Today is the official start of our cycling tour. In the morning, before the first group meeting, I took the vaporetto over to Venice and toured the Peggy Guggenheim collection (Modern Art). The works included those by artiest such as Dali, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mondrian, Miró, Klee, Ernst, and others. I arrived exactly at opening time, so there was no wait. I enjoyed the tour which took me about an hour. I particularll like the painting "At the Cyclo-Race Track" by Jean Metzinger. It ties in closely with the theme of this trip.
After the Museum visit, I did a little sightseeing and photographing on the vaporetto along the great canal, turning around when i felt that I had better get back to the Lido for our 2pm fitting. I was both hungry and tired, so stopped for a quick lunch of zuppa di pesce (seafood soup) which was outstanding, and then went back to the hotel for a 30 minute nap which rejuvenated me nicely. I figure that I am on Venice time now.
Our first meeting included the standard safety briefing and then we went our to get our bikes fitted. Lisa (one of my tour guides from Cuba) asked if I would be willing to "test" a bike with a new 1x11 configuration (a single chain ring in the front and 11 cogs in the rear). This is becoming an industry standard instead of the formerly common setups with two or even three chainrings in front. I said sure. Today's short flat ride did not provide much of a test, but I enjoyed the bike and felt good on it. It was a short ride of about ten miles, down the lagoon side of the Lido and back on the sea side with the famous beaches of the Lido.
Tomorrow is our first real ride, retracing our way down the Lido and reaching the mainland by means of two ferries. Total distance should be 45 miles.
We had a group dinner tonight at La Favorita. Two pastas served side by side, sea bass with artichokes, a variety of salads, vegetables and potatoes, lots of fresh mussels, and tiramisu. No wonder that I gain weight on these cycling trips. This is a Michelin recommended restaurant, and most of us thought that the meal was very good. Some of our group had eaten there a few days ago and were quite disappointed, particularly with the service.
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