We arrived last night at dusk, pieced our bikes together from their boxes and hard cases, and devoured primi, secondi and dessert plates—pasta with oil and garlic, roasted pork and pannacotta—before passing out jet-lagged with exhaustion, hoping to get maximum sleep before our 6 a.m. departure.
Today we rode the seventh stage of the 2010 Giro Donne, Como to Albese.
On the bikes, we wove through early morning traffic in Como, closely following our Renault rental car with the videographer jammed into the back, hatchback hanging open. The four other riders, Jane McInnes, Eryn Nolan, Sarah Cary and Collyn Ahart, live in the U.K. They ride and train and race together. I am the new kid in town, not a racer, and today I rode in a pack with the other girls for 120km, learning how to train and ride with a group, and riding handlebar to handlebar with women I had just met.