My club, Gruppo 1 of San Massimo (Verona), is the host of the "raduno" scheduled for this weekend. Club president, Giuseppe (Beppe) and his wife Daniela, have been busy building and putting the finishing touches on a surprise, a BIG bike which will become the symbol of the club's raduno.
To re-visit an explanation of a raduno (rally): each club in the Province of Verona sponsors a "raduno". The raduno season runs from March through October with three radunos per month. This is unlike any event in the USA. Approximately 400-600 cyclists come to each one and goes off as a group led by a pace car, police cars and motorcycles that close off the roads as the peleton passes. The route is normally about 30 miles in length with the first half being ridden at a leisurely pace and the 2nd half at about 15=18mph (depending on the hosting club which always rides at the front). Afterwards there is food and wine, and prizes are handed out. The prizes are awarded based on the number of participants from each club, plus there are points awarded based on the distance a club has to travel to the event. What's nice is that every club receives a prize. Prizes include trophies, formaggio, salumi, wine, etc. At the end of the season there is a totaling of all the points accumulated by each club and there is an awards dinner and the 1st place, 2nd, etc., are announced as Verona Province champions. The story and photos of last year's Gruppo 1 sponsored raduno are here (with photos), parts I and II:
Photos: the BIG bike under construction and finishing
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