Trans Alp Round 2 – Suffering in the Heat Day 3 – 4

Posted: 20 July 2015 in Uncategorized

The morning we headed out from Scuol was pretty straight forward.  Find the right valley and ride up it to the pass.  Only problem was that the climb up the valley was going so easily that we ended up riding much further than we were supposed to according to the map.  We didn’t really take a break until people started speaking Italian :).  Only problem was that we missed the proposed route turnout which was much further down the valley.  This would be the start of many missed routes as the Canadian just wanted to ‘follow his instincts’ and the German just wanted to keep checking the map.  It was a fine balance, and a few times too many we ended up taking the advice of the Canadian.  Not a good idea when neither of us had been there before…  This detour wasn’t that bad though, we just ended up having to do some pretty knarly steep climbing to get back on the proposed route… At least we got some cool views!

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This day I felt super comfortable technical wise as I was starting to get used to the style of riding that is required when doing a Trans Alp.  I think Uli wasn’t super happy that I was pushing some limits in that department…  Which is understandable as if I had crashed we would have been hooped…

Off Cambre

It was so hot out this day and this was the first day that we encountered steep ‘ridable’ (but barely) climbs.  They were so steep that it was painful to stay on the bike and because the terrain was so loose, you needed to stay seated the whole time.  I was pretty happy with my tire choice of Continental Race King 2.2 29″ with Protection as I pumped them up at the beginning of the trip and didn’t need to add anymore air until the end of the trip.  Made for a happy Schooler…

Scuol Morning

Once we got to Livigno it was pretty relaxing as we were in a hotel and they even said they would do our laundry for us (which in the morning turned out to not be the case) but the day into Livigno had some of the coolest views and we got some of the best shots that day.  We even got to wash some of the cow poop off the bikes at the Bike Park in Livigno.

Sketchy Lake Shot

This had to have been one of my favorite trails of the trip as it was just a narrow trail cut into the side of a steep ass side slope with the run out being into a impeccably clear blue lake.  We had to take it a bit easy through these sections…

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Nothing better than riding through an almost vertical waterfall right?

Tongue Pass

Final pass into Livigno.  We had a relaxing night, but the next morning everything started to go bad.  This day was supposed to be our biggest day of the trip in terms of effort and elevation gain but not necessarily Km’s.  We planned to ride up to the Stelvio via a back route hiking trail which is where we hit the highest elevation of the trip so far at 2760m’s.  Just over the height of the Passo del Stelvio.

Highest Elevation

The bad part about the day started before we even left the hotel when we went to pick up our laundry and it wasn’t washed.  Ok, so plan B?  Then before we even started climbing I end up breaking a spoke just after leaving Livigno.  Fixed that, climb, climb, climb, took a small break at the lakes, forget the only ride food we brought with me (pizza) at the lake stop, luckily it was only a 20 min detour and I got to ditch the pack for a short time.  Then all day Uli kept talking about how his dropper post was leaking oil meaning that his saddle dropped 2 cm’s every time he sat on it…  Not so good for the day with the most amount of climbing…  Once we got to the top of the Stelvio with some aide given to Uli on the final road section, he was completely out of it, and we were both nursing mechanicals.  Unfortunately, we had to make the decision to cut out the highest elevation point on the proposed trip and head down the rest of the road portion of the Stelvio and find a bike shop.  Luckily we found one that was open (after topping up on food and ice cream of course) and they were awesome with the support!  We were in and out of there with fixed bikes in no more than an hour!  At least the day finished well 🙂

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We spent the night washing our dirty clothes in the bathroom of the next hotel.  At least it was hot enough to almost completely dry our clothes?!?!?!?!  The food sure was good that night though…

Next up, Skipping the recommended chairlift, and the final run into Riva Del Garda!

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