Monday, July 22, 2013

Dolomiti, day 3, shorter recovery? ride.

After discussing my ride yesterday with one of the staff here at the hotel, Stephanie, I realized there were 3 or 4 options from Ponte Gardena to Ortisei.  Chris, a friend from the team in Florence had recommended riding to Castelrotto from Ponte Gardena.  With both those comments in mind, and the desire for a shorter ride with less vertical, I came up with a plan for today.  I also made sure there was a descent into Ortisei at the end, although I needed to return the bike to the shop in the next town, which is a relatively gentle 250 meters of vertical or so.  When I got to the shop around 12:50, it was closed for lunch from 12:30 to 3, so I returned to the hotel, had a beer and lunch in town, then rode back up to Santa Christina.  So, to be accurate, you would need to add another 250 meters or around 850 vertical of climbing to the totals.

I enjoyed starting on a descent, as the legs needed some warming up.  A nice climb to St Peter next, with a steep start, but it mellows a little and is only 180 meters of vertical.  After St Peter, an incredible road kind of contouring / descending through a couple of small towns to Laion.  After Laion, a pretty serious descent to the valley floor.  Again, beautiful roads and scenery everywhere.  My research worked well, and I found all the connecting roads with no mistakes, starting what would be the most difficult part of the day.  The map warns of a stretch of 17% climbing to Castelrotto, and it was there.  I did put the garmin on the screen that shows % climbing, and with the exception of the 17% piece, it really stayed between 10 to 12% for around 800 meters of climbing.  Glad I picked  something like this for my "recovery".  Castelrotto is a beautiful town, and at this point you are close to where some of the Dolomiti formations rise.

A little descent from Castelrotto, then a climb through a postcard town called St Michael, to the passo Pinone.  An excellent final descent to Ortisei, then the climb to Santa Christina, which per above was repeated later.  I turned off the garmin and did not use it for the second climb, so add some for the final total.  Tomorrow I will be hiking, but I totally loved the riding here.  You have to want to climb and enjoy it, but I fit that description.  I can't say enough about how cool the riding was.  Hopefully I will do the Maratona de Dolomiti next June.  Ride summary:  31.8 miles in 2:52 for an average speed of 11.1 mph with 4780 vertical feet (34 miles and 5500 with the second trip to Santa Christina) at an average temperature of 82.

Day 3 in Dolomiti - Recovery ride? by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A rainbow from the deck at our room last night.

Pretty roads.

A view to the dolomiti from the St. Peter area.

Approaching Laion, starting the descent to 
the valley floor.

The dolomiti were in some haze with relatively high
humidity today.  Still, I give this a Wow!

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