“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

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Cortina Day 1

Trip 1 was to the bike shop to see if a repair to Lorraine's rear brake/front derailleur SRAM combo was fixable and the answer was  no......replaceable?..probably also no as SRAM is not a widely used make in this neck of the woods.  Given the combo ie front not rear derailleur at least a change over to Shimano is possible although irritating.  In the mean time she is riding a loaner road bike which is not too bad although the brakes are a bit low grade which makes for a nervy downhill part of the ride..

Today's ride, once we got going, was to the Passo Tre Croci and given  Lorraine's jet lag, we opted to go round the easier way this year...it is a very peasant ride and a good starter for the week...

What the tourist info people want you to look at:

What I saw:

2 things of note during the ride...I managed to soak my right hand ,bar and levers in gel...I know have  lemon/lime flavoured handlebars!

and on the way down a guy was struggling coming up ..I thought he was going to fall..but actually he was having trouble putting a bottle back and failed..it fell rolling down the slope towards me...OMG  I thought not another downhill drama!...god only knows how I managed to avoid it, but I did..phew!

final day at Canazei and over to Cortina

Friday's ride for me was up to the top of the Fedaia and then out to Moena while Alex rode the Karenpass,seen on the left of the map.

After that it was a question of gradually packing up and eating as much as we could of the food in the fridge.  Yet again there was a huge thunderstorm late in the day (after the end of the TdF broadcast!) and this time I got well and truly caught in it after doing some shopping.

Saturday is change over day and so there was a prolonged period of cleaning to ensure the apartment was cleaner than when we arrived...and that was no real challenge! followed by retrieval of the 200 euro bond and the drive over to Cortina to our beautiful apartment there.

We were here last year and loved it.  Plenty of space 3 bedrooms, free wifi, food in the cupboards, toiletries such  a luxury.

Later in the day we met Lorraine off the Dolomiti bus from Venice airport and sadly later on she discovered damage to her left levers..SRAM so probably not fixable here..more anon after a visit to the local bike shop for either a fix, a change to Shimano lever and derailleur or a loaner bike.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Bolzano trip and random Canazei pix

Booking on line for the Oetzi/Iceman museum in Bolzano is definitely the way to go...we walzed in while others queued for a long time in the stinking hot humid weather.  It's the 3rd visit for me and each one has been fantastic as there are regular additions and new research data to be shared

Before going there we went to the Sportler shop to get Alex a 510 Garmin as they were on special and with the duty free aspect added when he leaves Europe works out to be a real bargain.

The journey back was a good hour longer than expected as there was an accident near the top of the pass and no-one could get round it.  3 ambulances later and a stretch of the legs to take a pix of the lake where we stopped and eventually we were off.

 The view took the edge off the wait.  When we finally got going there appeared to be only1 car almost right on the hairpin bend.

Canazei is in Ladin country..there are 3 languagess spoken here...Italian because this is now in Italy, German because this used to be a part of Austria prior to WW1 and Ladin as that is what the people of the area speak. Check out  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladin_language      if you are interested.

Many of the house here have pictures on their external walls...some more than others:

downspout of our apartment building...got a bit of use the other day!

Canazei days 2, 3 and 4

Being totally stuffed  from Sunday's ride I opted to go for an easy rest day ramble
..I set a time of 40 minutes out on the way to Passo Fedaia while Tabatha, keen to get another long ride in before she departs on Wednesday went with Alex on  what we had thought was a doable ride where it would also be possible to see a spectacular waterfall that was in shown   in the vid of one of the stages of the giro a few years ago.

My ride was good...theirs was terrible...much much harder than the articles we'd read and the special road near the waterfall was closed to all but walkers.


Tabatha was cooked and opted not to ride ...played tourist and packed her bike instead.
 Alex and I drove to Predazzo and climbed the Passo Rolle:

I just went up, Alex went over the top and did the final hairpin bends on the far side.  Both of us needed the ride but not too hard!

Gino Bartali monument at the top

We waved Tabatha farewell on the bus to Bolzano from where she went by bus to Munich and so eventually home.

Alex rode to the Passo Sella while I rode from Canazei to the Passo San Pellegrino:

That evening there was THE most heavy downpour of hail...dramatic.  2nd hail storm of the hols and no chance this time to save the car from damage.

Next day..rest day


After picking Alex up from Venice airport and driving back to Feltre to dump his bikebox in the storage place I have  rented for 3 weeks,we started what we thought was going to be a fairly easy trip over here.  However...it appears that Italian drivers are either crazy fast or incredibly slow and on twisting mountain roads it is annoying to be behind the latter.

Sunday was a try and see day for Alex but Tabatha and I did the Sella Ronde.  All was going fairly well for me ...still not with climbing legs and still not feeling 100$ and still suffering in the heat...until we hit the Passo Pordoi as the final climb.  I suffered big time and was lucky not to go backwards downhill...character building is all I can say about that part of the ride and I definitely didn't see anything but the road while chewing on the stem.

At the top I had enough energy  to take this pix
Other pix from the day:

pub chair at Corvara

that was Monday's ride and after it I needed a light day's ride...I was stuffed

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Monte Grappa ride

The weather on Friday was much  much better and the concept of riding ¬30km uphill seemed much more possible.

Pedavena to Monte Grappa

We set off  early and the climb started after about a10km warm up..we climbed and climbed.  The scenery was perfect, the weather clement and the ride seemed easier than last year.  The road appeared to have deteriorated..there was a bad stretch last year but it seems much longer now.

As we got closer to the top the temperature dropped and when we got to the top the sweat on clothes, gloves and helmet felt really cold.  The descent was cold but a bit slower that usual for me...2 reasons..I lost a contact lens and also that front wheel blowout from last week has made me a bit more nervous.

somewhere on the descent

view from  a BnB I wish we'd stayed at, Cart nr Feltre

Friday, 10 July 2015

The easier ride before the chaallenge and also after the storm

Last night there was a storm to talk about..loud+=, wet++ and hail++.  We were home by the time it really struck and  had to drive the car under the verandah due to the heavy hail.

Before it really hit, we were down in Pedavena shopping.  As we went through the piazza, I saw a car with a similar number plate to ours.....the lease cars that we have use red number plates.  We wondered about it and then the driver of that car showed up to chat!  He had  noticed our car and was curious....he is an Austro-Italian...a Sydneysider and a former resident of Pedavena!  Small world.

Today I opted to have a flattish ride and Tabatha opted for more hills.  I decided to go  to Pederobbe where we had noticed some worthwhile photo opps:

Italian War memorial

Where's the house!
and finally!
Today's ride
tomorrow...Monte Grappa

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Venice and other things

Sooo…Venice.  Both Tabatha and I have been there before, so a visit to the tourist sights wasn’t on the menu.  Instead we both wanted to buy some glass from the island of Murano and Tabatha wanted to buy some masks.  The day was hot and humid and our time in Venice and Murano was interrupted at regular intervals by drink stops.  

We watched some glass blowing…although no actual glass blowing took place as they were making parts for a chandelier...

We were interested in the varying attitudes of the staff of each shop..they must get very fed up of tourists touching  the glass despite the signs telling them not to.  Having bought what we wanted and we moved on to a mask shop.  About 2 hours later we escaped with Tabatha loaded down with a grand haul.

Yet another thunderstorm finished the day and today we had another...but this time it impacted on our riding.  I was tired so opted to have a short flat ride..Tabatha decided to go into the mountains..not the smartest move given the weather, but......

Gardeners look after their flowers dont they!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Monday's ride..loads of climbing and descending

Hooray! Tomorrow is a rest day…although I’m not really sure a day in Venice can be called a rest day! However since both of us have been there before, we're specialising in 2 things...a visit to Murano to buy some glass and somewhere close to the  railway station for Tabatha to buy a mask. And ironically I’ve finally come good ..or am starting to come good on the hills.  Once again sleep and gut disturbances seem to take a week going this way and 10 days to 2 weeks going home .

Today’s ride was from Pedavena, up,up, up to Castello Tesino and then back down, down, down on a groovy descent with switch backs in tunnels to Grigno, up over the hill at Primolano, past the old fort there and so home again. 

We’ve got totally jack of riding up to our house in the heat of the day..ie 35 degrees on a very exposed climb and so parked the car in Pedavena and making the ride much more enjoyable. 

I guess you have to be careful what you wish for…last year I was sad the weather was less than brilliant, but in fact it was great cycling weather..this year, so far at least, it’s been very hot and humid.  The sun tan is going along gang busters, but the heat stress post each ride is of concern.  I am hoping the move into the mountains next week will bring a bit of a change.

The weather forecast remains challenging......