I had heard of Madonna but never of Madonna del Ghisallo. The little chapel in her honour sits atop a steep hill (532m elevation, 10.6km, avg 5.2%, max 11%) that climbs up from the shores of Lake Como. It had been such a stopping point for cyclists that the local priest had proposed that Madonna del Ghisallo be declared the patroness of cyclists.
Like so often it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was more than fed up with cycling in the Dutch cold and grey wintry conditions and needed to de-stress from work related issues. My son Daniel was meant to join but he needed his time to study. Or so he said, perhaps suspect of my intentions.
“May I make a phone call first?” I asked the doctor as he had just explained that I would need surgery. I had participated in the “Kankavli magic”, a 200km Brevets Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) ride. The short rest at the 100km control point had done me good. I realised on my way back that I had a pleasant tail wind.
My 13 year old son Daniel called me from school this morning. “Papa, I don’t feel well. I have thrown up already twice.” To which I queried “You mean to say can you pick me up now?” In a muttered tone he confessed “I know you are tired…” probably expecting me to be still in bed.