Sunday, August 10, 2014
Day 3: Gries am Brenner - Kematen
At the bottom of the first climb we met two other bikers going up the same way as us, but we started before them and didn't see both until the top. Nice bike uphill with a cloudy cover giving us some shade. Overtook some walkers but otherwise met no one on the way up. We passed an Alm we might have slept in and carried on past some fish ponds. Met a biker coming the other way looking for the Alm, but otherwise no one. After a while the climbing degree increased whilst the road deteriorated at the same rate until we where going up some rather difficult tracks. We passed the tree line at one point, still climbing hire. The wind also increased and on the last few metres uphill we had a gale blowing in our faces. Reaching the military roadway running along the top the wind was blowing against us all the time. We carried along it, watching the clouds being pushed through the Brenner valley with our bikes (and through them us) being shaken through by the rough road. In a wind free zone we could find we ate our bread we had taken with us. Lots of other biker passed us, seems to be a rather renown area to bike up there. We carried on along the tracks, with the wind howling through our bike spooks when the wind came at the right angle. After a lot of up and down biking, the passing Alps making a wonderful scenery, we reached the end of the uphill part, us standing at 2200 metres above sea level. Long clothes on and down the tracks towards Sterzing. We saw two other bikers taking the trail route down but we wanted to have some lunch so we carried on down the road tracks. The weather warmed considerably on the way down and the weather also pushed away the clouds and bought us blue sky. Down the tarmac road past Brenner, missing a turn at one point and then it was back to biking uphill. Only for a few hundred metres luckily. Going downhill after that proofed difficult as we had such a head wind we had to actually cycle downhill. In Sterzing after quiet a bit of biking round the town we stopped at a pizzeria where they had some very good home made pizza. Unfortunately just after we had finished (we where just talking about it actually) Nico was stung by a wasp (stupid things). After getting some cool packs on the sting and waiting for a while we carried on biking. Up and up again, along the main road, which was rather empty considering it was a main road. Biked through a tunnel just as three very loud cars went through, so we had a rather loud motor sound for the first tunnel section. Carried on past a farm where some turkeys where being herded by a car. Caused a loud ruckus on the farm.
Reached the top of the road, meaning the bottom of the valley. This is where Alpine scenery started. A lake, mountains and huts.
We biked through woods and river, becoming a mobile fast food store for the local mosquito. Reached Fussendrass at the bottom of the Pfunderer Joch but found no overnight possibility so carried on to Kematen where we found a place in the local inn. Had some dinner, went for a walk and then back to the room for a blog and to watch a film on TV.
Track at GPSies and pictures at Picasa.
Time in saddle: 5 hours 35 min.
Distance: 57.57 km
Average speed: 10.32 km/h