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

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

Postby MichaelB » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:52 am

Should be all good.

Mate that I am going there with has driven over there before (in that region as well), so should be pretty right.

Bought a Road atlas (1:200,000 or so) off fleabay for $8, so that should do fine.

Counting down now, only 94 to go :shock:

Been working my waty through the sufferfest vids until shoulder is OK to venture back out onto the roads. Aiming for school holidays to start doing the ride back to work 8) . Targetting the 1st weekend ride with mates on 16th/17th April :wink: .

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

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:47 am

Chris249 wrote:One problem is that the classic side to do the Stelvio is from the east (the side with more hairpins) and the classic side for the Gavia is from the southeast. If you stay in Bormio you will be between the Stelvio, the Gavia and the Mortirolo, but the only way to get to the "classic' sides of the first two is by going up and over them first. Having said that, it's not as if the other sides are a let-down.

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.


Only just found this thread and haven't read through it all yet so some may have been answered already. Apologies if this is the case...

For the Stelvio, yes you do need to get over the climb if staying in Bormio. It is a stellar climb from that side too, but means 2 HC for the day. Good option is to climb the Bormio side.

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then drop back the 3km back towards Bormio after ascending from that side and continue descending into Switzerland via the road off the Umbrail pass to loop around to Prato and climb from this side too. There is a few km descending on gravel off the Umbrail pass but okay on a road bike and you don't get to descend the Prato side. I prefer loops so enjoyed it this way.

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With the Mortirolo approach from Bormio, it is easy to avoid all the tunnels via B roads and short section of bike path down the valley. From the other side of the Mortirolo is a slow drag up towards the town of Ponte di Legno and start of the Gavia proper (there is a tunnel needing lights on this side - can take the old road but not all ridable on a road bike especially with the railing in places replaced with twine!)

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

Postby MichaelB » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:44 pm

Thanks for the added pics !!

How did you find La Plagne and L'Iseran ?

Looking fwd to doing the WCRR loop around Mendrisio and paying homage to Cadel. Need to scope the footage to see if I can mark the spot where he attacked :-)

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

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:47 pm

MichaelB wrote:Thanks for the added pics !!

How did you find La Plagne and L'Iseran ?



Plenty more pics in my blog - link in my signature. :wink:

La Plagne was nice (was a rest day ride) - similar length, gradient and with one more hairpin than Alpe d'huez. Much quieter too! Not my favourite of the trip as similar to Alpe d'huez in that it doesn't finish at a col. Ended riding around the ski village to try and find the highest section of asphalt - note at the time it was a lane behind a hotel top right end of the village :wink: )

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L'Iseran is great. Climb in two parts with a cruisy middle through Val d''Isere. Really picks up the quality once you are out the other side of the ski resort. Prettier and more of a mountain road than the larger road below Val d''Isere.

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

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:35 pm

toolonglegs wrote: 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.


Did both Double Stelvio then Mortirolo - Gavia loop the following day.

The Stelvio double is classic 5 star HC heaven as soon as you turn the pedals over and would be my pick if I could only do one of the two options.

Ride to the base of the Mortirolo is nice but not classic, Mortirolo can't comment on views as it was socked in and raining but is more about the brutality of the climb than anything else! Descent down the other side of the Mortirolo is nice. Valley road to Ponte di Legno is pleasant enough though busy road. Over the Gavia is again 5 star HC heaven.

Disagree with Scott2468 that the Umbrail pass ascent of the Stelvio is the best of the three climbs. Scenic for sure but no match for the 48 hairpins of the Stelvio!

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

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:41 pm

toolonglegs wrote:In regards to Milan airport ( which is a long way from Milan ) depends which way you are heading but it isn't too bad to get out of. Having a map is handy though so you don't blindly follow the gps.


I flew in and out of Milan (Malpensa) airport. As TLL mentioned it is pretty easy to navigate onto the freeway. Did forget just the once driving out of the airport carpark which side of the road to take, luckily no other cars were about... :oops:

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

Postby MichaelB » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:08 pm

Have done something similar when in RAAF on deployment to Phillipines. Heading out to base at 4am and get to a T junction. Took a few minutes to double check what was the right thing to do.

We'll be landing at lunchtime, so should be plenty of traffic about to guide us.

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

Postby dalai47 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:31 pm

In regards to accommodation, I've used a whole range of options trying to keep a tight rein on the budget.

Although you have already booked accommodation, this may help others.

Bormio: I stayed in the Alpi & Golf Hotel in 2012. It's a nice small family run hotel - allowed me a very late check out so I could shower and pack after I'd ridden the Mortirolo Gavia loop day before driving back to Milan that night.

Bourg Saint Maurice: I stayed at the Loft Mountain hostel. Modern hostel run by a Brit lady and her mother. Ended up only being around 20 Euro a night! It was in a shared room, but because it was late August I only had to share the room 2 or 3 of the 8 nights I was based there.

Best budget tip for an OS cycling holiday is to base yourself in a few villages rather than hit numerous areas and travel constantly.

First couple of weeks of my 2011 trip I first spent a week in Bourg D'Oisans then 8 days in Bourg Saint Maurice traveling by Train and buses. Bit of a logistical nightmare to go the short distance between the two villages (took 2 buses and 2 trains to get Bourg to Bourg and a whole day :shock: ) but meant I didn't have a rental car for those first two weeks.

The second half of the trip I did travel more so hired a Peugeot Partner and stayed in Briançon, Barcelonette, Malaucène (for Ventoux) and finally Rencurel for the last few days riding the stunning 3 star roads of the Vercors!

Gorges Du Nan - Vercors

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

Postby MichaelB » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:01 am

Well, two weeks to go tonight !!!! :shock: :shock:

Did a trial pack of the bike with the Scicon bag that I'll be using - bloody brilliant is all I can say. It's the Aerocomfort 2.0 TSA.

All you need to remove from the bike to pack it are the wheels !! Everytjhing else stays there, and even with the fenders still in place, I was able to do a 1st pack in under 15min (and that includses taking pics for the review that I'll be doing for BNA).

Other little things that are brilliant is that the bag inclues a spare jockey wheel, all relevant bits of padding, a TSA lock, F&R skewers and even a mini pump as well !!!

The mate that is coming with me is using a more traditional hard type case (thanks liamb for the loan) that works just as well, but requires much more disassembly of the bike (mainly bars and lower the seat), so the time to pack & unpack are longer and more fiddling required, not to mentioon a torque wrench at the other end.

I've sent some pics to Christopher who is planning to put them on facebook, and I'll take some more pics when I do the final pack after the bike is de-winterised and ready for the trip.

9 more working days :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:34 am

Have a good trip mate!
I won't be catching up with anyone which is a shame... working right through. Funny not guiding this year!. Got the 16th off to avoid the chaos in town. I was thinking of maybe heading over to Grand Colombier the day after but I have hardly ridden this year so a bit pointless. Plus will be in the middle of moving house.
At least the wearther is coming right!... been so crap this year, but has finally warmed up!. Although that has brought some very weird weather, last week I got caught a a huge hailstorm while on a motorbike on the way home. I was black and blue by the time I got home... only to find the garage Under a foot of water :x

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

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:02 pm

Almost there.. look forward to updates and photos

Christopher

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

Postby MichaelB » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:45 am

First official ride today.

Left Canazei about 10am and headed up the Passo Fedaia, then down into Caprile (that ascent from Caprile is HARD!!!!), and thank god for disc brakes !!!

Then onto Arraba, but a road closure meant a slightly different route that took us up the Colle Santa Lucia (except last 3km), and then up the Passo Pordoi, and back down into Canazei. That detour added about 11km and another 150m of climbing.

Magic ride with some AMAZING scenery - nothing at home compares. It is breathtaking. Twice over 2,000m, and tomorrows ride is 4 peaks, with three of them over 2,000 - Pordoi from Canazei, then onto Passo Campolongo, Passo Gardena and then finish off with Passo Sella.

Legs are a bit sore, buit a great bowl of Tagliatelli with Vension & Mushrooms, and a small local pizza fuelled us back up :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Loving every minute of it !!!

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

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:52 pm

:shock: 8)

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

Postby cyclotaur » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:16 pm

^^ I was there last week - did Sella Ronda loop clockwise from Arabba, then the Marmolada loop in the other direction (ie. Arabba, Caprile, Fedaia, Canezai, Pordoi). MichaelB is correct, Fedaia from Caprile is a bit of a stinker. :oops: Lots of traffic in the eastern Dolomites, a bit quieter around Bormio.

I rode 810kms and 18,740m over 10 consecutive days - big climbs inc. Monte Grappa, Sella Ronda, Marmolada, Passo Tonale, Stelvio and Gavia from Bormio the same day ( :shock: ), and finished of with a big loop over Croce Domini and Passo Maniva (gravel...). There were a few 'minor' rides in between with less than 2000m ascent.... :) All that proves is that if you are ready to pedal all day and have no time limits you can do these kind of climbs/rides.

It's a great part of the world - I ate and drank so much I came back heavier than when I left !! :P

Had planned a few days in Nice but things changed so ....lucky me. :|
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:45 pm

^^ :lol: ^^ on coming back heavier. :shock:

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

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Jul 16, 2016 5:07 pm

foo on patrol wrote:^^ :lol: ^^ on coming back heavier. :shock: Foo


Yeah I laughed too - I did a similar trip (though not quite as hard) 2 years ago and came back 3kgs lighter !!
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Re: So, TdF 2016 ? The missus said I could go .....

Postby MichaelB » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:24 pm

Going well so far. Stelvio from Prato was BRILLIANT - wet down the bottom but dried up and broke through the clouds over 2,300m. Even got a bit of sunburn !!

Got rained out trying to do Tre Cime Lavaredo, which was a bummer. Now near Como and yesterday did Ghisallo and Muro di Sormano (man, that was epic).

Tomorrow we are riding to Lugano and to do lap of 2009 WRRC course where Cadel won. Then it's off to Bourg St Maurice for 5 nights and a bit of TdF for St 18 & 19.

Amazing is the only way to describe some of the scenery

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

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:11 am

You better be taking heaps of pics, to show us an start posting them. :wink:

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

Postby MichaelB » Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:56 pm

Heaps of pics taken, and all of the rides video'd as well.

1.46 GB of video and about 1 gig of pics so far !!!

Arrived in Bourg St Maurice last night, so ready to tackle Cormet de Roseland with a side trip to Col de Meraillet & Col du Pre as well. Then La Plagne tomorrow. Haven't done as much riding as some, but still really happy haw it has turned out, especially after the 2nd day, when the rear freehub bearing of my wheel crapped out :shock: . Luckily, a shop in Canazei had a 29er wheel that did the job and I could resume riding. Wasn't cheap, but .....


The hard bit though, apart from missing home, is the other shite that is going on around here, like the attacks in Nice, Turkey's woes and then the axe attack on a train in Wurzburg. Nowhere near us and we are safe, but hard for that to be felt by those at home. Wish there was more I could do about that (te reassure that all is OK in this neck of the woods).

Using AirBnB has been great, and the accommodation that we have scored has been brilliant. Our place in BsM is on the 3rd floor of this house on the outskirts, with a view across the valley to ARC 1800 & ARC 1600, with La Plagne in the distance. Had to drive over the Col Petit St Bernard (the road condition was pretty average descending to BsM) so views were pretty good.

Looking fwd to seeing some of the TdF action live on St 18 & 19, and then a long drive to the airport before heading home.

To all, stay safe and enjoy.

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

Postby Sharkey » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:53 pm

MichaelB wrote:..... Now near Como and yesterday did Ghisallo and Muro di Sormano (man, that was epic).


That does look good. I'm staying on lake Como at Lezzano for 10 days in September and will have to try to hire a bike to do this one myself.

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

Postby MichaelB » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:59 pm

Sharkey wrote:
MichaelB wrote:..... Now near Como and yesterday did Ghisallo and Muro di Sormano (man, that was epic).


That does look good. I'm staying on lake Como at Lezzano for 10 days in September and will have to try to hire a bike to do this one myself.


We were at Pognana Lario for 4 nights. Great location.

Make sure you visit the Chapel and the museum. Well worth it. Also bought myself a souvenir jersey from Ghisallo as well :mrgreen:

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

Postby MichaelB » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:48 pm

Thought I'd load up some pics from the recent trip. In summary : Brilliant, awesome scenery, Unbelievable roads, waaaaay to short, any climb in Aus now is just a small pimple ...

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Cormet de Roseland (from Bourg St Maurice)

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Muro di Sormano - Steep doesn't quite cut it as a desceription ....

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Passo Fedaia (from Canazei) - first time over 2,000m on a bike

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Almost at the top of Passo della Stelvio (from Prato allo Stelvio) - still a few hairpins to go. 5 of 48 I think !!

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Made it !!!! - - highest point of the trip 2,758m (only 2,050m higher than the highest point in Adelaide ....)

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Coffee stop before tackling Passo Pordoi from Arabba

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Downhill from Passo Fedaia (towards Caprile)

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Recycling the Gazzetta dello Sport after a wet ride

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

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:42 pm

Come on ya slacko, it's been over a week! :(

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

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:58 pm

Here are a few more pics ;

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partway up Passo Pordoi (from Canazei)

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Top of Stelvio

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view from accomodation at Pognana Lario (Lake Como)

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Finished Muro di Sormano (and me as well ....)

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Col du Pre

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Rain in Bourg St Maurice (accomodation) - weather changes real quick in the Alps. You can see the size of the rain drops !!!! :shock:

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10 min later in same spot !!

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