Woke up at 5.55 today. Dads alarm went of at that ungodly time as he said he wanted to have the felling he could sleep for another hour and a half. I lay there awake until 7.15, when my alarm rang. Got up and dressed and went down for breakfast at 7.30. Had a delicious breakfast with bread, yoghurt, fruit, eggs (dads was still runny as we had to make them ourselves, Jon says he drank his). After breakfast we got changed to go biking and at 9 o'clock Group 1 left the perimeter.
Biked down into down-town Cortina at first, following our track for the day. The first track discussion was barely a kilometre after the hotel. We carried on and shortly after crossing the river we started going uphill. Along a short cut between the main road it went uphill rather at a rather steep angle, but still bike-able. Reached the main road after saying good morning to all the locals standing around and watching nine bikers go past. Our track then veered of the main road to a gravel path. Inge suggested we follow the main road as we come to the same place and we still need our energy for later. Most agreed but Paulina would have preferred the gravel path, so it was agreed that she and Hopsing would take that route. Only problem, Hopsing didn't go up the path as he didn't want to, so in the end we all went up the main road. Travelled up at a fast and constant speed as this is our longest tour and we wanted to get finished. Hopsing and Paulina raced ahead at one point and a few minutes later it looked like four race bikers came past waving. At first we wondered who that could be, turned out Paulina and Hopsing had turned round and headed back with two race bikers.
Went of the main road shortly after that and went up a rather steep tarmac road, but again still bikeable. Up and up it went, from 1700m above sea level to 2000m. Long clothes on when we reached the top and down it went along a trail with Paulina at the front once again. Super trail downhill, had to get off a few times, but the bikeable parts were really fun. Managed to cross a weird wood bridge with Inges help and then had a short stop at the bottom of a ski lift.
After refilling our water supplies it went downhill along the main road again at a fast speed. Turned left onto a gravel path and then it went up higher than last time. Super scenery all the way up and sunshine most of the way. Had lunch on the way up and ate the sandwiches the hotel had made us. After lunch through a short mountain tunnel and it went further up. Past the tree line and we were once again in the high mountains. At one point we had to get off our bikes and push uphill the rest until 2400m above sea level. Met some people walking up along that way and when we reached our highest point of the day we had a short stop to get our long clothes on again. Carried on shortly afterwards and a few seconds in, not everybody had got on yet, Paulina had a big crash. Luckily, again, nothing permanent happened but falling on your knee is painful.
Downhill we went, always getting on our bikes and off again to get over some obstacle, be it a big stone or a deep hole. The scenery looked like we had stolen some mountain range out of the rocky mountain, when we reached the tree level again I was looking for the “Beware! Bears” sign. Heidi had something weird going on with her brakes, so she didn't go to fast. Something was wrong with the spring that keeps the brakes apart. We carried on downhill, along a stream bed with a bit of water going down. We crossed it a few times, once with a stone bridge built by Hopsing. We biked on gravel, sand and through water with no functioning GPS signal as the mountains where blocking the satellite signals. Had a real adventure going downhill there. No other people, rivers falling of the side of the mountains and disappearing due to the wind. Gämse not being bothered by us. Crossing rivers coming from the tops. And always we were surrounded by imposing but beautiful mountains. Met a few people at the end, after some long biking along forest paths. Seemed like we were back to civilisation. Still further downhill through alpine forest along gravel paths until we stopped at a point which Group 1 had crossed three years ago when we were in St. Vigile.
After that along the main valley river back to Cortina at a fast pace. Average in the forest was probably about 25km/h. There were a few short steep bits, Hopsing being the only one who managed it up a long one. Nearly reached Cortina but something went wrong with Monis bike chain. It somehow got caught in the front gear box and a lot of man power was needed from Hopsing to get it free. That was managed so we went down to Cortina, passing a bob run pipe along the way. Reached a café and had something to drink before we went back to the hotel for a shower and Brotzeit.
Track at GPSies, pictures a Picasa, Sepps report here and Dads blog of the day here (underneath the one above).
Time in saddle: 5 hours 20 min.
Distance: 43.4 km
Average speed: 8.2 km/h