Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Three Tough Climbs May 25

Today’s ride was from Sibrai on the east coast of Italy to Sapri on the west coast of Italy. This is the second time we have gone from one coast to the other. Every time you cross from one coast to the other you have to climb some hills and to day was no exception. In fact today we had three large climbs. The total ride was 148 kms and had a total climb of 2376 m.

I was determined not to get lost today especially with all the climbs. Getting lost would have been disastrous. So I said I would ride with a couple of other riders. However they were really slow getting ready to leave and we were the last ones out of camp. It was really frustrating as I am generally one of the first out of the chute. When we did get going we fell into a huge long pace line which we rode for the first 30 kms. So I didn’t get any pictures for the first hour as you need to pay attention to the bike in front of you and you can’t look around, or play with your camera.

At the first hill the pace line broke up and I was able to get some shots. It was a 35 kms climb up a 1000 meter hill. The sun was really intense and I was boiling in the sun. There must have been a dozen switchbacks and it seemed like each one was steeper than the one before. There was a tunnel at the top of the grade which took you to the other side of the hill. What a welcome sight it was.

We rode past this town of Morano which was built on this really steep hill side. On the top were the ruins of a medieval castle. It was really quite a sight.

The second climb after lunch was not as long or as high but it was just as steep. However there were lots of trees so I was able to ride in the shade a lot of the time which really helped.

When I got to the bottom of the second hill and was preparing to climb the third hill there were a lot of thunder heads banging away on the surrounding hills. However as the last climb was the shortest both in length and height I was determined to keep going. By time I got about half way up I was surrounded by this really thick fog/cloud. Visibility dropped to less than 10 meters. However the coolness made the climb easy and in no time I was heading into Sapri.

Sapri is right on the coast and the hotel is right on the water front. I guess that you would call it a 2 star hotel. Well maybe 1.5. However it is clean and the showers were hot. There is some sort of internet in the lobby. If the internet is any good I’ll post some pictures.


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