Tag Archive: Como

  1. Climbing the Madonna del Ghisallo

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    Day 3 of the Italian Lakes cycle tour was the day I had trained for. This day was a biggie: roughly 100 miles, 10,00ft total climb including the Madonna del Ghisallo; being the patroness of cyclists, I had to try.

    After 25 miles on the saddle, under the hot, 38 degrees Celsius weather, we for a quick coffee in the glamorous town of Bellagio, looking out over Lake Como – the lake we’d been cycling along ever since we left the town of Como that morning.

    Re-energised, we set off. Even the road out of Bellagio was steep with at least 3 hairpins!

    The aim was to never stop; keep the legs turning no matter how steep it got. It was hard, but every time I started doubting whether I could finish it – I saw lyrics from famous Madonna songs; the crew had been up first and written some inspirational messages along on their directional arrows along the way.

    View of Lake Como from the switchbacks of the Madonna del Ghisallo


    I found myself praying my bike would magically develop lower gears. Unanswered prayers! Various Madonna songs in my head did, however, provide a distraction from the burning in my thighs. A far greater distraction was the breathtaking views. But there was no stopping to take pictures – momentum was key here.

    As we neared the top, we saw our names in chalk on the road – the extra boost we all needed.

    The summit!

    By some miracle, I did manage to get to the top. Being met by a round of applause from other cyclists and the crew was fantastic! I felt a huge sense of achievement! I’d do it again!