Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sella, Fedaia, Arraba, Campolunga, Corvara, and a taxi home with a broken wheel.

Another great day of riding here in the Dolomiti, but with some interesting twists.  I have been putting my sunglasses on my back, hooked into the collar of my jersey for around a year now, and today was probably my last time, as when I arrived at the top of Passo Sella, I reached for my Oakleys, and they were nowhere to be found.  Oh well, it is just stuff, but something I really liked.  I will start a replacement search tomorrow.  The other interesting part of the day was I am not happy with the carbon / aluminum rim Reynolds wheels that the rental bike has.  The front brake simply screams, and I tried this morning doing what the online suggestions were to repair.  On the way down from Passo Fedaia, which is quite steep, they were screaming, but I needed to use the front brake to be safe.  around 1/3 to 1/2 the way down, I think the wheel got so hot, that it had a small rupture.  This meant me using the front brakes as little as possible, then at the bottom, I checked the wheel for the 4th time, and it seemed fine for climbing.  I changed my planned route, and climbed to Arraba, on a different road which was super fun and cool, then climbed Passo Campolunga.  I figured I could see how it would work using only the back brake descending from Campolunga to Corvara.  It worked, but I pulled into the shop I rented my bike at last year for advice.  They said I could probably make it, but descending from Passo Gardena would need to be very slow with lots of stops.

The suggestion was for a cab, kind of pricey at 80 euros, but got me back safely.  I stopped at the shop where I rented the bike, and the person there sent me to the mechanic, another 150 meters of climbing away.  It was fine, but the mechanic was sure I had hit something, as the wheel, quite expensive, was relatively new.  I swore I did not hit anything, he asked me if I thought he was stupid, and then we both said the same things a number of times.  Finally, I asked what they wanted to do, as I know I did not hit anything or fall, I showed him they were no cuts or scrapes on me, and he replaced the wheel with a regular wheel, which will work better.  He did not replace it happily, but it is fine now.  I stopped at the shop on the way home and discussed this with the person I rented from and he was fine with it.  He agreed with me that the wheels are probably not appropriate for rental bikes.  Still, a very long day in the saddle, with 85.6 kilometers in 5:21 with 3410 meters of climbing.  Looking at those numbers, I am kind of glad I could not add in Passo Gardena, which adds another 600 meters.  Yikes!

Prettier views at Passo Sella today than yesterday.

Pretty scenic from the top of the Sella.

Descending to that little town is what awaits starting down
from Sella, with new, cheap, sunglasses.

The view starting the climb to Passo Fedaia.

Beautiful lake at Fedaia.

I think I should keep the sunglasses on for the selfies, as 
I am always squinting to see the shot. 

Just a little way down from the top of Fedaia.

This beautiful church and town is after you catch back up to the 
main road to Arraba.  Also after a pretty difficult climb from the 
valley floor.

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