Saturday, September 8, 2007

MS Global -- Stage 3

Today was a much easier day on the bike than yesterday. In addition to packing our bags for transfer to Bolzano, we all needed some "active recovery," so we did one "little" climb (I've learned that "little" here does not translate literally), Passo Costalunga, and the rest of the ride was a long descent.
First, outside the hotel in Canazei, we said goodbye to our incredibly special fan club, Sue and Bill Harper. They are originally from England and live in France now. Their son, Duncan (aka "Donut"), is a ride leader, but couldn't make it this year because he's in Moscow learning Russian or something of that sort for work. They came along for part of the week to cheer us on along the road anyway, and yesterday, their encouragement TRULY helped me make those last few switchbacks up Passo Fedaia. At one point, Sue literally ran alongside me, clapping and cheering. She had no trouble keeping up with me on the 15-23% grade.
We left Canazei and did some nice warm-up before beginning the only climb of the day. It was a steep climb, but my group took it at a medium clip, and we made it to the top in no time. We then began the descent, and halfway down, stopped for cappuccino at a little cafe. The countryside was beautiful with a lot of hiking trails apparently, as we saw this gentleman from Germany who was headed out to trek with friends. He's posing here with Gord, who works for EMD Serono in California, again, a big sponsor of MS Global.

We continued on the descent and I was often breathless from the beauty of the scenery as we dropped down closer and closer to Bolzano.

Tammy, Michelle, and I took a moment on the way down to pose for a "Global biker chick" pic. If I haven't mentioned it before, Tammy and Michelle are both HAMMERS, and it takes everything I have to stay on their wheels when we climb. They often drop me. And Tammy got hit by a car about three weeks before we got here...she still kicks my arse!

We arrived at our new digs in Bolzano, a little city whose name I simply like to say. There was a wedding reception at our hotel when we all rode in, and I fear our smelly spandex-clad biker bodies may have been a bit offensive as we found seats in the outdoor restaurant to have some lunch. We arrived around 1:00 but couldn't check in until about 2:30, so it's all we could do. Eh, a few stinky cyclists aren't going to hurt anything if it's really meant to be! A couple shots of the outside of the hotel -- gorgeous. easy day with a lovely city at the end. Good dinner, great company, a walk down cobbled streets to a festival with live music and good beer. This is living.

60 kilometers / 630 meters climbed / 1500+ meters descended / 1 hot chocolate drank
Tomorrow, some more climbing out of Bolzano. Ciao!

No comments: