bikes up into Bragg creek and Banff. One hard part of the trip was the indoor riding. We had logged about 500 miles combined during our 5 day stay in San Diego, so the trainer was pretty boring in comparison. All in all we were in America for just about as long as we could bare. Now we are out of there and on with the adventure.