My artist friend (who asks to remain anonymous) and I are about to embark on our US cyclotour. We’ve decided to tackle the Rocky Mountains, with an offroad bikepacking adventure down the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The route crosses the continental divide 30 times, is almost 5,000 kilometers of largely washboard dirt road, and covers an elevation gain the equivalent of seven ascents up Mt. Everest.

But what do you pack for such a nature outing?

Well, you wouldn’t be remiss for bringing along Fausto Coppi - as what other item packs so much cycling punch with only 3% body fat? 2 lychee nut PowerBars contain 460 calories at a cost of 130 grams. Thornproof inner tubes provide 60% more flat protection, but at the expense of 225 grams a tube. Thermal jerseys are good for an additional 10 degrees of warmth, but a setback of 340 grams. Air sleeping pads offer you 80mm of sleeping comfort along with a hefty penalty of 455 grams of weight. So as you can see, nothing even comes close to the cycling performance of Il Campionissimo.

Just look at that chiseled chin of determination; that aquiline nose of thoroughbred instinct; that efficient position on the bike which radiates confidence; those piston churning legs sculpted solely to grind the competition into dust; and his near unbreakable resin-like composition, which allows Fausto Coppi to thrive in the most hellacious of terrains.

Of course the ultimate reason for my bringing Fausto along on the ride, placing him well above and beyond my other assorted touring gear, is the ego boost he provides as I secretly savour the fact that Il Campionissimo will be drafting my wheel the entire length of the GDMBR!

(Ruminations on a Bianchi Café & Cycles serviette, Stockholm, Sweden)   -Euro Freddie.

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Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie