“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sella Ronda

Final day at Cortina and we were lucky enough to have good weather...or rather we started and finished in good weather but got rained on round the back...close to hail actually and  since we were descending at the time, we got rather cold.

Corvara looks to be an interesting place..ie loads of sports clothes shops and I stopped atone and bought a maglia...that's 3 cycling tops, 2 polo shirts,1 warm jacket, 1pr gloves, 1pr socks...all on sale added to my wardrobe! 

Simoni statue at the top of Passo Pordoi

Passo Sella and the weather was still ok
Entering the Gardena area and that cloud was about to drop it's load on us

and finally Passo Campolongo
this last climb, despite appearing on paper to be the easiest had some nasty pinches coming out of Corvara.

And finally...this sign was onthe window of our closest shop/bar.  Sadly no camera with me when I saw it and when I went back to take a pix but it had gone, so this is a mock up....

Friday, 25 July 2014

Passo Giau

This climb was a bit of a toughie for me although I managed it at my slow pace.

the ride is quite short but makes up for it by it's steepness

For the Orienteers amongst my friends....the gondola, north side or perhaps the monument,¬50m above

Rest day today and hopefully the Sellaronda tomorrow

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Cortina d'Ampezzo

So we picked Alex up at the international airport outside Venice in steamingly hot weather, the drove up to the Dolomites..to Cortina d'ampezzo.

Our apartment here is just brilliant..loads of room. a laundry and a bike shed.  There are 2 bathrooms and the water is HOT!  not only that but there is free wifi, satellite TV, a microwave and rarest of all kitchen beasts here in Italy...an electric kettle.

The only downside and it's not that bad really is that each ride starts off with a 2 km uphill slog...we wld have been really annoyed but after the Pedavena hill we had to haul ourselves up at the end of each day, this pimple is a very++ slight annoyance.

The forecast for   the week was, to say the least, extremely disappointing but actually like all forecasts has been less than accurate so far.

The area is very close to Austria and at 1 time probably WAS Austria, so the differences are very obvious..place names in 2 languages, decent Austrian bread rather than the stuff I dont like and which is in the shops just an hour's drive further south.  Then there's the architecture and the more Austrian style designs in the clothing. etc etc.  Also I'm now mistaken for an Austrian or perhaps a German  or perhaps a Swiss lady rather than well we know yr not Italian..maybe ur an American or a Pom.

So our rides here are just so full of photo opps its hard not to stop every km or so.  Our first ride was up the Passo Falzarego and the Valparola.  I was slow and Alex kepton coming back down to round me up like a sheep.I.started to call him Lassie!!

there's a bit more to the ride, but my cyclo computer was giving me a bit of grief, so I missed the last bit.

The next day the weather was baaaaad and we thought we'd have to have a day off...later onit clearedup and we went out but I turned round early as my legs were suffering from 3 really hard rides and 1 day off driving.

Today we rode the Passo Tre Croci in good weather despite the forecast.  It's a really nice gentle ride and my legs were good again.  Tomorrow we hope to do something alot harder, the Passo Giau

We stopped off at a souvenir shop near the Lago Misurina and were more than somewhat surprised to see what was almost  a shrine to Mussolini..with pictures and even  Mussolini themed calendars for sale.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Last day in Feltre for a while

Today's ride was up the Nevegal...a climb that was a TT duringthe 2011 Giro...much respect for anyone who can TT up that sort of climb.  Personally I was so  slow falling off was a possibility!!!

Tomorrow we move to Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Dolomiti ...after picking Alex up from Venice airport.

I'm hoping we have wifi that works in our apartment there!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Monte Grappa climb

The map...looks nothing really but it was a climb of over 2000m to get there and was 27km of climbing once one got to the start .

 this was the start of the final 2km

tired now...day off tomorrow then 1 final ride here before picking Alex up from Venice airport and driving up to  Cortina d'Ampezzo

Finally some good weather...36 degrees

scenes from today's ride in the sun....over a road this year's Giro traversed.

and this was the route...1800m climbs and over 100km...tired now.

Aiming for Monte Grappa tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Rest day

Today it's raining on and off and I'm really tired so ...no riding today. The day started with a trip into town to get some internet time then back home and a very early nanna nap...just can't stay awake!

Yesterday's ride was around the location of WW1 fighting.  The lower pix is of a boat that wasused ,with others to create a pontoon to allow soldiers and machinery to cross the River Piave when retreating from the disastrous Caporetto battle.

And for something completely different....this is my first meal in Italy...trout cooked over an open fire in the restaurant of Albergo da Gildo, La Bella near Follina.

and finally:

Sunday, 13 July 2014

recent rides

here are the 3 most recent rides...each harder and longer  than the one before. 

Valle del mis

the weather wasn't good enough to complete the circuit, which is a very long ride and into the mountains

Croce d,Aune

this time I  managed to take the correct road at the Croce D'Aune itself,the descent into Aune made me glad we didn't go the other way round!

Passo San Boldo

I had read that going down the tunnels and 18 hairpn bends was the way to go but actually I think next time I'll do it the other way round

Saturday, 12 July 2014

We're off and riding!

Finally there is an internet connection at our apartment..although for how long?    Clearly there is an atmospherics issue as today for the first time for a few days, there is a clear sky. 

 Our apartment ...almost the highest house on the Monte Avena.

Dont think I've EVER seen one of these before

This cutesie little car is parked quite close by so I get to say.."awwwww" frequently!

Yesterday we rode to the Valle del Mis and today the Passo Croce D'Aune circuit.

the monument at Croce D'Aune

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Flight or fight

June 30
First I had my flight..Melb to Dubai economy on a VERY full flight, then an up grade to Business to Munich.  No probs here although 3 breakfasts in about 6 hours is probably a bit excessive!

July 1
Then I  had the fight.  I landed and after picking up my backpack from the carousel proceeded to wait for my bike to appear....(and I'm still waiting 2 days later).

  Next task..pick up the car

For transport this year, due to at the most crowded part of my holiday there will be 3 of us all with bikes, I'd chosen a Renault Grand Kangoo....and check out the yukky colour!

It's a 7 seater but  the middle row folds down and the back row can be taken out resulting in a bike garage!

Then I drove to Sankt Johann and to my BnB.  This pix was an early morning grab of the Kitzbueler horn ...the weather went belly up soon after .

July 2
 I drove back to Munich airport and went through the same process. Keeping myself nice by remaining cool and polite  despite the inner rage, I managed to squeeze some $$$ out of Emirates as I had to buy some clothes..they tried to wriggle out by saying they only paid up if they had lost ALL your luggage, whereas I also had a backpack.  I managed to persuade them that it was a very small backpack and came away with 80 euros...prob only enough to pay for the extra fuel and parking fees...doh.  Actually I was pleasantly surprised that 4 hours in a park  close to arrivals was only 16 euros..a far cry from the  outright robbery that Melb airport perpetrates in their car parks.

It then pissed rain++++ all the way down into Italy. However, armed with my usual travel food and an audio book, the journey passed uneventfully.  

I, of course,was never the fastest car on the road, despite being 10kph over the stated limit.  Some cars were going so fast my car rocked in the turbulence they created as they warp speeded (or is it sped) past me.  Just  like the Renault cars I've had previously this car is gutless on the hills

  I finally got to my hotel in Follina at 8pm...I'd stayed here 2 years ago and so got a fantastic welcome.  My evening meal was trout from the local river, cooked on an open fire right next to me in the restaurant..pix to follow as for some reason the touch ipod that I used to take the pix wont see the wifi here,

Hopefully the bike will arrive today.  The main prob is that I have to be here to sign for it and so can't stray too far.........to be continued.