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ADVANCED ONLY - Winter Training Camp in Sicily - Climb Mount Etna and Taormina

  • Nov 23, 2013 · 12:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

We are a group of 12 happy cyclists flying to Sicily on the 23rd of November to enjoy five days of sunshine at the RPCC winter cycling training camp.

It will be an advanced level trip (16mph+) with plenty of elevation to keep you fit during winter and to start in great shape in the New Year.

Routes include:

1) epic climb of Mount Etna, which is 3330m (we will cycle up to a height of 2000m or 6350ft to Rifugio Sapienza)

2) a breathtaking hilly ride up to the Mediterranean pearl of Taormina, rich in history, ancient ruines and stunning views from the cliffs on the Greek theatre below

3) less steep recovery rides along the sea coast on flatter terrain. These will be two days in-between climbing days, where we focus on speed and cadence, rather than watts/ strength. Plenty of delicious food stops en route will be planned. Shop at the local village markets, enjoy your ice cream reward :-) sip an espresso while soaking in the sea views and store some winter sun before we fly back to London :-)

4) maybe even a quick dip to aid muscle recovery?


Return flights with Easyjet to Catania airport are a very attractive £150 at the moment, included carrying your sport equipment. 

£149 for a shared accommodation in a self catered villa with pool and spectacular sea views in Taormina for the 5 days, from the 23rd to the 28th of November. www.villacarmelas.com.

We all take our own bike on the plane, as much cheaper and flexible option than renting. Bring pedal removal key, allan keys and don't forget to deflate tyres.

Six of us are already confirmed. For new comers, you need to express your interest by adding your name to the RSVP list.

The organiser will contact you shortly with more details after you have RSVP. Do not buy flight before we have discussed mutual requirements.

Easyjet Gatwick (North Terminal) to Catania (Sicily)

Dep 23 November 2013 13:15

Arr 23 November 2013 17:15

Easyjet Catania (Sicily) to Gatwick (North Terminal)

Dep 28 November 2013 12:25

Arr 28 November 2013 14:45


"Il Mercato" with the unmissable Saint statue, for local flavours:

Last rider buys ice-cream to all! 

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  • RobM

    Awesome

    1 · December 2, 2013

  • Neil M.

    Great few days guys - although definitely feeling a little tired still!

    3 · November 29, 2013

  • Eric L.

    Well. That was kinda cool...
    Cheers to all the Etna gang, the epic rides and the laughs. You are all awesome.

    4 · November 28, 2013

    • Eric L.

      2 · November 29, 2013

    • nickycast

      That's just like us! Well a part from the speed, high cadence, attacks and lack of snow/ice/ash…. but otherwise, just like us going up Etna. Straight up gov'.

      1 · November 29, 2013

  • Meghan

    Fabulous trip thanks to each of you!! Great riding by everyone, can't wait for more (just maybe less ash?!)! Xx

    5 · November 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great 5 days. Great Company, great meals, great achievements for us all. All I can wonder is; when and where are we all off too next!!!! :))))))

    3 · November 29, 2013

  • nickycast

    Volcanic-tastic.

    3 · November 28, 2013

  • Esther

    It was a pleasure guys and gals. You're all my Etna KOM's, QOM's. X

    4 · November 28, 2013

  • Matt C.

    Thanks for a great week everyone!
    Great riding by all, everyone really pushed themselves to the limit, and we had a hoot as well, win win!
    Special mention to Daniela for organising, Laura for keeping us fed, Eric the mechanic, and Martin for the entertainment! :)
    See you soon Etna possy!

    3 · November 28, 2013

  • Daniela

    Miss you all very much! Thank you for putting up with me for 6 days :-) Heroes :-) I m super proud that we all did Etna and some of us twice! Matt learned some team leading skills and Adam made two close contacts with the locals. Fantastic cooking from Laura, delicious dinners! THANKS all.. look forward to the epic L'Etape in July with some of you.. now, why is my mum so not interested in Strava??? :-((

    4 · November 28, 2013

  • Farid

    Let me wish many miles with no pun***res to this great dozen of ladies and gentlemen! Have a great time!

    2 · November 22, 2013

    • Adam

      Ditto Farid.
      @Patricia -Hope you got gatorskins - I don't remember what punctures are anymore...

      1 · November 22, 2013

    • Daniela

      Gatorskin ok on commuter bike. Way to heavy to climb Etna (if you want to be back by sunset :-). So hope you got good lights with your Gatorskins..? :-) good night you all brave riders! Rest well!

      November 22, 2013

  • Neil M.

    Morning all!

    A word of advice for checking in. Went to checkin this AM and seems easy jet have kindly removed the bike option from my reservation. So basically is confirmed in my reservation at time of booking but now missing when checkin. Now looking forward to a fun call with them!
    So please check yours..

    I've missed all the Fbook chat re the trip but Daniela has kept me in the loop (I hope!)...am happy to bring salt/pepper sachets (we have a tonne of them at work!) plus tea. Any other communal items - am happy to pickup?

    Finally... I am driving to gatwick in the AM from clapham, so if anybody is my side of town and fancies a lift let me know. Although maybe I should check I can get more than 1 bike box in the boot before I make any more bold offers!!!

    November 22, 2013

    • Neil M.

      plan on meeting at the oversized luggage checkin?

      1 · November 22, 2013

    • nickycast

      Neil I live I'm just up the road from you and would love a lift to Gatwick. Plan B was struggling with a bike bag and rucksack on a bus and train! Will DM you...

      November 22, 2013

  • Daniela

    all bath towels are provided by the villa btw

    1 · November 22, 2013

  • Esther

    Who's bringing chain lube? Don't think we all need to. I can prob put some in the bike box if needed just lemme know...

    1 · November 18, 2013

    • Eric L.

      i'm bringing a netbook and a couple of EU adaptors.

      1 · November 21, 2013

    • Eric L.

      Weighed myself carrying my bag and i reckon it's bang on 23kg....hope you peeps with the heavier hard cases are ok....

      November 22, 2013

  • Michael

    I have re-examined one of the gpx files as it retraces the route on the return. This can sometimes confuse the garmin as it does not know if you are at the beginning or the end of the course as they are at the same point. The route is Taormina ETNA Alternative 82KM Hilly Short-MJP.gpx.

    To try to obviate any garmin glitches I have split this course/route into two parts. Part 1 is the outward part and part 2 is the return. I have named these files and courses 1Taormina ETNA Alternative 82KM Hilly Short-MJP.gpx & 2Taormina ETNA Alternative 82KM Hilly Short-MJP.gpx respectively. I will upload them presently.

    3 · November 21, 2013

    • Esther

      Thanks Michael

      November 21, 2013

    • RobM

      Hi Michael - thanks :-) BTW digging the animate Sicily Web page!!

      November 21, 2013

  • Esther

    How much money is everyone taking?/will we need???

    November 21, 2013

  • Daniela

    http://www.meetup.com/RichmondPark/files/ four routes for your (mandatory) Garmin and GPS devices. If you dont have a Garmin, you need to borrow one off a friend or buy one, as you cant risk of getting lost and phone signal non existent on some climbs. too risky. thanks

    November 18, 2013

    • Daniela

      Super Michael has cleaned up files for easier reading and reposted here, fellow riders, comrades! :) http://www.meetup.com...­

      November 20, 2013

    • Esther

      Legend :)

      1 · November 20, 2013

  • Michael

    Michaels garmin tip of the day. To quickly mark a location on your garmin 800 press and release the signal strength indicator. This will bring up a menu to enable you to mark the location. Do this before setting out from a new location then if you get lost you can use the "where to" menu to choose your saved location and the garmin will route you back to it. May be of use to those going to Sicily when starting off from an unfamiliar location.
    http://files.meetup.com/1782092/screen%20800.bmp

    1 · November 19, 2013

  • Esther

    Right cycle clothes advice... I'm thinking shorts, 3/4 for most rides apart from descending Etna? We might need windproof jacket, warm gloves, legwarmers? Do we need overshoes...
    Base layers?

    1 · November 15, 2013

    • Esther

      What kinda overshoes-rain? Also, will you be in shorts then??? And how warm a jacket? This is only cos I read about someone getting hypothermia descending...

      November 15, 2013

    • Eric L.

      I only have rain, pvc type overshoes. Rain/wind jacket and probably a base layer?

      November 15, 2013

  • Meghan

    Hey gang! So I've been out if town and out of the loop! I have a bike box to rent but not the faintest idea if how to pack it or what to pack... Whoops! Any good videos? Oh and having been off the bike for two and a half weeks, I'm now terrified of these climbs and will likely be walking my bike :)

    November 13, 2013

    • Patricia V

      I have tons of bubble wrap if anyone needs it.

      November 15, 2013

    • Eric L.

      Pipe lagging/insulation is also great for protecting tubes

      November 15, 2013

  • Eric L.

    Just been thinking, I'll be bringing certain tools e.g. pedal spanner, chain tool, allen keys etc - basically everything needed to put the bikes back together once we've arrived. So I'm not going to tell you guys not to bring stuff (although at least 2 sets of tools would be good), but it might be a bit of overkill if everyone does bring tools! What I don't have is a torque wrench though, so if you're worried about over-torqueing your carbon and you have one, please bring it.

    Also happy to help anyone who needs help with re-assembly, as at least wheels, pedals, handlebar/stem, seat post/saddle and rear derailleur (might be a pain to set up again without a stand) should be removed for packing. Also remember to deflate tyres as they could explode in the hold!

    Oh and welcome to Martin!

    3 · November 10, 2013

    • Esther

      Please bring track pump if you can! I would but I'm a girl and I need stuff with me :). Plus y 'know, broke my arms... (Hmmm will that still work? Yeah.,. :p)

      November 14, 2013

    • Eric L.

      I'll confirm when I pack...in case it doesn't fit!

      November 14, 2013

  • nickycast

    Can we have the exact address of where we are staying? I'd like to have a look at different routes on strava / mapmyride / garmin etc. Start whetting the appetite for our trip!

    1 · November 11, 2013

    • Daniela

      We are staying in this beautiful villa in Taormina: www.villacarmelas.com. Suggested routes are 1) Advanced level Taormina to Etna climb up to Rifugio Sapienza (route of Tour de France 2011) 2) easy level excursion to Alcantara springs (ondulated terrain) 3) easy flat coastal recovery ride along the seaside 4) Advanced level hilly inland ride crossing remote Sicilian villages (very picturesque ride, the REAL SICILY) ending on seaside town of Tindari on the North coast with beautiful views on Tirrenean sea (google Tindari and Taormina to have a look at what beauty awaits us..)

      November 11, 2013

    • Patricia V

      The website is a great example of why Google Translate sucks, but the villa looks lovely :-)

      2 · November 11, 2013

  • Charles L.

    You lucky bastards! I would be on this in a flash if I wasn't totally skint :( I walked up to 2900 metres from Rifugio Sapienza years ago (in summer). You can't walk up to the crater anymore unfortunately as there were some accidents involving hot gases, sulphurous explosions, etc (not linked to tourists' overconsumption of the delicious local food)

    November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So happy and excited to be part of this now :)

    2 · November 10, 2013

    • Esther

      You're just drunk. Reality will set in...

      November 11, 2013

    • Daniela

      a dramatic 2000m ascent in a lunar landscape: the video of Tour de France stage up the merciless vulcano: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cy­cling/[masked]

      November 11, 2013

  • Esther

    Right H&H after Sunday's ride for discussion on WHAT TO PACK!??? :)

    November 6, 2013

    • Daniela

      Tools to take off pedals when we put bike back in the bag. See you all at SIX PM at the Hare & Hound pub in Sheen. They have a garage so you can cycle to the pub.

      November 7, 2013

    • Patricia V

      I'm not going on the ride that day but will see you at the H&H at six :-)

      November 8, 2013

  • Adam

    1 · October 26, 2013

    • Daniela

      Adam, it s almost always active.. no worries, we get only up to Rifugio Sapienza and not to the eruption itself.. PS I lost your phone nr, can you send it to me. Planning any spinning classes before Sicily? x

      October 28, 2013

  • Daniela

    welcome on board Neil:-) have you bought flights yet?

    1 · October 20, 2013

    • Neil M.

      Yes - The joy of easy jet awaits!

      October 20, 2013

    • Daniela

      come on, at that price. Think of the other joys: cycling, sun, being outdoor, discovering new places, Sicilian ice cream.. (not to mention our company :-)

      October 21, 2013

  • Daniela

    and welcome Esther too!

    1 · October 16, 2013

    • Esther

      Woooooooooooooooo

      1 · October 16, 2013

    • Eric L.

      Woooooooo indeed!

      October 16, 2013

  • Daniela

    vitaj Adam. welcome. benvenuto!

    1 · October 15, 2013

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