Monday, June 13, 2011
A Better Route June 13 2011
When the route sheets were handed out for today is was obvious that today was going to be a killer day. The route had 3 major climbs totalling 3500 meters and 119 kms. The tour guide then told us that the lunch was at the summit of the second climb which was close to 2000 meters. He also told us the it was going to be freezing rain at this altitude. He went on to tell us how difficult the ride was and last year he crashed and had to ride in to the hotel in the van. He is also an expert rider. So I am thinking why would any one want to do this ride. The map sheet showed a major highway just to the south which would have much gentler grades and not have all of the climbing. So I set out this morning to take the alternative route.
On my route you still had to do the first climb which was about 10 kms long and took you from around 500 meters to 1500 meters. Then you turned onto the highway. There was almost no traffic and it was a much better road surface. At the lower elevation there was no rain. You could see the clouds and rain up in the mountains. It was much drier so I was happy. It was a great choose of routes. The actual elevation climb for the highway was 2700 meters so we save about 800 meters and the distance turned out to be exactly the same. Everyone who did the hills came in complaining about how steep it was, how cold the rain was. I got to ride through a bunch of ski resort towns and it was really a lot of fun.
So here we are in a very nice hotel tonight, with a short 55 kms ride tomorrow.