When I had checked into the hotel, I asked the clerk if he had the weather report for Tuesday. He pulled a sheet from his desk, looked at it, grimaced, and then gave me a thumbs down. When I went to bed it was raining. My plan was that if the weather in the Dolomites was bad, I'd either go north, back into Austria or south to the flat plains of central Italy.
Le Jour le plus long
I woke up on the "Longest Day" around 7:15. I had really slept well, I looked out my hotel window and saw the the streets were wet, but it wasn't raining. I went down to breakfast ( which is usually included with your room) and had a bowl of fruit and a cup of coffee. I was on the saddle at 8:00 and decided that as long as it wasn't raining, I"d try to ride as many passes as I could. My goal would be to spend Tuesday night in Davos, Switzerland. I could be home by noon on Wednesday which would make my family happy.
I wanted to at least see the Passo di Stelvio and to do that I had to go up the Passo di Falzarego.
Here I am at the summit. Earlier in the report there was a picture taken here but it wasn't pointed at the signs, it was pointed at the KTM bikes in front of the restaurant at the top. From here I went to the Passo di Pordoi. The sun was out, and there was no traffic. Lots of clouds, but not too many grey ones
OK, here's something for you guys and gals coming over here to ride to think about. This is a picture of an inside radius turn. There is half as much asphalt for you to use on the inside turns, which typically, is every other corner. The best technique, IMO, is to pick your line, and right before you get to the corner, take a quick look back over your shoulder up the hill to see what's coming. Now remember this particular corner, it is very typical of most of the Swiss passes and most every one I've been on, except one.
The first two passes went well, and the weather showed improvement. This is heading down towards Bolzano.
A few of you may know where I am from this picture
This is the east side of the Passo di Stelvio. I believe the MOA Euro tour will be coming from the other direction, from CH.
Now check out the severity of these switchbacks. Look at the inside lane on the downhill corner. See how the guardrail goes right to the inside of the turn. Look at the change in elevation. You can't see squat on what's coming because the elevation change is so great. I think of the 20 inside radius corners I took, 17 of them were completely awkward. For the first time, the heavily loaded RT was NOT the best bike to have. For me, what I figured out near the end, was that the set up before the turn is critical. You can see the lane prior to the apex of the corner so you need to swing out, if there's room, and then take the corner as tight as you can and then open up if there's no oncoming traffic.
try not to be distracted by the scenery.
Remember there's always somebody doing something more impressive and worthwhile than what you're doing. This is one of about 5 guys, all older than me, riding up the pass.
These are my lost cousins.......... I hope
Here's the top half, where it really starts getting tight LOL and there's a lot more road debris from melting snow, rain, etc.