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Tri Camp Cesenatico, Italy

Training camp Cesenatico, Italy

Since I am in the RSC-Kirrlach Triathlon club, I find all the people with good
ideas around me. One of those ideas was to go to Cesenatico for a triathlon
training camp. Our club president knows the hotel, has been there for years
and was presenting glowing recommendations.
So we decided to go there for the Easter vacation - triathletes and cyclists.
The hotel Lungomare offers  buffets laden with delicious Italian food, laundry
service, WiFi, a heated pool - outdoors, access to the Mediterranean, guided
tours for cyclists and non-sports-people, warm lunch buffets until almost
evening. Also baby services, which none of us
needs right now.
We went a day later then the rest for my stepfather has died and we went to
the funeral. So we drove to Italy on Sunday, and already encountered the
rainfall on our way - just after passing the St. Gotthardt-Tunnel. Monday was
no better, still raining, and still cold so we went swimming in the pool
instead. This had been closed up all Winter and the water smelled and tasted
like inflatables fresh from the plastic wrapping. Oh well, one can deal with
that, just swim, but I didn't like it. Nevertheless I swam.
So did half of our club. Then we went by train to Ravenna, and this is one
beautiful, culturally valuable city. Little houses, old and older churches,
just that rain had my toes freeze to icicles. So I icicled, instead of
bicycling... Well we could de-frost in a pizza-restaurant and then went back
to the train and to a run later. Still raining - somewhat.
Next day - no more rain - at first - so Egon took us on a 60-km tour.  
He does know the area and took us on a scenic tour with a lot of altitude
meters, but very well doable. Just then it started to get wet again, foggy,
drizzly, icy. Another set of icicles on my feet. The others had neoprene socks
over their shoes, but some of us had not.
It came worse when we were just warmed up from climbing, arrived on top and
took the way down. Wind entering at my collar and under the wind proof
jacket. Cold wind...
It wa so cold that our finger were also icicles and two of our group went to a
reataurant warming up and waiting for a lift later. On the way back we were
really hitting the pedals to warm up and then Martin had a flat - caused by
a pothole. Well, it was fixed quickly and we all were glad it didn't happen
during that icy descent half an hour earlier. Eventually we made it to the
hotel und warmed up, went to a bike shop to get foot warmers, then went
running and off to dinner...
Super-yummy dinner-buffet, and probably more calories in than out that day,
but heck - we are in Italy...
Wednesday Egon was still not up to his best after his fall the day before.
So we went with one of the hotel tours. 85km beautiful landscape, two flat
tires -
fixed professionally by the scout, some free grenadine wine gift  by somebody living
exactly where one of the flats happened. one hill, one crash by not exiting
cleats in time, nobody hurt, new neoprene covers for my
icicles, and for Martin's, patient Italian car drivers, honking - yes - not
being careful - no!
A little bit of sun, no rain, beautiful sight from the top of the hill,
dangerous cobblestone downhill (with brakes in full action), delicious
capucchino plus-pastry.
Then we went to the hotel's afternoon buffet for some nourishment - just to
hop into the pool. The PVC-smell/taste had diminuished probably because they
kept the pool open.
Dinner and then we all drove to an oil-production-facility - to taste and
smell fresh olive oil (and to buy)
Thursday Egon was up to it again and had planned a 110km tour. One mountain in
the way - with two options - short and really steep or long and steep. And
then Egon started climbing - and got a chainsuck the first time he switched to
the small chainwheel. Dang - that was a remnant from his accident two days
earlier. He's no triathlete but he rode all the way to there on the big gear -
and never noticed the damage. It sounded bad and our trusted club members with
mechanic aptitude did not find a way to fix the problem - despite of
discussing and trying out options for about an hour. Egon called the hotel and
they were supposed to pick him up - so he told us the route and we rode
on. The other half of the group had waited partway up the hill and were as
frozen as we were down there - our advantage was that we had then climbed that
hill just now to meet them and were warmer off again.
up,up,up - and man was I glad we didn't choose the short and really steep
route because the long and steep option was actually quite long and steep...
But the top of the mountain was worth it. Then down, down, down, one missed
curve and scraped fingers (not me, gratefully), farther down, down down until we hit a coffee stop
with lots of old ents sitting and playing cards. Us storming the building in
high demand for caffeine and/or sugar. The rest of the tour was unspectacular
- back through the city of Cesena, more downhill than uphill, hanging on for
dear life whenever I was on the end of the peloton - the speed is just uneven
there. Back to the hotel but too late for the afternoon buffet, I just took a
short shower and Martin and I got some bars from the bike shop nearby.
I hopped into the pool for 15 minutes and then it was time for dinner. They
had a program featuring the region Romagne and all the goodies and foods one
finds there. Some dance entertaining and free red wine completed the evening.
On Friday we went with the hotel guide again, up to San Leo, an old town with
a castle - near to San Marino. And when we started Martin and I had considered
to take a shorter tour including only a small hill, but then we got each other
persuaded (convinced?) to do the 82-km turn instead. So the course went gently
sloping uphill for quite some time and by km I thought, we should be close to
the top and that it wasn't so bad - not bad at all. Then the guide stopped us
and told us to enter the hill at one's own speed. Now I knew, top was quite
far away - 3km as the guide said. Switchbacks up and up and up. After each
curve hope - crushed for it went farther up. Martin took a short walking break in
between - having removed gloves and not (yet) used to high wattage low rpm
cycling.  After 5km (!) we finally were on the announced parking lot, just to
be told to continue - guess what - up. But just a little bit and then the cafe
and the capucchinos were waiting for us.
The downhill from that spectacular site San Leo was really scary - steep, bad
paving - many potholes almost parallel to the riding directions and to be
evaded at all cost.
Back to the hotel we did not rally do the announced 23-26km/h - we were way
faster but we caught the pasta buffet.
Martin and I strolled a bit throuh town and then it was time for dinner and
then for a Good Friday service.
And yesterday - we didn't sit all day on our bikes - we sat all day in the car
driving home to Kronau.
What a nice vacation!