Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Last day riding the Dolomiti this year - three passes and return of the bike.

I returned the rental bike today after a last ride here this year.  What a fun, but tiring, place to ride a bike.  I had a couple of options and choose the longer one.  I ended up doing around 2/3 of what is called the "Sella Ronda".  I started by climbing Passo della Sella, the same as yesterday, with nice cool weather and pretty blue skies.  As I approached the pass, the clouds came in, but never really threatened rain all day.  After Passo Sella, I really enjoyed the descent to the start of the Passo Pordoi climb.  I descended this yesterday, and with that experience, I let it go a little more.  I turned off around 1/2 the way down to climb to Passo Pordoi.  I had descended this a couple of times before, and on my first day here, did the descent toward the end of my day.  It seemed steep descending, and I was a little anxious about the climb.  After the last three days, my legs were a little tired.

It ended up much easier than I expected, and probably the most enjoyable climb of the day.  One of the interesting parts of this route, is there is really no flat between where you turn off from the Sella descent to start the climb.  Nothing, not 50 meters, nothing.  Anyway, it was a very fun climb, then the Pordoi descent awaited.  This is one of the reasons I wanted to do this route.  I have climbed this classic a couple of times, but never descended it.  Well, see the picture below, it was a blast.  Sweeeet is all I can say.  Loved it.  At the base in Arrabba, I filled my water at the fountain, and even though there was maybe 100 meters of flat, the climb to Passo Campolunga came quickly.  I had not done this since last year, and recalled it was not too long.  It was pretty steep to start, the first 300 meters of climbing were a challenge, but only around 100 meters of vertical was left after the start, so I was at the top quickly.

Another reason I wanted to do this route was the descent from Campolunga.  I remembered the climb from last year as really beautiful with lots of switchbacks, and the switchbacks end right by the rental shop.  It was every bit as fun as I hoped, and I got back to the shop just as they were getting ready to close for lunch.  A couple of busses to get back, but it worked pretty well.  Super fun time riding here, and a day for hiking tomorrow.  Ciao.

Passo Sella, Pordoi, and Campolunga - last day riding the Dolomiti by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Almost at Passo della Sella, the hardest climb of the day at 
around 1000 meters of climbing in less than 15 k from the hotel.

Scenic photo, Passo Pordoi just ahead.

Beautiful scenery approaching Passo Pordoi.

One of the formations from the top of Passo Pordoi.

My favorite picture of the day, showing the descent from Passo Pordoi.  What a fun road,
and it just gets my adrenaline going to see the winding road below awaiting.

My last pass of the day, Campolongo.  The only pass sign today, as 
all the others have been on in the last few days.

No comments:

Post a Comment