I love Metric

One of our routes. To orient, note Sienna on the southwest. Google says this route is 23.3km. One way. My total for the day was more like 60 km. Got a tiny bit lost.

“How far are you riding there in Italy?”

“How fast are you riding?”

As a cyclist….these questions are, a-hem, embarrassing. I’m sitting in the lounge, or lounging in the sitting room at Borgolecchi after my day. On e-mail and FaceTime, people keep asking for my stats.

Do they ask about the scenery? (fabulous-o) Do they ask about the rain? (God is bailing on our heads) Do they ask about the hills? (up to 15 degrees…that’s STEEP….as in, your front wheel might pop off the ground if you aren’t careful.)

Nope. They want to know how far? How fast? I mumble a little. Especially the evening I’m sitting next to the pro cyclist. Fresh off the plane from the states she dashes out to do a quick 40 miles. Geez.

We’ve got schmantzy top-end gear. Carbon-frame Pinarello bicycles, Giordana clothing, including light jackets that amazingly, keep out all the wind and rain. (But would it kill them to put a bigger toggle on the zipper so you can do it with your full-fingered gloves on?)

And we’ve got GPS computers to keep track of ourselves. But I cannot get my speedometer to work.

InGamba principal Joao Correia, a former pro cyclist, is riding with me and Jessamyn this morning. We are, amazingly, first out of the gate. I’m fumbling with the bloody computer. “Hand it to me,” says Joao—pronounced j-WOW.

I twist it off and hand it over. We’re cycling, remember. He tinkers a bit, sure I’ve pushed a wrong button. Nope. This time it is NOT user error.

“Just keep riding,” says Joao, as he comes up immediately next to me.

“Don’t hit me!”

“I won’t touch you,” he said. He’s just inches away. We’re riding next to each other.

“I didn’t say don’t touch. I said don’t HIT.”

“Touching will cost you extra.” Joao pops his own computer into the holder on my headset.

Suddenly I’m riding 50 percent faster!!! Or it looks like I am. My device was calibrated in miles, his is in kilometers. Riding 25 km per hour sounds way better than 15 miles an hour.

Our day’s total of 50 kilometers.

Much farther than 31 miles.


About Karen Ray

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