All days should be like today. A 60k ride through the vineyards around Alba, lunch in Barbaresco and a swim in a pool surrounded by a herb garden. Perfecto.
Of course it's now official .... I am the only man on a bike in Italy who does not shave his legs for bike riding. I concluded this when I hooked up to a group of 10 Italians horsing around on my first climb of the morning. No worries here about the bond market. Every one of them had smooth brown legs. No waiting around for me though. I took off past them up a 5% gradient at a steady 20kph. That's about my max speed on that gradient and I guess the boys decided it was a challenge they couldn't resist. Two of them speared after me and caught me quickly. We then spent the next 3k's grinding cranks up the hill before, satisfied I peeled off in the direction of Alba happy with my effort.
On the run into Alba on a vicious little climb (max 13% gradient) I let my mind wander to disperse the pain evenly through my body. The Spanish PM is a liar I started to repeat to myself over and over again. It's true, right? What else would you call it when in his presentation of the bailout he proclaimed the 100bn Euros he'd secured came without conditions. It reminded me of Chamberlain returning from Munich with his piece of paper .... Peace in our time. No Prime Minister, you gave the Euro-cracy seniority over your own debt issuance, thus guaranteeing escalating funding costs for years to come. The markets agree with me and have now pushed Spanish 10yr yields back to their recent highs .... mark my words this will go wider.
Readers will remember my recent rant about airlines, well a friend pointed out to me today that airline industry lead body IATA was holding it's AGM in Beijing. Looking through the number it looks like profitability is collapsing under the assault of euro instability, high oil prices and (get this) a slowing China. Brian Pearce, IATA's Chief Economist has an interesting presentation available on the IATA website. I'm no expert, but check out the aircraft orders. Is it just me or might this be a replay of the shipping industry's massive 05 -07 capacity expansion? Take a look:
It seems to me that you want to continue to avoid this space.
Tonight we're heading back into Alba for dinner with some friends at a really nice local wine bar and restaurante. It seems local porcini mushrooms are in season, so no doubt like last night we'll be presented with a specific menu of these delectable fungi. I have to say that these mushrooms go perfectly with the local Barolos and Barbarescos. All in all given my ride to today I'm quite looking forward to good conversation and replacing the 2500 calories I expended today. I ride to eat and drink, I eat and drink to ride.