Friday, August 08, 2014

July 10th: Vigo di Fassa to Pescul

From Tour of the Alps 2014
The morning greeted us with blue sky mixed in with clouds, which gave me hope that we might be able to make Cortina D'Ampezzo today. Regardless, the first step was to traverse the Fasso valley to get to Canazei. The last time I did this the traffic was pretty bad, but this time, we spotted a bike path under construction and decided to beta-test the pavement, which held out very well until we got near Canazei, where the pavement turned into construction. Exiting the bike path 2km from Canazei, however, I discovered that my bike wasn't shifting into the lowest two gears. A quick stop and the diagnosis was that the anchor bolt was not tightened properly by the mechanic (namely me!) before leaving California. Fortunately, this was an easy fix, and retensioning the cable took very little time. I took care to cinch down the bolt properly, and up we climbed, headed for Fedaia pass.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

At just over 2000m, Fedaia pass was an easy 600m from Canazei, but filled with cyclists who used it as a prelude to the Sella group, and even cross-country skiiers on training blades. After a series of galleries, we emerged at the summit lake, where once again a few raindrops sprinkled on us here and there. The climb to Fedaia is so easy that day riders ride up the road to the war museum but as tourists we didn't feel the need to do so.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

Instead, we prepared for what Jobst calls the fastest highway in the Alps. Unfortunately, we encountered some slow going traffic that day and I did not exceed 50mph, though we certainly each got a taste as to how fast you could go if you just let your brakes go down a 13% grade.
From Tour of the Alps 2014
At Savina di Laste, I made a wrong turn and went up the tunnel road towards Selva rather than the white road towards Passo di Giau. This turned out to be a good choice, because there was more rain on the other route which could see while we were climbing. The other route looked prettier, however. I'd skipped Passo di Giau in 2007 because my knee was hurting, but this time, we were stopped at Selva because it looked like there was rain up ahead. I wanted to push on, so I called the hotel at the top of the pass to see if they had room for us, and while they said they had room, they also said they didn't have dinner! That was such a strange response that we wondered if I misunderstood, but the remainder of the climb was said to be quite hard so we turned back to the tourist information center. There turned out to be no lodging in Selva (despite the information center being located there), but there was lodging the next 2 towns over. After perusing the options, Arturo got excited by the TripAdvisor reviews of a B&B in Pescul, so we picked the place and went there. They didn't serve dinner, but the walk to the hotel restaurant in town did give us excellent views.
From Tour of the Alps 2014

The forecast was food good weather the next day, and we needed to get Hina to Munich by the 13th via train, so the plan was to have a long day the next day to Cortina d'Ampezzo and then Lienz, and then climb over the Grossglockner in Austria the day after where she could catch a train at Zell Am See bound for Munich. The weather forecasts supported this endeavor, and I was optimistic that I'd finally be able to climb Grossglockner on my single, as well as attempt Passo di Giau.

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