So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

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toolonglegs
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:10 pm

No worries mate

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:30 pm

TLL - what sort of level of fitness would it take to ride both sides of Stelvio in a day ?

i.e. Ride up one side and down the other. Collapse and have a good feed and recover, and then go back up and back down, really collapse and then have a lighter ride the next in prep for Mortirolo ?

Or is it better to do one ascent of Stelvio and then Mortirolo and be done with it ?

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:44 pm

:lol: plenty of people do it... How heavy / fit are you?. probably a 1h45m climb from Bormio (21´ish kms (AT) 7.5% ) and a 2h (25kms (AT) 7.5% roughly ) climb from the other side... So at least a 6h ride.
Mortirolo you need to be strong... It is only 11.4 kms but (AT) 11 % av ... If you then tag on the pont di legano loop to come back over the best side of Gavia ( 16kms (AT) 8.1% ) .... Another very big day.
Both sides of Passo Stelvio are good, yes the north side is a bit more of the "classic" but if you only do the Bormio side you still get the amazing views of the switch backs from the top.
And yes you could do a double.... But you have to ask yourself how much a 4-4500m day will wipe you out.
My advice is do the Mortirolo / Gavia loop first as it is epic 6 ( mate did it a couple of weeks ago, he is very strong and took nearly 6.5hrs )- 9 hr ride ... After that a "cruise" 2 to 3h ride up the Stelvio isn't so bad :lol: . Bare in mind also that in the very high mountains weather can be fickle.... You only attempt either of these in reasonable weather.
Put it this way, 99% of first timers I get in the Alpes / Dolomites / Pyrenees underestimate how hard & long the climbs are no matter what they have ridden in oz

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Chris249 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:34 pm

toolonglegs wrote:
Chris249 wrote:One problem with the Mortirolo is that the approaches are not easy to do by bike, apparently, which is why I never got there. From Bormio to the north it's apparently a busy multi-lane road, and from the southern side you have significant climbs even before you drop down to the base of the Mortirolo.

Shame you got that info as it is not true... the "village" road from Bormio is very quiet as everyone takes the tunnel.


It didn't end up affecting me because if I did the Mortirolo it would have been from the Ponte de Legno side as that's where I stayed after the Stelvio and Gavia. But thanks for the correction.
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Chris249 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:47 pm

MichaelB wrote:TLL - what sort of level of fitness would it take to ride both sides of Stelvio in a day ?

i.e. Ride up one side and down the other. Collapse and have a good feed and recover, and then go back up and back down, really collapse and then have a lighter ride the next in prep for Mortirolo ?

Or is it better to do one ascent of Stelvio and then Mortirolo and be done with it ?


TLL doesn't need the support, but I'll give it anyway - do check out the old road near the tunnel on the south side of the Gavia. Image

There's a shrine to a truckload of soldiers who were lost decades ago when a truck went over the side of the road.Image

But don't worry, the edges of the road have now been fitted with industrial-strength shopping twine to catch any straying cyclists. :shock: Image

TLL, do you know what the idea of the twine is??? Is it just there so people can grope their way along in the dark or a blizzard?
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:36 pm

If your like me and visit it in early season then the twine might be handy when your cleats don't click into the snow banks :lol:
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Totally agree it is worth checking out... I rode up from the otherside of Gavia in Late May and descended down just to see this :-)

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:13 am

In a quick response to TLL - at present, I'm 92kg and 184cm, so can get lighter, and will try to do so. As for fitness, can get better, but in a good patch I did Mt Buffalo in 1:36, so reasonable, but nowhere near any real decent level.

The Mortirolo/Gavia loop sounds great, but 9hrs is a bit scary !!!

Given the fickle weather, wouldn't it bet better to stay in one spot for a few days to get a better option for climbing - if it's not so good one day, there is still the option for another ?

Also, helps keep the cost down re transport - or is car hire pretty cheap over there for a car capable of taking a couple of bikes ?

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:17 am

The Mortirolo/Gavia loop - what distance is that ?

If based in Bormio - how easy is it to do a Stelvio (both sides) one day, Motirolo (up & down) another, and then the Gavia by itself (the side that's not so good) ?

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So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:06 pm

Bormio Prato return for double Stelvio is about 90-95 kms
Bormio Mazzo Mortirolo and return by the easier descent is around 80 kms
Bormio Gavia Bormio 50 kms
Bormio Mazzo Mortirolo Gavia Bormio 110 kms
Yeah always pays to have a day up your sleeve for the weather.

For the rental car it won't make much difference as you will have to just leave the car parked up anyway... you will also probably want to fly out from the same place if renting a car. Start Milan, finish Milan for example will be a lot cheaper than Milan - Lyon in regards to rental car.
I can tell you now that public transport for this itinerary will be pretty difficult ... You could rent a car from Milan to do the Italy side of things. Sella Rhonda wouldn't be easy to get to by public transport, getting from there to Bormio would be a nightmare. Bormio to Lecco not so easy either. Dump your car back at Milan airport, into town and catch a TGV to Lyon. Plenty of options from Lyon into Bourg D'Oisans etc.

PS... Some others may agree with me here when I say a Mortirolo / Gavia loop would be more rewarding than a double Stelvio ... And probably fairly equal in difficulty. Of course if you do both all the better... You may need a lighter day in between.

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Scott2468 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:08 am

Agree with everything TLL says here^^^^^^^

Last summer we flew into Milan in the morning, rented a car, drove through Bolzano for food & beer supplies, then onto Corvara, easily arriving by mid afternoon to set the bikes up. The car didnt move for ten days while in the Dolomites. It was then used to move us to Bormio. Again it didnt move for ten days in the Ortlers till we drove back to Milan.

My only suggestion with cars, if you have a few people, is to take a 3 bike strap on bike rack. You can pick them up for about $50 when on special from Anaconda or Aldi. They do not rent or allow racks on the hire cars. Stealth like you can clip it on use it on your loaded transfers then remove it without a mark. We did get stopped once by the Carabinieri who told us our plates were covered. We pleaded no understand, no knowledge. We talked friendly like and asked him where to get them. He told us about 50km away and sent us on our way. Everyone was happy.

Yes, the Mortirolo Gavia loop is special, although most rides there are. I even enjoyed the 25km start free wheeling down the valley along side the massive formed river banks, through small cobbled viillages. Another goodin (thanks to TLL) was Torri di Fraele, not to mention Stelvio from the third side, the Umbrail Pass. I suggest an up & back for this one to take advantage of the silky smooth Swiss road, a magic descent.

Michael, dont worry about specific rides, distances etc. Just base yourself in the heart of your chosen area and give yourself time. You, the weather and your legs will sort everything out. Enjoy.
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:15 pm

I rode an organised tour last year in the Dolomites ( hotels booked, van support etc and I hired a bike though the others all brought their own from USA/Canada) but we met several riders who'd just come by public transport (to Corvara or Arabba for example) and hired very good bikes locally for a week or so of riding. Saves a lot of hassle.
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:02 am

Thanks guys for the added info.

Bit confused re the car hire, but who says the web is always right ?? Did a search through "auto rentals" and got back some (what I thought were decent) prices for Milan pickup & Lyon dropoff - anywhere from A$690 for a smallish Ford C-Max Wagon to A$1150 for a Ford Galaxy 7 seater van. I guess the REAL cost will show when it comes time to actually book. :|

Still plenty of groundwork to do, and a lot depends on if I get a mate or two to come along.

So far, my likely accom spots will be Arabba, Bormio and then something around St Michel de Maurienne. The locations are picked due to the climbs that are around there ;

Arabba :
Passo Campolongo
Passo Pordoi
Passo Sella
Passo gardena (Selle Ronda route)
Passo de Fedaia
Passo Falarego
Passo Giau

Bormio :
Mortirolo
Passo Gavia
Passo della Stelvio (or Stilfserjoch for us Germans) - 3 different ways !!!

St Michel de Maurienne :
Col du Galibier
Col de la Croix de Fer
La Toussiere
Valmier 1800
Col du Telegraph
Col d'Albanne
Col de Beua Plan
Les Karellis
Col du Mollard


The above list are the climbs in those areas that can be easily accessed by bike, but if I've hired a car, sites like Alpe D'Huez also then come into play.

Feel free to add any other suggestions. The Ghisallo climb that TLL suggested might also work depending on the travel requests if others join.

The travel dates will be between 8th July and 24th July (school holidays) :D :D :D

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:30 pm

Sounds great :)
I haven't done it but seeings that it is on the way ... Colle delle Finestre :wink:

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:28 pm

Would need to drive there from one of the stops, but I'll add it to the list !!!

18.9km (AT) 9.1% average :shock:

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:31 pm

No just stop there for a night on the way to France ... the tunnel costs €40 one way ( Frejus or Mont Blanc ) so you won't make a day trip out of it from France.

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:51 am

Spoke to a mate the other night and he is also keen on the two weeks :D :D :D

He also suggested Tre Cime Lavaredo which can be easily accessed from Arabba as well.

Also found the Maratona Dolomites courses, and there are some great options there that can be accessed from Arabba (3 different loops) - 138km with 4,230m elevation gain :shock: , 106km with 3,130m and a miserly wimp option of 55km with 1,780m of climbing (Selle Ronda course).

Need to look at some equipment soon such as bike bag, 11-32 or even 11-36 cassette (for Mortirolo) and LOTS of training rides :twisted: :twisted:


With respect to accommodation - what is best ? 3* is fine, but no tenting (not for me anyway...)

Does B&B in Italian mean the same thing as what we expect ?

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:11 pm

Might be of interest ... Possible TDF 2016 route, I don't think it is very accurate though.
http://morzinesourcemagazine.com/tour-d ... red-route/
3 star in Italy is nice btw

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:17 am

toolonglegs wrote:Might be of interest ... Possible TDF 2016 route, I don't think it is very accurate though.
http://morzinesourcemagazine.com/tour-d ... red-route/
3 star in Italy is nice btw


Thanks.

Where do you think it may be different ?

What the reference to 3star in Italy ? :?:

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Scott2468 » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:53 am

When considering accomodation dont discount renting a holiday unit for the week.

In Bormio we stayed at https://sites.google.com/site/casabettybormio/appartamento-stella

This was fantastic, perfect for us. Four blokes, one week, E700 (a bargain at E25/p/n). This was walking distance to the town centre. Had a washing machine (needed for cyclists). Had the option to rest and take it easy at home and save money with home cooking (full kitchen) or go out. More room than a hotel room. Outside grassed area (good for post ride beers). Lock up garage (for the bikes). Free wi-fi. Betty our host was a charm, so helpful. Her brother in law has a unit next door if you need more accomodation. This is directly across te road from Funivia Bike Hotel where I'm sure the guests were only getting a small room for E120/n.

Another tip. If you are travelling from the Dolomites to Bormio, stay a couple of days at Prato allo Stelvio. This makes it simple to do the famous 48 hairpins from Prad and Umbrial Pass loop both clockwise and anti-clockwise. It is a nice quiet, quaint town.

We stayed at http://www.booking.com/hotel/it/pension-astoria.en-gb.html?aid=311984;label=pension-astoria-DhOnb0%2A3ymfa2W4gNiR1cgS32462632993%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2300%2C000%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg;sid=189bd2528e92f95e57b054839811b2e0;dcid=1;ucfs=1;srfid=63a92089416a754d2cf57319ee7ed04566aaf518X1;highlight_room= This was a extremely clean, well run B&B by Fabien and his missus. Again they were so friendly and helpful. They had a lock up barn for our bikes. Breakfast was great. They rooms had balconies. At E60 a double , again a bargain at E30/p/n.

PS: the prices I quote were in Aug 2014.


Another accomodation option is camping grounds. They have three levels of accomodation. Basic camping (not an option as you need your own gear). Bungalows (italian) & Chalets (france). They are basic wood cabins where you use the shared camping amenities. They are the same as AU on-site cabins at our camping grounds. Finally they have on-site mobile homes.

This is where we stayed in Saint Jean De Maurienne in 2012. http://www.campingdesgrandscols.com/uk/il4-campsite_p3-services.aspx While in Bourg d'Oisans we stayed at http://www.camping-colporteur.com/campsite-france-isere.html

A couple of climbs to add to your list, not to be missed. All three stunning, basically car free and cliff hangers. TdF & LoM both put the Alpe du Huez to shame as far as tornanti's go.

Torri de Fraele in Bormio.
Lacets of Montvernier then onward to Col de Chaussey. (You can descend and then climb again up the Madeleine.)
If in Bourg, the Villard Notre Dame, Ornon loop.
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:18 pm

Cheers Scott, thanks for the accom tips.

The place in Bormio sounds like an ideal option. The use of a washing machine will be an essential. Whilst it's 99% sure it will be either 2 or 3 ppl, I'm sure we'll find something similar.

One thing I've found since starting the information gathering is the vast number of climbs that can be done almost anywhere. Since the LoM was used in the TdF, that's also high on the list.

Another that was also stated as "the best" was Passo dell Erbe (along with Gardena) out of Corvara.

Many more climbs than I have legs and days !!!!

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Scott2468 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:48 am

Michael,

If you like the Bormio flat, I remember Betty stating her brother in law had one next door. It was smaller and cheaper.

Another hassle was Italians seem to only want to book Saturday to Saturday (I think????) with no flexibility in between. This is difficult when you are trying to organise a few base towns. During summer holidays they also want larger block hirings, minimum of two weeks. In saying this, everything is negotiable.

Yes, how could I forget the Erbe. That is a great climb. It is a bit north of Corvara and leaves the massive rocky outcrops that make the Dolomites famous. This is not a bad thing. This climb is massive green mountains and forest, urging you to burst out with the Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music. Quaint villages lead to opportunities for lunch with great views. You can do an out and back or a big loop anti clockwise and back over the west side of Gardena.

No, I don’t agree with Gardena being one of the best. Sure, it’s a must do in the Sella Ronda but it’s on the main drag in & out, so a bit of traffic. Sure there are views but they are everywhere. It is not that long as you don’t drop too low from Sella or Corvara. This is unless you do the massive climb that some tours do from Bolzano. Most climbs in the Dolomites are not that long. This raises another point. Beware, the base towns in the Dolomites are much higher and colder that The Ortlers or Alpes.

Back to the Alpes. You didn’t include Madeleine. This is a massive, epic, signature climb not to be missed. Great with the Chaussey. I reckon the descent is the smoothest and best ever. If you do the 2nd highest pass in the Eastern Alpes, Stelvio, why not do No 1, L’Iseran? It is a bit from SJDM up the main drag, so we cheated and drove there somewhat. This is one climb I did struggle in the rare air. From there you can also do Cenis. The Italian side is something special with the lakes near the top. Yes, so many climbs!

Providing you have decent gearing you will be fine to climb anything, it is not a race. We had six riding. Everyone could climb anything. Half could ride day after day, half could not. They didn’t prepare enough, backing up. They had to have rest days even in sunshine! I wanted to get as much out of each trip as possible so this is how I prepared.

I am a plus 50 year old Mamil, not too fit, not too light, not a competitor. I commuted 60km each week day. Then for a few months before the trip I did random hill repeats. I found hills around Sydney, 200 v/m about 8% avg. (Crosslands Reserve & Bowen Mtn) Then I did eight or ten repeats to climb 2000 v/m, the same as doing a “Stelvio”, same as a mini Everesting. I also did a few random 100-150km social rides with mates. Sometimes, I blocked them in so I did commute-repeats-social-commute for 12 days straight. If you can do this you will be fine and only miss a day’s ride is when weather dictates. It worked for me.
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:21 pm

thanks for the info. Yes, Madeline is not on the list yet, but as I mentioned before, there are many more than I could ever hope to fit in.

I have my must climbs, and we'll see what my mate has on his list and work from there. !!!

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:48 pm

Scott2468 wrote:Michael,
......

I am a plus 50 year old Mamil, not too fit, not too light, not a competitor. I commuted 60km each week day. Then for a few months before the trip I did random hill repeats. I found hills around Sydney, 200 v/m about 8% avg. (Crosslands Reserve & Bowen Mtn) Then I did eight or ten repeats to climb 2000 v/m, the same as doing a “Stelvio”, same as a mini Everesting. I also did a few random 100-150km social rides with mates. Sometimes, I blocked them in so I did commute-repeats-social-commute for 12 days straight. If you can do this you will be fine and only miss a day’s ride is when weather dictates. It worked for me.


I'll be doing similar, as living in Adelaide have some really good climbing options around to do repeats or rides with plenty of climbing. Can commute the 'scenic' route to work to get some more hills in as well, but only 2 days except school holidays. Then there is the family time and sports, so that means longer rides are harder to get in, but will do my best.

Have a good mix of on/off climbs as well as shorter punchy (consistent 12%+) climbs to get the feel of a hard climb.

Have been to Bright & done Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek, so have some idea of what it's like climbing for 21+km straight ( not as step as Stelvio et al) but better gearing will help.

I'll also be approaching 50 when there, but not quite.

Lots of planning to do as well as riding before then though !!!!!

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby Daccordi Rider » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:04 pm

Hi Michael,

Awesome trip there. Lots of good advice here so far. I've done some of that, but nowhere near enough. At Bourg de Oisans talk to "More than 21 bends" English couple who run bike tours and accommodation. You can stay in their house, pretty basic but good. Their tours are also really good value and worth looking at, meeting new people and just being catered for was awesome and no dearer than it would've cost us to do ourselves. Car hire works best if you just keep the car, over a long period it can be surprisingly cheap. We came in and out of Milan but picked the car up at Lake Como and returned to Milan. If you pick up in one country and drop off in another it gets a bit dearer. Own bike is good. We hired when we went, two people, two bikes, need bigger car etc and all the bikes we had were good but you cant beat your own and it did add up cost wise (cost more than the car if memory serves). Let's face it you won't get to climb everything and won't be disappointed by what you do climb so have a few must do's and go from there. Feel free to call or email me if I can help.

Cheers,

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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:51 am

Hi Simon,
Really looking fwd to the trip and just riding some of these beauties. Budget is the biggest restriction so probably no organized tours, but with the hints from members and some other resources, I reckon we'll do well.

As you said, it's a matter of pick some key ones ( for me that's Stelvio & Galibier) and anything else is just icing on the cake. Sooooooooo many to choose from :shock: :shock:

Getting close to booking tickets, so slowly becoming a real reality !!!
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