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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Climbing in Italy

I have the new trainer; there's still some time. Now, if I can just use them both. It certainly is not like getting the bike out on the open road, but the Tour de France trainer does provide a challenging workout with some interesting features to keep my mind occupied. Speaking of the bike, such as we were, it is all dressed up and ready for the party in southern Italy. Here it is, fresh from the shop at River Trail Cycles where Dan worked his magic, getting it tuned, cleaned and dressed up in new tires and handlebar tape:

Being personally neither tuned nor dressed up, I'm not showing a picture of myself. Just in case you were wondering.

As for the training, I took on Stelvio Pass, a seven mile climb through 48 switchbacks as my first ride of the evening. The connection to Google maps is up and running, so I can share some of the ride with you. Here's one of the switchbacks on the early part of the climb, this view taken looking back down the road from where I had come.

A little later, I encounter this, not something you really want to see when you are riding up the side of a mountain.

Amazingly enough, I rode on without incident. A bit further on and I've gained some significant altitude, although the ride has not yet gotten me above the tree line.

Later, now well above the tree line, I approach another cyclist.

As is so often the case when I am climbing, I quickly overtake him and leave him behind.

With less than a mile to go, you can look up at this inviting scene:

I don't know about you, but that looks like a seriously bad stretch of climbing. But, I push on and am finally rewarded with this welcome at the top:

And there you have it, an early evening ride in the Italian Alps. No problems with traffic, weather or hoses across the road. It was, all-in-all, a fun ride.

Now, in case you have forgotten, this is a ride taken on the trainer in my basement. The pictures are screen shots from my iPad, showing parts of the Google Maps Street View images displayed as I rode. Not real. And there just MAY be one or two other elements in the post that you might want to take with a grain of salt. You know, because I might have exaggerated my riding prowess. A little. OK, a lot. But it was an imaginary ride so to speak, so I suppose I can bestow upon myself some imaginary climbing skills.


Anonymous said...

I guess if you're at the prow, you get to decide the prowess.

Spiffer said...

I love the red on your bike!