No I'm not dreaming...

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Yankee Bandit, Sep 24, 2003.

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  1. Cycling is popular, fun, healthy and a relaxing pastime. Everyone owns a bike of some sort and cycle
    lanes abound. Okay, some are shared use lanes with pedestrians but even here there are no problems,
    for all cyclists give priority to pedestrians and ride patiently. On the roads, car drivers give way
    to cyclists, are courteous towards them and drive carefully around them.

    The tooting of a horn is only used to alert a cyclist or group of cyclists that a vehicle is present
    and may pass shortly. All cycles have lights (90% have a dynamo) and a bell. Very few riders wear a
    helmet, only the fast moving racer types. High visibility clothing is not required.

    Any group of roadies out training or racing is given priority to pass through roundabouts with
    little loss of momentum. The last rider through always signals his thanks to the waitng car drivers.
    In every shopping or amenity area there are plenty of cycle stands for convenience and security.

    Obviously this is not any town in the UK, I only wish it were so. However this cycling Utopia does
    exist - in Italy. I have just spent a marvellous fortnight there with my wife on the Adriatic Coast
    near the town of Cesenatico. Where? The birthplace (and still the home) of Marco Pantani.

    The area is as flat as a snooker table for miles. On my last ride of the holiday, we rode about 25k
    inland before hitting a hill. The hills do tend to rise up quite suddenly though so they are good
    for training. The town is also the starting point for the Nine Hills ride every May. A 210km ride
    that had 8,300 participants this year and 10,500 a couple of years ago.

    I only found it by chance and was lucky to get cheap Ryanair flights from Glasgow to Stansted then
    on to Forli where the hotel owner's son was waiting to take us on the 1/2 hour drive to the hotel.
    Now that's what I call customer service. The hotel has a 25m heated swimming pool and is very
    popular as a training centre for triathletes early in the year. The owner, Dante Del Vecchio, is a
    former racing cyclist who, at 66 years, is as fit as a butcher's dog. He provides loads of
    information, routes and ride outs for his guests, whatever level of fitness.

    You can tell I was impressed by the place and I thought I should share my experience. If anyone
    wants any details of the hotel, I'll be happy to post them. Since I was there in the final two weeks
    of the season, the town was fairly quiet with no night life to speak of. It is an old fishing town
    with excellent restaurants and numerous pastry and pizaa places. I was after a chill out holiday so
    it suited me perfectly.

    Oh, and by the way, it is possible to rent good quality road bikes (approx £1200 retail value) for
    just 60 Euros (£40) a week if you don't trust the airport baggage handlers with your pride and joy.

    Hope this is of use to someone.

    regards, Calum
     
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  2. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Yankee Bandit" <cpm[NOSPAM]@e-mileDOTco.uk> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > Cycling is popular, fun, healthy and a relaxing pastime. Everyone owns a bike of some sort

    Good so far.

    > and cycle lanes abound.

    Well, there has to be a down side

    > Okay, some are shared use lanes with pedestrians but even here there are no problems,

    Now we know its a fairy story

    > for all cyclists give priority to pedestrians and ride patiently. On the roads, car drivers
    give
    > way to cyclists, are courteous towards them and drive carefully around
    them.

    What are you smoking?

    > The tooting of a horn is only used to alert a cyclist or group of cyclists that a vehicle is
    > present and may pass shortly. All cycles have lights
    (90%
    > have a dynamo) and a bell. Very few riders wear a helmet, only the fast moving racer types. High
    > visibility clothing is not required.
    >
    > Any group of roadies out training or racing is given priority to pass through roundabouts with
    > little loss of momentum. The last rider through always signals his thanks to the waitng car
    > drivers. In every shopping or amenity area there are plenty of cycle stands for convenience and
    > security.

    Can we have some too?

    > Obviously this is not any town in the UK, I only wish it were so. However this cycling Utopia does
    > exist - in Italy. I have just spent a marvellous fortnight there with my wife on the Adriatic
    > Coast near the town of Cesenatico. Where? The birthplace (and still the home) of Marco Pantani.

    Ahh. Excess of Grappa obviously.

    > The area is as flat as a snooker table for miles.

    Boring then.

    > On my last ride of the holiday, we rode about 25k inland before hitting a hill. The hills do
    tend
    > to rise up quite suddenly though so they are good for training.

    OK -- not so bad.

    > The town is also the starting point for the Nine Hills ride every May. A 210km ride that had 8,300
    > participants this year and 10,500 a couple of years ago.

    Puts our club run in its place then :~(

    > I only found it by chance and was lucky to get cheap Ryanair flights from Glasgow to Stansted then
    > on to Forli where the hotel owner's son was
    waiting
    > to take us on the 1/2 hour drive to the hotel. Now that's what I call customer service. The hotel
    > has a 25m heated swimming pool and is very popular as a training centre for triathletes early in
    > the year. The
    owner,
    > Dante Del Vecchio, is a former racing cyclist who, at 66 years, is as fit
    as
    > a butcher's dog. He provides loads of information, routes and ride outs
    for
    > his guests, whatever level of fitness.

    You are still dreaming -- arn't you?

    > You can tell I was impressed by the place and I thought I should share my experience. If anyone
    > wants any details of the hotel, I'll be happy to
    post
    > them. Since I was there in the final two weeks of the season, the town
    was
    > fairly quiet with no night life to speak of. It is an old fishing town
    with
    > excellent restaurants and numerous pastry and pizaa places. I was after a chill out holiday so it
    > suited me perfectly.

    Sounds too good to be true. Post the details -- please.

    > Oh, and by the way, it is possible to rent good quality road bikes (approx £1200 retail value)
    > for just 60 Euros (£40) a week if you don't trust the airport baggage handlers with your pride
    > and joy.
    >
    > Hope this is of use to someone.

    Thanks.
     
  3. Mads

    Mads Guest

    > > and cycle lanes abound.
    >
    > Well, there has to be a down side

    Just because cycle lanes in the UK are pretty abysmal, it doesn't mean that the concept is flawed.

    Mads Hilberg
     
  4. "Tony W" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > Sounds too good to be true. Post the details -- please.

    Hi Tony, I stayed at the Hotel Beau Soleil Wonderful (I know, it's a really naff name) and you can
    view it at http://www.hotelbeausoleil.it/

    While I was there, there was a couple of young lads over from London "cramming in" some desperate
    triathlon training and they seemed to enjoy it too. Half board cost 48 Euros a night, bottles of
    wine in the hotel restaurant averaged 10 Euros and the bar was downright cheap. And none of your
    25ml measures either!

    If you want another opinion on the faciities look at
    http://www.bucksfizztravel.com/soleil/soleil.html.

    I'll definitely go back but it won't be till the year after next. I need to get some training in to
    keep up with old Dante!

    regards, Calum
     
  5. "Mads" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > and cycle lanes abound.
    > >
    > > Well, there has to be a down side
    >
    > Just because cycle lanes in the UK are pretty abysmal, it doesn't mean
    that
    > the concept is flawed.
    >
    > Mads Hilberg
    >
    >

    I agree. I know they don't get many fans here but what struck me about the lanes I saw and used, and
    the attitudes of peds, 2 wheelers and drivers was the mutual respect shown by all of them. That, to
    me, is the missing ingredient here in the UK.

    We could all get along fine if we adopted the same attitude.

    Cycling to work this morning for the first time since returning from holiday was strange. I felt
    under threat every mile of the way, more as if I was in some sort of race or competition and no-one
    else was prepared to give an inch. It's no wonder traffic stutters along when we, the moving parts
    if you like, are all fighting and bumping against each other. Let's lubricate the roads with a
    little courtesy, understanding and patience; I'm sure they'd flow a lot more smoothly then.

    (Jeez, I sound like some sort of hippy!)

    regards, Calum
     
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