Monday, 31 March 2008

The bianchi boys (and girl)

Bianchi make lovely bikes. They are Italian and look great. The traditional colour is a lovely shade of blue called Celeste, but always known to me as Bianchi blue. I coveted one of these bikes for ages and when we saw a good deal on a frame a couple of years ago I bought it and Ian built it up for me into a damn fine bike, tailored to suit me with women-specific bars and saddle. On Sunday I did my first Audax ride in a long time. Ian and his friends challenged themselves to a 115 km ride while I decided to opt for the less strenuous 62 km 'introductory' ride and set out on the beloved and beautiful Bianchi. Ian set off before me and I soon found a group of like minded and similar paced riders to stick with (much easier than riding on your own as you don't have to keep stopping to read the route directions). I never found out any ones names but there were two men (possibly brothers) riding Bianchis. Both were probably the wrong side of 50 and certainly didn't have the slim and toned bodies that the Italians are noted for (in fact, they were from North London!) We talked a lot about the beauty of our steeds and how, if it wasn't for their fine design and gearing, we would not be able to get round the course so well! At the end we all placed our Bianchis side by side as we went to have a drink! (See picture.. I wanted to include a picture of the Bianchi boys themselves with the slogan 'you don't have to be slim, Italian and beautiful to ride a Bianchi'..but I didn't have the nerve to ask them and I was not sure that they would see the funny side!) We got round in just under 4 hours which is respectable (we had to do it in 2.5 -5 hours!). I then waited a further 3 hours for Ian to finish!

The Bianchi family and Bianchis in love!

Talking of 'slim, young, beautiful and Italian' I also chatted to a young woman cycling round on her own who was just that! While I was waiting for Ian we sat having a coffee (turned out she lives 100 metres from my former address in London and is studying to be an art psychotherapist). While we were sitting there she became a magnet for several young, fit and athletic male cyclists who regaled her with tales of their exploits ('we have just finished the 115 km ride... we are going to do the Paris Roubaix this year.. I hope you don't have to wait toooo long for your boyfriend'- last comment was directed to me!)

The post-script of this is today my bottom was so sore and my legs were so stiff that I couldn't sit down. I was also so tired I had to sleep on the floor at work in between seeing students!

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