If I’m completely honest, it’s not my bike, but it was… for just one beautiful week in my life…
I was on my second solo cycling holiday to Cesenatico on the Adriatic Coast where I stayed in one of the Italy Bike Hotels there. The hotel rents race bikes quite reasonably at 60 Euros a week so I decided to rent again instead of leaving my Trek Pilot at the mercy of BA Baggage Handlers. When I arrived the rental bike was too big for me (I’m only 5’1) so the owner of my hotel took me to see his friend Neri at the rental shop. He said unfortunately he had no smaller bikes available for rent, then after thinking for a moment suggested I could borrow his bike instead (v short Italian man!). Neri went to the back of the shop and returned wheeling this beast toward me!
I’d never seen anything like it but I could see it was all carbon fibre and was kitted out with Campag Record Pro Kit components (which when I returned home found on the Internet priced at $8,000!!!). I said “Are you sure?!?!?” and he nodded and lowered the saddle to fit me. It was like riding on a cloud! And it looks so mean with it’s aerodynamically shaped frame! I wanted to go everywhere on it! I’m no professional and had never cycled more than 65km or anything higher than 365m and that was just the year before, so I had two plans for this holiday, one was to cycle the Colle del Barbotto, one of the famous climbs of the Nove Colli race, 515m which maxes out at 18%, and the other was to cycle from Cesenatico to San Marino. Both I did on this lovely bike and I’m sure I never would have managed either on anything less! Barbotto and back was 88km and San Marino was 117km round trip with 651m of v steep ascent and it was (almost) effortless on the Ksano. It was surprisingly comfortable despite many hours in the saddle and some very potholed Italian ‘roads’ (I use loosely), some of which looked like a recently ploughed field due to wayward tree roots breaking the surface!
It’s a fantastic bike and an absolute dream to ride even on steep hills (and no triple mind you!) – if I could have stowed it my suitcase I would have happily taken it home with me, and was very sad to have one last glimpse of it in the garage before returning to grey old London. One day, I hope I’ll have one of my own, so if anyone out there has a 2005 Ksano in a small frame that noone else fits gathering dust in a warehouse, or if anyone needs a crazy little English girl with a passion for cycling long distances and hills in Europe to be a test rider (of petite mens or ladies frames) please let me know!!