About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Angels and Demons

Well, today was an interesting day. We woke up to cloudy skies, with a bit of humidity in the air. Katrina decided to sleep in today - she's bet fighting a cold or allergies, she's not sure which.

I got Brandon ready and we rode to school. My plan for today was to ride to Como and climb up the mountain to Brunate. The last time I attempted Brunate I only made it up two switchbacks. I was determined to make it today. My legs are in better shape than they were last time...in July or early August.

I took off for Como and realized that I forgot the directions that I had printed out for climbing Brunate the back way. This was to try and avoid the huge drop into the valley that Como sits in. Oh well, when I arrived at the top of the hill overlooking Como I decided to just suck it up and ride down into town.

The first part of the Brunate climb is VERY steep. I think its even steeper than the Appalachian roads I rode on in 2006. I'm not sure what the grade is, but most cars are going up the road in a lower gear. I will admit that I had to stop and rest my legs a few times, but I made it to the top!! It is about a 6km climb (3.6 miles), but very steep. Brunate sits at 750 meters (2346ft). Como sits at 199 meters (653ft). That is a climb of 551 meters (1693ft) in 3.6 miles.

View of the top...I'm almost there.

I made it...well, this sign is a trick. I still had about 1.5km to the top.

At the top I enjoyed the view, took a couple of pictures and had lunch - a hamburger and a coke.

View from the panorama point...a cloudy day in northern Italy.

I decided to take the 'other' way back down the mountain. I made it down ok, but had quite a bit of trouble finding my way back to my original route home. I finally did it and arrived back in Vedano with enough time to stop and buy a snack and drink, then enjoy it at the back gate of Brandon's school while I waited for him.

I'm very happy that I accomplished my first two riding goals: 1) ride to Como, and 2)ride up Brunate. Now I will work on goal #3) Ride to Chiasso, on the oppossite side of Como from Brunate. Chiasso is the first town as you climb over the mountain and enter Switzerland. I've now added a new goal, goal #4) Ride to Bergamo.

This evening after dinner I went to see my first movie in Italy - Angels and Demons. Yes, I know it came out months ago, but it was shown in English at the Monza theater tonight. Errol, it wasn't the same without ya.

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