European Dream Show: The Goods, Part I
August 13, 2009 by alexnberra
Passo Pordoi, my friend Dan is in the light colored kit in the middle. This shot was taken during the Sella Ronde bike day, one of the most epic loops in the Dolomites was completely closed to motor traffic all day, so we did the loop twice, enjoying the four-climb loop and plenty of weaving through it all. The climb from this side is ten kilometers, thirty-four switchbacks, and plenty of vertical meters.
The cycling in the Dolomites is amazing to say the least. If you like to go uphill this is paradise. The ride profiles mimic the blade of a mighty lumberjack’s saw and also mirror your heart rate.
The roads are well paved, well marked, and well liked by visitors around the world. Which also means you have to learn to share, though as most people who have been to Europe, drivers are much better around cyclists than in the states.
Passo Stalle, and I had the last five kilometers of this climb all to myself as the road narrows to one smooth lane of asphalt, a sign at the base of each side and the top of the climb drivers cars of when travel in their desired direction is allowed, the first 45 minutes of the hour is only for uphill travel, the last fifteen only downhill is some of the smoothest, the climb tops out on the Austria/Italy border.
You can't move a mountain, and with scenery like this why would you want to? Tunnels like this add an element of playground fun.
Passo Erbe sits as sort of guardian to the west, you wouldn't guess that on the other side of this pass is one of Earth's most jagged and craggy mountain of the mighty, jagged peaks.
Shaded switchback view descending off the Passo Erbe.
On the lower slopes of Passo Furcia looking back towards the valley I just rode up into where Passo Stalle sits. Passo Furcia still holds a few miles of sustained climbing to the top.
Dramatic backdrops make my jaw drop after climbed my top off. Dan shown here with a big hunk of Dolomite looking over his shoulder.
Church steeples and mountain spires point up, the same direction as the roads. Though this picture does show a one kilometer stretch that is almost flat, almost, and it's only one kilometer.
Switchback #19 on Passo Giau. The Giau is a slightly hidden beast in the Dolomites. The approach an entrance to the climb is not as grandiose as other climbs and it climbs and winds up a steep narrow canyon. From kilometer one to kilometer ten this climb does not give you much chance to do anything but breath and pedal.
Passo Sella. No camera trickery here, it really is this steep and Dan really is this bad-ass looking.
Igor "Too fast for you" Tavella in the foreground, alps of Austria and the amazing river valley in the background. And yes, Igor really is probabl too fast for you.