Cycling Lugano and Como Lakes with Assos
Riding for a company based in one of the most beautiful parts of Switzerland is tough, particularly when they invite you over for a visit….So last weekend, feeling really hard done by, I hopped on a plane and headed over to Lugano for a full tour of the Assos headquarters in Ticino and a visit to the brand’s flagship store by the lake.
As well a chance to meet the entire team and find out more about the technical aspects of the clothing I’ve been wearing since the beginning of December, the trip was an opportunity to discuss our (top secret) plans for the year. And where better to have a meeting than on a bike, particularly when you’re based in one of the nicest places for riding in the world!
The first morning, I pulled on a whole heap of lycra and headed down to the MangaYio store to meet everyone I’d be riding with. And there, under a white tree stood waiting one of the best Christmas presents a girl could ever ask for: a brand new all-carbon Goomah G733 road bike with DT Swiss RRC46T. I was totally over the moon, and couldn’t wait to get out on the road for our ‘meeting!’
Lugano and Como lakes are breathtakingly gorgeous and until recently I was living on Lake Como, so it was really nice to be back and on such a sunny day. The bike felt great too – it’s insanely light, ultra stiff and had gears that actually work, which was nice for a change. It was also my first time riding tubs, and whilst it’s hard to know whether it was the tubs or the superb wheels that felt great, something certainly did.
We rode from Lugano to Como, enjoying views of the surrounding mountains before stopping for an Espresso and a quick snack. We continued to Menaggio then climbed up and away from Lake Como before heading back to Lugano. If you ever have the chance to do this ride, or any rides around either of these lakes, you really should jump at the chance. It’s such an attractive area that I found it hard to keep my eyes on the road rather than the view.
The schedule for the next day included a visit to the substantial headquarters over in Ticino, meetings at the store in Lugano and dinner, and as I didn’t spot any rides on the agenda I decided to get up super early to squeeze one in. It was still really dark when I got up and I didn’t have any lights but I figured I’d be able to zip through a short section of well-lit main roads by the lake before hitting the bottom of the climb to Monte Bre as the sky began to lighten. I had the road to Bre all to myself and had just about begun to wake up by the time I started climbing. And by some miracle I managed to time things pretty well – as I rose higher I began to see the glow of the sun behind the mountains. It was one of the best moments I’ve ever had on my road bike.
Somewhere near the top, I spotted Phil and Emmie who’d got wind of my early morning escape and had driven up to take a few pictures of me looking tired and cold but happy. After less than a minute at the summit, it was straight back down and off to chat about bike stuff all day, which was all the nicer because the day had begun in the best way ever.
Thanks for the pics Phil and Emmie, and thanks for the hospitality Assos. See you all soon!