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My first holiday ride brought me -of course- to Madonna del Ghisallo: a chapel dedicated to all cyclists. You find there the bikes of Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Fabio Casartelli hanging on the wall. They all left their yellow and rainbow jerseys, medals and other memorabilia for our mere mortals to admire. It’s a 15km climb with a 5.7% average slope and 731 meter elevation gain. For the true cyclist a piece of cake and for me as a novice climber a victory that tasted for more.

I guess that we’ve spent most of our holidays at Lago di Como: sailing, waterskiing, reading and recently sup-ping. This time I brought the bike and that opened up a new world. A climb to the smallest city of Italy: Morterone (1020 m elevation gain, many ‘serpentines’), a ride to the Muro and Colma di Sormano (1035 m elevation gain) and a tour through the southern villages Onno, Bellagio, Como, Erba (695 m elevation gain). With my son I climbed at noon the Monte Barro and we’ve never sweated like this before. I don’t have the Italian physics (1.60 meters and 55kg) and wasn’t fast but enjoyed the views and challenge to find myself back on top.

Another advantage is that I can enjoy the Italian food to the max. No holding back eating carbs since I need to attack another mountain tomorrow at 7:00!

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