The Jewish News is following the progress of Ben Miller, who is taking part in the Langdon International Cycle…
…has started pretty well. Yet more beautiful scenery, some photos below of Lake Molveno, and I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Dolomites. There are only two hills today, though admittedly, one is 25km and the other is 35km – the profile looks like an M. That said, I write this at lunch, a few km from the summit of the second hill, and I think it was easier than those numbers suggest.
One of our riders, second time attendee Michael Marlow has shown great determination throughout today’s climbs. His daughter, Natasha, 16, is autistic and regularly attends the weekly club at Langdon. Michael tells me it’s one of the high spots of her week, a fantastic, and probably unique, opportunity to mix with other children with learning difficulties and develop the social skills that the rest of us take for granted.
So it turns out I was completely wrong. After Lunch we had 20km of continuous climbing to the Passo Mendola. The sun was much kinder than yesterday, and there was lots of shade, but it was still tough. We have some strong riders among us, many of whom have improved on last year. Nigel, a Langdon trustee, was at the front, except when Dieter decided to ride. Paul Berman, my erstwhile roommate (we were separated after just one night together), powered past most people, and Andy, a new rider, was also strong on the hill. I personally found it hard. The first half was okay, then my back seized up and after another half hour I had to stop to stretch. Fortunately, the last 5km were very gentle. Then we had the joy of 17km descent, though with a lot of tight hairpinss. The views were again magnificent, but at 60kph, it was hard to take photos. Look up Strada Statale 42 and check out the images. Stunning.
Today’s hotel is a lovely, sweet place called Blumenhotel Ansitz Angerburg. Not quite as grandiose as last night’s Grand Hotel Terme, but picturesque. Somehow, I’ve ended up with a single room. There was an awkward moment last night when Paul and I entered our room to see a single, very large, double bed. Fortunately, there was a lift with another bed, up an extraordinarily narrow spiral staircase.
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