Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Another day riding in the difficult cycling paradise of the Dolomiti.

I now have everything ironed out with the bike, which meant that I found the one shop in the Ortesei area that had brake pads for Shimano Ultegra brakes.  It is so much more fun and comfortable when you can rely on the brakes.  It is very vertical here, and feeling good about the brakes is a must.  Not sure if I will ever rent from this shop again, but it is nice having the bike set in a way I can trust.  My intention was a "recovery ride" after a couple of hard days in the saddle.  Well the ride was certainly shorter, and only had one real pass, but somehow I managed to climb 2066 meters in 45 kilometers, which includes the downhill distance.  So, I guess it was steep and difficult, and if the numbers are correct, the climbing averaged around 10%.  Yikes!  I was out of water when passing through the little village of San Michele, and stopped at the one restaurant / cafe there.  Great choice.  Excellent cafe machiato, free samples of a wonderful chocolate cake, and great water from the tap.  Topped off by the people serving at the bar being super friendly and even understanding my fractured Italian.  

Perhaps a long day tomorrow, but presently I am still a little tired from the last 4 days of effort.  Great to be here and riding in this wonderful, but super challenging place.  Ciao.

What a beautiful church in the tiny town on Saint Peter, with the ride just
starting.  There is around a 2 kilometer climb at around 10% to get here.

Beautiful roads and beautiful cycling here, with my first close
glimpse of the valley floor.  Around 1500 meters of climbing
back to Ortesei.

A cool castle on the hillside on the descent to the valley floor 
from Lajen.

The curvy road descending to the valley floor from Lajen.
Even a castle on the hill.

My only pass of the day, Passo Pinei.

A beautiful "wellness" resort at Passo Pinei - 4 stars.

There is this super cool shelter at Passo Pinei, which I enjoyed
while having a snack on a swing in the shade.

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