We rode 64 kilometers (about 40 miles) today, and did 4 passes. It was an AMAZING first day -- challenging, humbling, inspiring, and incredibly fun. I rode with the second of three groups, and we left the hotel at 9:00. We turned left right out of the hotel, and began climbing...seriously. We climbed 800 meters in 12 kilometers...warm-up for the rest of the day! The above pic is about halfway up the climb -- new friend, roommate and rookie MS Global rider, Tammy, from Ft. Collins, and me in front of just one of the amazing views. Yes...that's snow on that thar mountain. Woo-hoo! The top of the first pass!
Pat Perry, good friend from Houston, enjoying some well-earned cappuccino in a cafe at the top of Passo Sella. We all warmed up there, and then...
...put on more layers of clothes, and made ready for the long, cold descent.
A view on the way up the second climb...Passo Gardena. I didn't get a pic of the top of this pass, though I'm trying to get each sign as we come to them.
We stopped for lunch after the descent of the second climb. I love signs in foreign countries...I don't know how to read Italian, but I'm assuming this is telling park-users to clean up after Fido.
Three passes down....one to go!
This is partway up the final climb. There were 33 switchbacks. Thirty-three. THIRTY-THREE! Alpe d'Huez in France (which I did in 2004) only has 21 or 22. THIRTY-THREE!
Top of the last pass -- Passo Pordoi! This is Michelle, Gord (who is here with Serono, a big pharmaceutical company that makes the MS drug, Rebif, and is a sponsor of MS Global), and me!
64 kilometers / 2050 meters of climbing / 4 epic passes
So..there you go. Stage 1. I did a lot of hard pedaling today for Lisa, and frankly, I loved every minute of it. I'm about to go to dinner, and am more than ready to do it again tomorrow.