Mike Simpson

Resetting the bar

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4.30 alarm at home and by lunchtime we arrived at Lake Garda. Within 15 minutes four other friends arrive, time to sample some Italian pizza. Just 30 miles planned today. But this includes a climb I stumbled upon a few days earlier. I saw a Strava section entitled 'The worst 4kms in the world' Well that was a bright red rag to an easily excitable bull. After further investigation I found out the climb featured in last years Giro del Trentino. The descriptions of the climb were somewhat worrying.

So after 8 miles along the lake side we started it.....the Punta Veleno. After a few ridiculously steep kms (one kilometre averaged 20.5%!), I was so worried about my friends behind me. I was really hoping Davina had seen sense and turned back, I felt sick thinking she was putting herself through this. Paul who never brings along a safety valve, he will be destroying himself, and Lydia, well she may never speak to me again. It's pretty difficult to describe what you have to go through to keep going at maximum effort up such a monster, I question why I enjoy enduring some sensations.

To their credit and my relief, everyone made it to the top. Not necessarily enjoying the experience but certainly with some major new bragging rights. Wether they'll ride with me again remains to be seen :) Then we had a gentle 15 mile descent back down to the lake to reflect on a mad start to the week.

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