Thursday, September 11, 2014

Livigno Day 1

Once again, I am biking. This time it is with the group in Lvigno, Italy. We got all our bikes fixed up and ready to go on Wednesday, so the only thing we would have to do on Thursday was jump into the cars and drive of. Whilst loading the bikes in to the trailer we also heard the unfortunate news that Sepp wasn't coming, as he had a problem with his spine.
Thursday morning came and saw Dad and me saying goodbye to mum, as she had to go to work in the morning. Left the house at about 5.15 AM and met everyone at the gym, as we took four cars and some people where taking lifts with other ones. Jon and Betina with Dad and me in the car. Stopped at the usual places and had some scrambled egg & bacon in a motorway stop. Passed through some interesting tunnels and had to pay road toll atop a massive dam.
We reached Livigno punctually and as the weather forecast has foretold better weather for today, Group 1 was planning a rather large tour, considering we had lost a fair amount of the day driving here. Funnily Group 2 set of before Group 1, but we got started at about 10.30 AM. Biked a very short way downhill and then it went up already. And not just any uphill but super steep uphill. Most of us where pushing, don't know if Hopsing and Paulina did as they where so far in front already. We reached the top after a lot of uphill, passing through a bike park, mainly for downhill bikers.
After that racing alongside the main road on a trail, with a bit of uphill and a fair amount of downhill. We where putting our long clothes on and off a lot of times, as the weather wasn't that warm at 1800 metres above sea level. After that along and then up another valley, with the weather not looking that bad. We had to pass up some really steep bits, but once again most of us pushed. I thought the Dolomites where known for being steep, but they are not the only ones for holding that title now. Reached the top and saw a lake in the distance, which is were we where heading for. Downhill and then along the lake. We came to a crossing at one point but as we where planning the long route, went strait on. Had a short stop and ate all our food, before heading down along the valley towards our next uphill bit. We passed along another lake, the one which was created due to the dam we drove over before and strangely enough the water was flowing away from the dam, not towards it. Inge had a crash which thankfully proved to not be dangerous, as there was a drop towards the lake on the left side of us. We reached a zigzag course uphill and split up in to groups unknowingly. I had started developing a headache which was destroying my concentration a bit, but carried on. I went up
pushing and biking a bit and was joined by Hans and Heidi. Heidi and me tried to photograph a marmot, but it was hiding behind a stone. Have to see if it can be seen on the pictures. We reached the top and had a super view of the surrounding mountains, all bare due to us being above the tree line.
After that a downhill run, passing a closed Alpe, to the dismay of Hans. Karin lost her bottle at one point, but retrieved it. Once we reached the bottom we where back in the valley from before, three of four mountains managed. I wasn't in a good condition at that point, having a headache from who knows what and not being able to concentrate on the stony road. To add to the problems I got a weird puncture in the valley. Some stone had ripped a gash in to the side of the tire. We managed to repair it with a repair kit, but only provisionally. The next stretch uphill I pushed. Nearly all of the 400 metres uphill. Heidi, Inge and Paulina noticed my deteriorating state and drugged me up with anti headache medicine, energy bars and rucksack help. I reached the top eventually and we set of on the last downhill stretch after getting dressed up in all our long clothes. A last bike along the lake, Heidi staying by my side all the time as she had on the way uphill and then back to the hotel for something to eat. After dinner I wanted to transfer the GPS information from Dad and my GPSies, but fell asleep whilst the computer was starting up. Was woken up at quarter past eleven and just managed to get ready for bed before dropping over in to bed again. This time I really did fall asleep before my head hit the pillow.
Track at GPSies, pictures from me at Picasa and more information here. Dads blog with Group 2 here.

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