Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dolomiti, day 2 - Passo Gardena, Passo Erba, Passo di Ores.

I did a more ambitious tour today, basically going around a large formation called Sassolungo.  To get around it, you end up riding around 120 k with I am guessing 12000 vertical climbed.  I know my garmin underestimates vertical, as when I did Firenze / Modena, it recorded 2680 meters climbed, and as it was a repeated Giro stage, it is know to be 3200 meters of climbing.  Also, a couple of friends do the same ride as I and come up with more vertical.  Whatever, it was a ton of climbing.  I am going to stick with my method from yesterday, and give a few observations of the day.

The brakes on the carbon wheels squeak, sometimes pretty loud.  I took the bike by the shop I rented it from to see if all was ok, and they referred me to one of their other shops, where the guy just said, "carbone - lots of noise is normal".  He assured me the pads did not need replacing, but I am keeping my eye on them.  Fun ride up to Passo Gardena, and the last 2 or 3 k, I had someone join me, who just stayed on my wheel, and peeled off at the top before any conversation.  I enjoyed the descent to Corvarra more than yesterday, as I am more used to the brakes now.  I did get behind a number of cars for around 1/2 the descent who were much slower than I wanted to go.

The ride down the valley to San Martino was nice, there is some terrain here that is mostly flat / downhill.  I found more after hooking up with the main road around Chiusa.  The climb up to Passo Erba was quite hard, and I had the elevation information of the start and finish, and knew I had around 1100 meters to climb.  It ended up being even more, as there was a descent of a couple of hundred meters in the middle of the climb.  The descent from Passo Erba was incredible.  Around 1/4 or less of the way down, there is a short climb of maybe 150 meters that takes you to another pass, Passo di Ores.  The overall descent just went on and on, with a super fun, little road.  For around 4 kilometers, it is on the side of this super green hill with views across the valley to the big formation, Sassolungo, which what I toured around.  I truly had to stop from giggling and fatigue in my hands.  Wow.

I knew I had to climb back to Ortisei, but looking at the map, I knew it followed a river and the portions I had been on were not steep.  I was hoping for 200 meters of climbing.  Well, it ended up being 700 meters of climbing, around 2400 vertical, with a portion of around 4 kilometers at what a sign said was 15%.  Needless to say, this really hit my energy.  I was able to stop and find some water at a hotel on the road, and that helped me recoup my energy.

That's all folks.  Overall, a truly wonderful tour, with I think the best descent of my life.  Wow.  Ride summary is:  71.5 miles in 6:06 rolling time for an average speed of 11.8 mph with 12000 vertical feet climbed (I am sticking with this estimate.  I tried enabling the correction feature on garmin and it came up with 26000 feet of climbing, which I am sure is not close to correct.) at an average temperature of 86.  Wonderful, tiring day.  Ciao.

Passo Gardena, Passo Erba, Chiusa, Ortisei. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

One of the views from Corvara, my first real stop after
descending from Passo Gardena.

The view one direction from Passo Erba, over
1100 meters of climbing from the turn off 
at San Martino.

I am riding down and along this beautiful little road,
when I look up and see this view.  It goes over 180 degrees,
but this is the best picture I got.

On the descent from Passo Erba and Passo di Ores, 
I had to stop from giggling.  Too fun, and my hands were 
losing strength.  Amazing descent and amazing views.

Looking back up the road, you can see why I was giggling.

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