Thursday, September 6, 2007

MS Global -- Stage 1

First, that big lunch I mentioned yesterday...this is the main course, and followed two antipasto-type courses. Yummy! Stage 1 - Thursday, September 6

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 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.


yellowbug said...

wow the pictures are amazing! Sounds like things are challenging too. Ok, the snow looks like a little much for me! keep up the good pedaling!

Denise said...

I got goose bumps just looking at the snow capped mountain tops.

Mike said...

Ahhh...the mystery of the moving bell has been solved! I was wondering who's handy work that was. Enjoyed reading your blog. You captured the moments nicely.

JW said...

Great notes on your travels! The switchback pictures were amazing - makes Sonora Pass look like a kid's ride. Thanks for doing the ride for MS and for sharing it all with us pedestrians. Hope to see you in the great NorthWet soon....