I've stripped them down
I need an old fashioned bottom bracket fixed cup remover to get this off
I’ve been off all week, fairly relaxed and not done a lot.
Monday we drove out to Condor Green and rode the Millenium and Lune Valley cycle paths out to Caton. Very nice and relaxed easy day after the previous 83 miles out to Arnside and back at quite a pace.
Tuesday we went to see Another Place, the Anthony Gormley statues at Crosby. We’d gone a few weeks ago but went to Formby ratehr than Crosby. The statues were very impressive, especially the ones in the surf and those buried in the shifting sands.
Wednesday was a bit blowy. We went up to Silverdale to do a short walk along the coast and inland to Arnside Tower. We had a nice sandwich and chips in the Silverdale Hotel.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday were largely rainy or overcast. We didn’t do much. Today we set out for a ride but the rain came down and we cut it short. We’ve ridden out to the pub this evening btu the weekly mileage is low.
I have finalised the details of a tour or the Scottish Borders in a few weeks, 400 miles in six days. Hopefully the weather will improve!
Sorry for not posting for a while, life has caught up with me. Here’s the rest of the Italy trip
Thursday was forecast to be bright and sunny but rather cool. It sounded the ideal weather to attempt the Stevio. We had decided to just do the south side from Bormio to the top of the pass and back. Again it is climbing from the outset with little or no respite for 15 miles.
It was rather warmer than anticipated and we stopped outside town to shed layers. The first section is a steady 6-7% with a final few switchbacks to a refuge where we stopped for a coffee
There were a more switchbacks before the valley opens out into a high alpine meadow. The gradient eases and you get a bit of a respite.
As you approach the Umbrail turn off and the snow line, the road kicks up again with steep pitches and hairpins, the road lined with banked snow.
The final 3k took 1/2 an hour. Although it was cold, the sunlight was intense, glaring off the snow.
Finally, after 2 3/4 hrs we got to the top and the Coppi monument. I was frozen, tired and very short of breath. At 2758m this is the highest I’ve ridden for 20 years.
After a quick lunch of pizza, we set off down. The Stelvio is very popular with motorbikers as well as cyclists and the road was quite busy. The bigger bikes can’t manoeuvre as easily as a bicycle and I quickly caught and passed a group of Harley’s. As I stopped for photo’s every now and then, they would pass and I would catch up and re-pass. In the end I overtook them 4 times before leaving them behind on the lower slopes. It took 35mins to get down, taking it easy and stopping for photo’s.
Not a long day at 31 miles, but hard.
Fruit Salad & Ice cream
Wednesday dawned sunny and fairly warm. We decided to head to the Mortirolo.
Eventually we reached the bottom of the climb. Of the three routes up the Mortirolo, this is the hardest. It was the route up in this year’s Giro, although I don’t think they went all the way to the top.
In total there are 33 hairpin bends, all conveniently numbered. Each house or farm on the way up also has its altitude on their name plate so you know exactly where you are, there’s no kidding yourself you’re nearly there.
Part way up is a tribute to Marco Pantani, apologies for the poor picture, it was taken on the move and my camera was a bit sweaty.
At this point my average speed had dropped from 5-6mph to 2-3 mph. Some of the sections were brutally steep, only achievable after the respite of a flattish bend.
Ian was next up a few minutes later. He and the others had stopped to regroup a couple of times, to pick up the slower riders.
followed by Graham and Jemima
Alison, who got a mexican wave from some Dutch riders,
and Karl and Chris.
We were all quite proud of ourselves.
We dropped down the other side slightly to a Cafe where Jemima “inhaled” a plate of spaghetti, there is no other word to describe how quickly she cleared her plate. We were still cold and tired and the weather looked like it was closing on the mountains to the north, so rather than do the Gavia as well, we set of back over the top and down to Grosio.
This was a fast switchback descent, lots of gravel in the corners, but great fun. I raced some Dutch guys down, but after one too many hairy corners let the faster one go. The views on the way down were stunning.
After a long drag back up from the valley to Bormio, we arrived back at the hotel weary but satisfied.