Monday, July 21, 2014

Riding in the rain in Val Gardena

The predicted weather arrived today, and it was pretty rainy.  There were many times that it stopped and even looked to be clearing, and I decided to suit up and get going during one of these times.  By the time I was getting the bike out of the storage at the hotel and going out the doors, the rain had returned.  Not too hard, but hard enough to wait until it let up.  About 10 minutes later, I got started riding.  I have a pretty good map of the area, and was looking for a road to the other side of Passo Sella from Santa Christina through Monte Panna.  I found the Monte Panna road easily, and actually enjoyed the 12 to 20% climb to the ski lifts at the top.  Nice road, good pavement, and I enjoy the views on a cloudy, rainy day.  At the top, I checked out two possibilities of the road continuing, then took a third one that went another 1/2 kilometer before splitting into three that all either dead ended or one ended up a dirt road.

There is a beautiful hotel up there (it is around 400 vertical meters above the town), and I stopped for a cafe and some information.  After a little discussion, they told me the road did continue, but it became dirt at this point and was quite rough, perhaps suitable for a mountain bike, but not for a road bike, and probably not for any bike on a day like today.  I returned down the way I climbed, quite carefully, as roads do get slippery when wet, then went up a couple of spur roads in Santa Christina, then found a back road to the next town, Selva or Wolkenstein.  I wandered around Wolkenstein a little until I realized that the rain had really started to come down hard.  I finished another climb and descended to the main road to get home.  Although it had rained for most of the ride, it had not rained hard too much, and I was not on a main road when it did.  Anyway, on the way down, on the main road, with it pouring, it was the most difficult riding of the day.  Just to keep visibility and stay safe was a challenge.

All in all, a good ride, with a safe return.  As I returned to the hotel, the staff, which includes the owners, welcomed me back and even helped with hanging some of my wet clothes in a drying room.  I am getting a reputation at the hotel as a bit of a crazy eccentric cyclists.  Well, maybe that is true for both today and yesterday.  Hopefully better weather tomorrow will allow for a longer, dryer ride.

Wandering in the Val Gardena on a rainy day by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Searching for the road to continue, I rode up to this entry to a house
with this sculpture of a man collecting water that pours into a bucket,
then when the bucket fills he dumps it.  A working wood sculpture.

Rainy and slick, still a beautiful road at the top of the 
climb to Monte Panna.

After a cafe and some information about the road I was on, but then
wanted to continue on at a 4 star hotel, I returned to the bike and
noticed this cool sculpture of hands next to a ski lift on Monte Panna.

Above Wolkenstein, the road ended at this series of waterfalls.
The rain also really started to come down now.

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