Thanks to All-What a Great Adventure!

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for making this a great adventure. First I have to thank my wife Stacey for letting me take off 12 days to ride my bike in the Italian mountains. Do I have a great wife or what? Yes I do, 25 years this January. Thank you Stacey, I love you!

To all my friends/family who gave me encouragement before, during and after the event. I always know it is a worthy challenge when my friends say “you are crazy.” Thanks to everyone who sent me comments, emails and phone calls. Without you life would be pretty boring. You’re the best!

Without this group nothing would have been possible. Thanks to all at Cinghiale! Thank you Andy, Elaine, John, Bruce, Marcello, and Gerardo. You guys went over and above to make this trip a success. We all had a great time getting to know you. I will remember all the passes we climbed but I will never forget you guys and the fun we had. Thank you to the other 41 riders who also climbed every pass and experienced what I did on this great adventure. The relationships we built will last forever. Ciao! Keep the faith…GB

Last Day of Riding

Well I can’t believe this is the last day of cycling in Italy. This has been a trip of a lifetime and I am grateful I could be a part of this. Such great people and a great organized tour of all the great passes of north Italy.

Today we woke up to rain. Lots of rain. So we sit and wait it out. Normally we would ride but going down on wet hairpen turns can be very dangerous. In fact we have already seen two of the guys on our trip go down on the corners. Luckly they only had light abrasions. Small damage to the bikes.

Rain has stopped so we are off. Four of us went on a different ride then the group. We decided to do the ride that was scheduled for the morning but the rain got in the way. We climbed the Passo di Falzarego, about a 10 mile climb, 6,000 feet up. Yes, it was a good last ride. Cappuccino at the top with some strudel to help us go down faster. Keep the Faith…GB

Four Passes

Today was a big day. We climbed four passes, the Campolongo, Gardena, Sella and the Fedaia. The passes are not as tough as the Gavio or the Stelvio but we did climb about 8,200 feet in one day. That is a lot of climbing. Gorgeous mountain towns and incredible rock faces every where you look. The Dolimites are really impressive. They are like ten times the sierras in beauty and sheer rock faces. It anyone wants some really incredible skiing this would be a place to have on your list. You could spend six months here and not ski all the runs around Bormio, Alleghe. Enjoy the photos. Keep the Faith…GB

Duran Pass

We are now in the Dolimities. What is the difference between the Alps and the Dolimities? The Dolimities have some higher peaks but no roads above about ten thousand feet. The Dolimities are like Yosemite but ten times beautiful and striking. Wow, I don’t even think the pictures will give you the full effect like seeing these mountains. A rock climbers paradise. Today I rode pretty easy to get back into it after not feeling well. A good climb but not as hard as the Stelvio or Gavio. Very pretty and great roads. Some really great downhills. Check out the photos from the day. Good-night. Keep the Faith…GB

Alleghe-Transfer Day

I am a day behind. I woke up on Monday not feeling well. Sort of like altitude sickness. Oh, boy, not good. We were jumping into buses to make our way to the new hotel and riding part of the way. We are staying in a little town called Alleghe in the dolomites. The buses had to go down the Stelvio pass that has the 48 switchbacks. Talk about car sickness!!! I wasn’t the only one not feeling well going down the switchbacks. Anyway the weather really looked like rain and I was’nt feeling well anyway, so myself and 15 other people choose not to ride to Alleghe. We made the right choice. Cold, wet, slippery ride. This was my forced day off and I feel much better for taking it. Rode 50 miles today felt great. More on this later. Keep the Faith…GB

The Gavia

The Gavia is a famous pass because the Giro de I’talia bicycling race goes up this pass every year. It is also the pass that Andy Hampsten won the Giro de I’talia in the freezing snow in 1988. If you take a look at the photos you will see Andy (pink jersey) telling us the story about this famous stage up the Gavia. During our climb up the Gavia today there was no snow, thank goodness. Eight of use also rode down the other side which is the side that Andy rode up in the 1988 race. He took use down the hill and onto the original road (now more rock than dirt) he rode up during the stage. This is really a goat track, not much of a road. See the photo. There is now a modern tunnel traffic goes through. At the bottom we stopped for a rest and coffee. After about 30 minutes we took the climb back up the Gavia for 14 miles with a 8-12 percent grade. Another great day in the Italian alps. Keep the Faith…GB

Switzerland-Umbrail

(Saturday continued) Today was a pretty long day in the saddle. 4:30 hours and only 50 miles. You can guess by this that most of this is uphill. I forgot to mention that besides doing the opposite side of the Stelvio we all so dropped down into Switzerland and did the Umbrail pass. No passport required today because of this special day of cycling. This is a 14 mile climb with a 1 1/2 mile dirt road. Going down was a little crazy with the dirt and the other cyclist. Many of the photos in the today are from this pass. I rode back up with a guy from Vermont named Oliver. He is the one standing over his bike on the dirt road. Another great day cycling in Italy. Hope you are all well. Thanks for all the comments! Keep the Faith…GB

Stelvio Pass-Cycling Party

Today was a special day here in Bormio. All the pass roads are closed for cycles all day. It is a big party on the mountain all day long. Thousands and thousands of cycles riding the mountain all day long. We joined in the fun and road up the opposite side of the Stelvio from the day before. Check out the new photos in the the photos section. Keep the faith…GB<a

Stelvio Pass

Had a great sleep last night after an epic ride up the Stelvio pass. Wow this was one of the toughest climb I have ever done. Somehow I think I will be saying this all week long. Today we do the Stelvio from the back side of the pass. It is closed to traffic all day and it is a big cycle party all the way up the mountain. I will take lots of photos and report in more detail.

Stelvio Pass-Going to Bed

We made it. The first day was epic. I am so tired I need to get to bed. I will share more tomorrow. Ciao keep the Fairh…GB