When my friend let me know about the Wheels of Italy event held next to Lake Calhoun on Sunday, cycling did not come immediately to mind. My thoughts wandered to high-maintenance sports cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini and to motorcycles like Ducati. It was intriguing to think about the millions of dollars of engineering sitting in a parking lot, so I had to attend!
A Nice Ride station was located nearby as well as a small bicycle rack, which made transportation for me and my friends a no-brainer. After walking through the event, I was surprised to see a Grand Performance (GP) tent with additional bicycle parking. Bicycles… here? Well, I have heard of people drooling over Campagnolo components…. and swearing about Italian threaded bottom brackets. They had the latest and greatest eye-candy from Colnago, Pinarello and Wilier, as well as a few vintage Italian bicycles on display. I appreciated the labeling of the vintage bicycles so that I could better appreciate them. Two that I noted were:
* 1962 Cinelli – Model ‘B’; Altenburger and Campagnolo components
* 1948 Legnano – Model Cambio Corsa – Campagnolo components and Balilla brakes
o special early shift mechanism
o unique shade of green
I think this event could be better advertised to the cycling community because it would be terrific to see some of the vintage frames and bicycles lurking in the back of bike shops, basements and garages. I also wish GP would have put up some signs nearer the bike path because they probably would have gotten more bike traffic as many folks had locked up their bikes on street signs and poles. Thanks also to Bob’s Java Hut for having a booth and serving up fine beverages. I was introduced to this Uptown institution while wandering around during Lyndale Open Streets.