Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Anniversary week - settimana di anniversari

ITALIAN version at the bottom

This week marks a series of important anniversaries:

- 1 YEAR AGO:Our son Marco was is his first birthday. He is a lovely boy and a perfect baby, can not ask for better. He smiles 24/7 and his big eyes are an easy catch to everybody.

- 1 YEAR AGO: my last run. Well, I do not know how to elaborate this , but it is already 366 days that I can not run and I also do not know when and especially if I would ever run again. The ankle is pretty much ok, but there is always a painful spot on the tendons and it does not go away. I have a picture which can remind me at any moment of my very last steps, right before the finish line, right before I collapsed to the ground in total pain because my Achilles were killing me. (well, not that my face does not show it...)

- 10 YEARS AGO: I moved to China. I can not believe it, but it is already 10 years that I am here... I was supposed to come, fix the situation and go back, but working here has a magic feeling of "getting the things done" which keeps me here...
In 10 years I did have probably more experiences that in the previous 30 years of my life and the time has simply flown away.
I came here as a young manager with all my stuff which could fit in a couple of suitcases and a girlfriend left back in Europe. Now 2 apartment are not enough to fit in all the belongings, that girlfriend is now my wife and we also goes around with 2 screaming kids... I would say 10 years not wasted

Questa settimana segna una serie di importanti anniversari:

- 1 ANNO FA: nasceva nostro figlio Marco che compie oggi il suo primo compleanno. È un bellissimo e dolcissimo bambino, non può chiedere di meglio. Sorride 24 / 7 e i suoi occhi grandi sono una calamita per tutti.

- 1 ANNO FA: la mia ultima corsam. Beh, nons o piu' cosa dire, ma sono già 366 giorni che non riesco a correre e nemmeno so quando e se potro mai riprendere.La caviglia è in generale a posto, ma c'è sempre un punto dolente al tatto su entrambe i tendini e non molla...
A ricordo "perenne", ho una foto proprio dei miei ultimi passi di corsa... giusto prima delle linea del traguardo di Singapore e giusto prima di accasciarmi a terra dal dolore, con i tendini che erano completamente andati.

- 10 ANNI FA: mi sono trasferita in Cina. Non riesco a crederci, ma sono già 10 anni che sono qui ...Dovevo venire, sistemare la situazione della societa' e tornare indietro, ma il lavoro qui da una sensazione incredibile di "poter fare le cose", che ancora mi tiene qui ...
In 10 anni ho avuto piu' esperienze che nei 30 anni precedenti della mia vita e il tempo è semplicemente volato via.
Sono venuto qui come un giovane manager con un paio di valigie e una fidanzata rimasta in Europa. Ora, 2 appartamenti non sono sufficienti per farci stare tutto, quella ragazza è mia moglie e andiamo anche in giro con 2 marmocchi... Direi che 10 anni di vita non sprecati !!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Long Climb with Cycle-cross bike

In a moment of depression/weakness some weeks ago I forked out some notes and bought a Cycle-cross bike...a Kona

The bike was a total bargain because an HK distributor got stuck with the bike in his inventory and he was more than happy to find the actually there was a crazy guy willing to pay it even at rock bottom price and even assembly it by himself...

I bought it and carried to Dongguan because I found quite interesting the idea to have a bike which could face the badly paved secondary roads in China and also some light gravel roads, etc... So I could enjoy riding both off-road and in-road with the same bike here and also avoid dragging around the MTB.

But probably the main reason was sentimental: when I was young, I was crazy about cycle-cross and it was my total cycling love... in Summer I was just dragging around on road or MTB races or only to wait end October when the Cross season kicked off.
I avoid being too nostalgic and posting tons of photos of that era, but at least one is deserved
Italian Senior Open Champs 7/1/1988 (basically the Elite race).. I had just turned Senior by 7 days and I was training mainly on fast and flat courses for 40' races...
... I can still remember that course: on the slopes of a mountain resort, the climbs looked like walls (as you can see from my face in total agony) , so steep that the front wheel would touch the ground when I was carrying it on the shoulder...

So jump ahead 22 years and today I forked my new bike for the first time and headed straight on the long climb here in Dongguan: I was a bit beaten up from yesterday's workout and it was quite daring to attempt the climb with the smallest gear of 36x26, while on MTB I was usually cruising up with the 24x20 or 32x30...
It happens that the climbs had really hard spots and with the 36x26 I was really struggling, so I really had to take it easy on the less demanding sections...
luckily the road is being gradually improved, so it is no more the bumby road of few months ago, but a very smooth gravel with concrete sections.

Anyway, here the result:

12/Nov: 41'55" - HR avg: 168 - max 181 (MTB bike, road was in worse conditions)
2/Sept: 44'09" - HR avg: 168 - max 181 (MTB, totally dirt road, no paved sections yet)

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that going down a steep gravel road with a cycle-cross bike may reserve some emotions, since the brakes are more suited for easy stops in a muddy field