Thursday, July 16, 2015

A day exploring and climbing around Ortesei and Castelrotto.

Another great day of riding here today, although I changed plans after looking at the weather forecast this morning.  No epic ride, but lots of fun doing some exploring on some roads I always wanted to try.  I started by climbing to Bulla, which is only about 2 kilometers of climbing off the road to Passo Pinei.  Beautiful, fun road, but short enough that I definitely wanted more.  I rode over Passo Pinei to Castelrotto, then took a road I have thought about many times to Alpi di Suisi, and turned around at the top, just above Saltrina.  It is around 1000 meters of climbing above Castelrotto, and I did not want to descend to Saltrina just to climb back, as the road definitely ends there.  I was there on Sunday on a mountain bike, and it was nice to link these roads together in my mind.  Lots of ski lifts at the top and a gondola from a town just below Castelrotto.  I totally enjoyed the ride, and am thinking that perhaps I don't need an epic ride tomorrow to be happy.  Today, 50.8 kilometers in 3:18 with 1961 meters of climbing.  It is simply steep here with almost no flat or grades even approaching flat here.  Super beautiful and challenging riding, though.  I am loving being here.  

What a beautiful church and view at this little church in Bulla.

The hillside just past Bulla.

Looking down at the Val Gardena and Ortesei from just above Bulla.

What a beautiful view toward the start of the climb from Castelrotto
to Alpi di Suisi.  How could I not keep climbing all the way to the
top?  1000 meters of climbing later, I was wondering, but I enjoyed the climb.

A little sculpture of a nordic skier at the top of todays climb,
which is also at the top of a ski lift.  

The little restaurant in St. Michael where I had excellent cafe
machiato and chocolate cake yesterday.  I was set for water today,
so I did not stop, except for this picture.

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