Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu

When I found out we had a race lined up in Peru, I decided I was going to go, so that I could visit Machu Picchu. I’ve wanted to visit Machu Picchu for a long time, and this was finally my chance to visit. I didn’t know at the time how difficult it would be.

Malarrara Pro

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Malarrara Pro

World Championship

Teutonia, Brazil

About 100 kilometers from Porte Alegre, Brazilians fourth largest metropolitan area lies the small shoe making community of Teutonia. About 10 kilometers from Teutonia, up in the mountains, is a popular picnic destination Lagoa da Haromia. About half way between the two is a steep, paved cliff. The course for the fastest race on earth.

Copa de Los Andes Tarma

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Copa de Los Andes Tarma

Tarma, Peru

3000 meters high into the Andes lies the Pearl of the Andes, Tarma, Peru. Tarma is also referred to the city of the flowers. There are many flower fields surrounding the city. In April there is the Semana Santa a colorful procession on carpets of flowers.

Tarma lies in a valley in the Andes, continuing up another half hour lies the course. The course starts on a relatively straight section. The top portion is fairly slow leading up to two sets of hairpins. They aren’t quite back to back, but fairly close. Leaving the second hairpin the speeds start to build up heading into a hard left. The road continues in a fairly straight to one more set of double hairpins. For here the road gets a little steeper and the speeds pick up for the final straight. The majority of the spectators gather around the high speed right hand turn and the finish line.

Winsport Canada Cup

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Winsport Canada Cup

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary sits on the Canadian plains at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Park IMG_8123.JPG was just outside of town with a ski jump IMG_8179.JPG and ice luge course. There is skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.

Verdiccio Euro Championships

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Verdicchio Euro Championships

Castelplanio, Italy

In Central Italy is the Marche region, famous for growing the white wine grape, Verdicchio. Jesi, not far from the Adriatic Sea is most famous for the Verdicchio grape. Just a few minutes up the road is the small town of Castelplanio. IMG_7565.JPG The town covers a hill side, with most of the town at the bottom, but part of the town at the top. The road connecting the two portions of the town was our course.

Padova Grand Prix

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Campionato del Mondo

Teolo, Italy

Teolo is a municpality in Parco Regionale Dei Colli Euganei, an enormous national park outside of Venice. The region is surrounded with wineries, and is a popular destination for the weekend bicyclist.

The course starts in Castelnuevo and ends in Teolo. But this year a portion of the track was washed away. The road was closed for several months as it was rebuilt. It was reopened just weeks before the race! A good majority of the road was repaved.

Insul Cup

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Insul Cup

Insul, Germany

About 10 minutes from the world famous Nürburgring lies the small town of Insul. There are two hotels in town, which are about the only thing of significance. The town is in a valley, with a river running through the town.

The course ends in town. The start is at the bottom of a cow pasture. The course winds back and forth, with five hairpins before making a hard right turn into town. The finish line is immediately after the turn.

Kozakov Challenge

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Kozakov Challenge

Kozakov, Czech Republic

Away from the crowds in Prague lies a small hill in the Czech Republic. The top of the hill has some radio and TV antennas. A few small villages dot one side of the hill. Down the other side a road runs into the town at the bottom.

Maryhill Festival of Speed

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Maryhill Festival of Speed

Goldendale, WA

Once again the gravity sports world decends on Maryhill for the Maryhill Festival of Speed. Just outside of the small gorge town of Goldendale, overlooking the Columbia River is a small private road that has become one of the American Meccas of downill. The course is 1.8 miles and sits on privately owned land. The road was repaved a few years ago, but with mild weather and almost no traffic the road is in decent shape. The course has a constant grade and quite a few turns with almost no straights. The speeds are relatively low, and with the constant grade means it is more about pure racing.

The pleasure of travelling by train through Europe

We left Prague this morning with the intent of going to Munich for two days. The original plan was to take a train to Nuremburg and then another train to Munich. With our rail passes this would be no problem. But we were travelling with two people who needed to purchase tickets. They were told it would be cheaper to take the same train to Nuremburg but get off at Schwandorf and take a train from their to Munich.

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