European Dream Show: The Goods, Part II
August 27, 2009 by alexnberra
Dan climbing the Gardena from the Sella side. It is so pretty, the roads are so smooth and curvy, the climbs are long and steep in some section... these are all the reasons why we cyclists really shave our legs.
An earlier post in the European Dream Show titled, ‘The Goods: Part I’, now has a bigger, better, longer sequel. If you didn’t catch Part I scroll down the page until you do find it, you may have to click on the words “Older Posts” when you hit the bottom of the page. Enjoy the pictures and captions along the way, get inspired and then contact me an I’ll help you get fixed up with a place to stay at the Tavella’s next summer…
Worth repeating. Passo Gardena about four kilometers from the top. The village I stayed in was down the valley and to the left, about eighteen kilometers climb to the top of the Gardena.
At the end of a ride, after climbing four or five Dolomite passes and exploring deep into pain caves, the last climb of the day involves some visits to mental confessional, I think this was the one, look closely in the left chamber you'll notice a picture of old J.C. that was taken just after climbed the Fedaia all the way from Agordo, man was he cracked after that effort...
Climbing from way down low, approacing the Sella group after descending Passo San Pellegrino. Ten minutes before this shot was taken I stopped for an espresso in a small cafe and had the longest, most understandable conversation in Italian/sign language that I managed the whole trip, five minutes.
Passo Valparola, looking down the valley. Pedraces where I was staying at Ustaria Posta is way down in the valley you can see here.
Passo Tres Croces climbs from the city of Cortina, visible here in the valley, and winds up through the forest, near a lake, by a ski resort, and passes over the top at the saddle on the right third of the ridge line. Tres Cimes awaits after you loop behind the massive cliffs in the middle.
The view from the top of Tres Cimes. Here is an interesting comparison that will give you an idea of just how steep this climb really is; scroll up to the picture of the Passo Gardena, the second shot of this post, notice how you can see the switchbacks winding up the road, now look at this picture and notice how you can't see any of the road below except for a small chunk of switchback,
Coming back from climbing Passo Stalle, heading back across the valley to Passo Furcia and the Dolomites.
Climbing Passo Sella on the Sella Ronde BikeDay, you see it all when there are more than 6,000 cyclists enjoying one of the Dolomites most famous loops on a day when it open to bike traffic only. When I passed by this trio I asked, "Which one of you is the husband?" Turns out neither of them were.
Passo Campolongo climbs from the city of Corvara, switchbacks start right out of town through green hillsides and then through meadows and along cliff outcrops to the pass just visible in the right third of the horizon line. And the way I got the tint on this shot is a very special secret, one hint is it's not from photoshop type program.
Another picture of the Passo Giau doing what it does best, going up.
One great thing about riding in the alps of most European countries... at the top of every pass is a nice "hut", like the one pictured here at the top of the Giau. You can get anything from espresso to Coke to mixed drinks to strudel to a full on meal, and if you don't top that's fine too because there will be a small mountain village waiting for you after the descent into the valley, and another hut at the top of the next climb. In the Italian Dolomites you are never more than fifteen kilometers away from the next espresso...
The road, scenery, curves, all spell simplicity. Climbing Passo Pordoi from Canazei adds another amazing seven kilometers to an already brilliant climb. If you climb the Fedaia you'll pass right along that big glistening granite tooth on the horizon.
At the top of Passo San Pellegrino, A long and deceivingly hard climb about two thirds of the way up. When climbed from the Agordo side is a beast laying in wait to devour you, first slowly, then some large gnashing steep sections like dragon's fangs, then it swallows you up, "Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear and sometimes the bear eats you."
North Central Swiss countryside and a tall man named Eric. This is the road he takes to get home.