Passo dello Stelvio

Today is the day. Passo Stelvio. 3rd highest pass in Europe, the highest in Italy. 2750m, 48 switchbacks on the northern face, 25km (15.5 miles) of grind.



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I need to start early herunterladen. Packed, fed, and on the bike at 8:15 in the morning. The sun has barely cleared the mountain ridges. Fog still blankets the trees halfway up the sheer slopes. Clinging to what little time it has left.

Wool Classic jersey and Stowaway zipped to my chin. South out of Prato, another false flat. No time to warm up, the struggle begins musik herunterladen gute qualität. The valley narrows, hiding the sun behind closing peaks. The slope builds but I have not even reached the base.

Expecting to be greeted by the fabled switchbacks around every turn, the trees hide too much, they remain unseen.

I think it has begun. The trees are still tight against the road, but I have started zig zagging rather than holding a true course. Motorcycles pass, gunning their engines on the short straightaways, laying on the brakes into the hairpins youtube video offlineen.

Finally, an hour and a half in, the trees clear. I pass from the forest to nearly bare rock. Clumps of scattered grasses. What is exposed brakes my heart. Maybe it was better to ascend in ignorance. Now I can see what road has in store for me. I hope I am further along than my vantage point seems to imply digital river rechnung herunterladen.

With refilled water bottles, I continue. Back and forth, back and forth. Some sections steep, others steeper. The idea of recovery is unknown. At times my cadence drops to 40rpm. Even during good moments my 22lb backpack and 39-26 climbing gear keeps me from being able to find any semblance of a tempo. This is more of a hike up the pass than a ride herunterladen.

I pass two fellow cyclists, the only other two on the hill. I fly by at twice their speed, an “amazing” 5-6mph. They are spinning, taking their time, loading their cardio unloading their legs. I am forced to hammer. Any slower and it is just too much torque.

The road is marked. 5km, 4km, 3km. I ignore it. I ride. A small sense of relief each time I enter a turn herunterladen. It means I am making progress. The long straight slope out of the final turn arrives. I pull off into the overlook to view the beast I just finished. A rider at the top askes how long I took. My Garmin says 2:30hrs. 3:30 for him from Trafoi, 7.5miles closer to the summit. He says I was fast, I say I was forced. I could go no slower. Right hand reaching out, under its own power, clicking my shifter, in search of an easier gear, one that does not exist wie kann man fotos von icloud herunterladen. Why did I leave the 11-28 cassette in Rome?

2:30hrs up, 0:30hrs down into Bormio. I am freezing. I am completely soaked from the effort, jacket and hat doing what they can to take the sting from the blistering wind. Two coffees and lunch in the mid day sun just barely removes the goosebumps.

15 miles fore for Tirano, near disaster strikes. A 500m tunnel. Well lit, or so I thought herunterladen. 2/3 of the way through a bank of lights is out on the other side of a turn. The sound of a gunshot ricochets off of the walls. Shh shhh shhhh. A moment of confusion. A double flat. A blow out on the rear, a puncture on the front. I march back into the dark passage in search of the culprit. A section of concrete mortar between two of the roof sections had fallen into the center of the lane youtube musiken iphone. I clear the obstruction and slowly walk my bike.

Once outside I inspect the damage. The front is flat, the tire looks ok, and the rim is still true. The rear is in worse shape. A huge sidewall cut and the rim is detrued but it looks rideable once I fix the tire. A large patch for the two pinch cuts on the front, a new tube and a tire boot on the back wordpress plugins herunterladen. An elderly man on crutches chats with me in Italian and hand gestures as he watches me work. He had been in the little park spying on the heavy construction, deep down in the valley, with binoculars.

The cut is from just above the bead up onto the tread. I use an entire boot. Once mounted and pressurized, it is bulging out through the wound, but looks as though it will hold. The old man inspects my work and seems satisfied with the results.

100psi, the very low end of the tire range. I baby it all the way into Tirno. Dodging every imperfection in the road. The boot does its job and holds. A bike shop 200m from my room at the Alberto Gusmeroli, a Schwable Blizzard to replace my ruined Continental Ulta Gatorskin. The day is a success.


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