I know what you’re saying. Didn’t you guys launch the Vincent last year in Japan? Well as a matter of fact we did. But then it took us a year to get the web page up (don’t ask) and we had so much fun before, we thought we should just do it again.
We have a Stoemper rider and kindred spirit living in Lisbon and had been trying to get over there for a while, so we asked Luis if he was free in May and it all kind of came together. So, Dave from the UK and I arrived in Lisbon and, like any Stoemper event, the first thing we did was to finish assembling the bikes.
Two brand-new Vincents, one red and one majestic purple, were all built up with SRAM eTap, Zipp bar/stem/post, sexy Selle Italia Turbo saddles, and Hunt 50mm wheels. If we could get all the wireless stuff to work all right we’d be in good shape for the weekend.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and sits on a series of hills above the Tagus estuary, where the river meets the sea. For a road cyclist, there are only a handful of routes in and around the city. But once you’re out, the riding is sublime. Our first day “warm up” turned out to be a 75km jaunt down to Cascais and back, sprinting for just about every town sign or little hill we could find. Bikes felt fast. Legs felt good.
We won’t bore you with a minutiae of details from every ride. But day 2 took us up to Mafra, home of a huge old monastery and some great cake shops, down to Sintra and on one of the nicest cycling roads I’ve ever done, skirting around the shoulder of the Sintra mountain, and then back along the Tagus to the city. 130km of fun, great scenery, great group of guys, and some quality cake stops. The ride:
Day 3 was something special, driving from Lisbon across the river and to the Arrabida national park. Stunning scenery with a steep mountain ridge overlooking crystal blue waters. Asphalt so clean and smooth you could eat off it. Incredible descending. And a stop in Setubal for some fried squid – “choco frito”. And cake, of course.
All good things must come to an end. We finished up our Lisbon trip with another jaunt out to Cascais, adding a big ol’ climb in the middle which rose up into some drizzle and into the clouds before dropping back down into the massive tailwind back to Lisbon.
Too short, but sweet. The cake shops. The roads. Thanks to Luis for sorting amazing routes, thanks to Manuel Lino for the stellar photography.