Monday, June 13, 2011
The Dolomites Day 1 June 12 2011
Bruce and I set off with the usual suspects in a pace line. I was in the pole position with Bruce right behind doing the steering. Then at the 16 kms mark this guy jumped out into the road from behind a tree waving his arm in a stop motion right in front of me. I yelled stop but had to jam the brakes. I could hear Bruce locking it up behind me and prepared for the inevitable crash. Bruce slammed into my rear wheel sending both of us over the handle bars head over heels into the ditch beside the road. Luckily neither of us was hurt. Not even a scratch. However Bruce’s front wheel was bent and one of my rear spokes was broken. Bruce called Richard as he had just passed us and 15 minutes later he was there. We loaded Bruce’s bike on the van and put Bruce’s rear wheel on my bike. Bruce got in the van and I rode on. By the time I got to lunch Richard and fixed both bikes. The guy is a miracle worker.
As we still had 75 kms to go I had to make some miles so I jumped on the pedals and headed out. The ride took us up to the first part of the Dolomites, so there was a climb at the end of the ride. I managed to get into camp by just after 3:00 PM. Thankfully the afternoon was much less eventful.
Camp is in a beautiful spot between the mountains. There is a mountain stream flowing though it which is ice cold, where they had some beers. It was a great end to the day.
Tomorrow is over top of Mtn.Sella di Sopa at 1760 meters giving us climb of 1500 meters, and then there are two other climbs for a total ascent of 3255 meters. The weather forecast is for sub zero temperatures at the top and freezing rain. I can hardly wait.
Robert the tour leader has been replaced by his partner in the business and has gone to South America to get their South America ride organized. He was a great tour leader and his favourite phrase “Purrfect” (said with a Dutch) accent is being much imitated around the camp.