Mar 8, 2011

Un espresso, per favore!


Lucho...



Coffee and cycling goes together like fire & air, Garmin-Cervelo, love=steel bikes and a whole host of other enjoyable tandems.


Galstudio's Espress O Cycling Cap...


My first real coffee experience/addiction was discovered on my trip in Rome, 1984. Sure, I had coffee in Edmonton but it's not quite the same. Italy, in a sense, 'woke' me up.

When in Rome do as the Romans do. I mimicked what every other Roman citizen does every morning ...have an espresso. I remember, and it was key at the time, was to find the most average coffee bar usually non-descript, void of any glitz. Usually small with plenty of citizens packed in to have their espressos before 'flying' off to work. What really surprised me, was seeing everyone throwing back their espresso quickly as if their lives depended on it. Wait a minute, that's what coffee is in a way. Drink it fast and get that surge and be off. Part of the fun was to enjoy it like everybody else standing at the bar and tossing it down. In fact, I learn to say, in my rudimentary Italian, "Un espresso, per favore!"


Faema Flyers,
Gaul & Bahamontes...


Some interesting facts I found online on the mighty Italian elixir ...

* Italy's bars serve an estimated 38 million espressos each day. That's one every two minutes or 14 billion a year.

* In Trieste, Italy there's a University of Coffee.

* A cup of espresso is 194 degree water and the powder of 50 beans.

* One cup of espresso contains less caffeine than coffee prepared by any other method.

* The first espresso machine was patented by Luigi Bezzera of Milan, 1901.

Pro cycling & coffee has a natural lineage going back to the famous sponsor team. Italian coffee machine maker, Faema sponsored teams in the fifties with Charly Gaul & Federico Bahamontes. Even Eddy Merckx couldn't resist it's strong Italian pull leading the team in the late sixties. The Tour de France benefited from the infusion from the Colombians in the early eighties. Café de Colombia became an important financier as well; sponsored a cycling team and also the mountain prize.

It's the hot drink in the perfect little package; of taste & the hit you get from the stimulant.The simple espresso sends the cyclist into an oblivion of pure happiness and makes me churn the gears that much longer. These days I use a Bodum French Press, at home, and try to buy my coffee locally. When I climb on my bike it's also time for a nice espresso... I couldn't go for a long ride without it.



Good way to start!
Rinaldo Nocentini 2009 Tdf...


Cafe stop...


Ex-pro, Flavio Zappi...


Cyril Dessel 2006 Tdf.

3 comments:

Once Known as The Badger said...

A day without coffee is a day without sunshine!

Richard said...

I second that!

empidog said...

A man after my own heart......

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