Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Quoted: 1084 Post(s)
I never rode at a level close to those guys, but I participated in bicycle races in Germany, Holland, and Belgium from the age of 14. Best was second in my State and age grouping.
Many years ago, my parents took me (at 15) to spend three weeks in San Remo, Italy.
I had taken my racing bike, and on the second day cycled from San Remo to Alassio. Catching a draft behind the bus, I met and hooked up with two Italian professional cyclists.
From then on, my two new friends would come every second day by the hotel at 6:30 AM, and we would cycle along the Corniche, into France, through Monaco, and back into France.
We passed through Bordighera, Ventimiglia, Menton, Roquebrune, Monte Carlo, Villefranche, and Nice, where we would eat / rest, before making the trip in reverse.
Twice we took the long way through the mountains, along the steep old salt road between Nice and Ventimiglia, the most challenging ride I have ever been on.
We didn't have to stop even once crossing borders. My cyclist friends were well known, and the officials at the borders we crossed would stop all cars, lift the barrier, and wave us through.
The whole trip was a great experience, and compared to today, those were much more innocent times.