Dolomites 2016, pre-story, post-story, and TLDR

So… Yeah, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. For a lot of reasons, none of which I feel like going into detail on. But I like writing this blog (and there are apparently a couple odd people who like reading it) (and who aren’t even related to me by blood, so have no obligation to pretend to like it), so here goes.

View from partway up the Passo Pordoi. I hadn’t done this climb before, and fitting it in somehow was one of my goals for Cinghiale 2016. I did it!

To provide extra challenge to those who claim to like what I’m doing, I’m going to skip forward in time, then backward in time, and probably not really cover much more of Dolomites 2016 than the bare stats in this post. Once I’ve driven all 3 of my readers away, then I’ll consider posting something interesting about the Dolomites 2016.

Forward: Cinghiale is returning to the Alps along with the Dolomites in 2017, and we’re going! In preparation for that trip, as well as for sheer enjoyment, we have a number of other cycling plans for the year. In no particular order, they include STP, RAMROD, Mazama Weekend, and most immediately, the Santa Monica Mountains Climbing Camp in April with Cycling Escapes, a trip I did 2 years ago and really enjoyed.

Backward: When I left off, I was complaining of being undertrained, and proceeded to do less riding than planned on one of my last training events. So yeah, that was pretty brilliant.

I had a little more riding before the Dolomites though, most notably a return to Ashland and a ride with our cycling friend there.

dsc_0052

The delicious food stop would have been the best part of the ride–if the rest of the ride (and the company) weren’t so amazing!

We repeated the ride up into the mountains that we had done the previous year–with a fun alternate road that had some very Dolomitesque pitches–and then a few days later did a delightful ride through the region’s orchards. It was one of those rides that has so many inscrutable twists and turns that you’d have to be with a local to do it, and we felt lucky to be given such a wonderful backroads glimpse into the area. Thanks again, M!

But no matter how I crumbled the cookie, I was heading into Dolomites 2016 with less training and fewer miles than the previous 2 years. Not an ideal situation.

On the other hand, as someone who didn’t start cycling until July 2010, each additional year of cycling is still adding noticeably to my ability on the bike. Perhaps that would count for something?

Lest I risk creating any sort of suspense or incentive to read to the end, the trip went great! Even with less training, I wasn’t going up the mountains any slower. And I think this was because I made up for it with slightly better technique, ability to pace myself, confidence, etc. Kerry (the awesome guide) commented to a surprised me that I was looking really strong and good on the bike… And then I heard via Elaine that Gerardo had said something to the effect of “every year she gets stronger/better!”

(So, to jump forward again, a goal for this year is to go in with the improvement of another year on the bike AND a non-embarrassing number of miles…)

At any rate, here is your Dolomites 2016 TLDR version:

Essential info–we’re signed up for 2017.

More info–

Day 0, Fri 8/26. We hung out in Venice. Successfully took public transit from Mestre hotel, walked a lot, went to Galleria dell’Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where I took photos of things I liked or things I thought were entertainingly bizarre (Venice album here).

I called him the

I called him the “Christ Child of the Abs”

Day 1, Sat 8/27. Shakedown ride, a little different than previous years because of construction. (Sadly, this meant one of my favorite descents, one I got to follow Andy down, was not on the menu this year). 21.7mi, 2,283ft.

Day 2, Sun 8/28. Passo Duran and Passo Staulanza. After three years of doing this ride, I still have no photographic evidence of myself on the Staulanza. 43.0mi, 6,086ft.

Day 3, Mon 8/29. Sella Ronda day. Passo Fedaia still kicks my butt, but I got to the top when I thought I still had further to go, so that was nice. 64.0mi, 8,442ft.

Day 4, Tue 8/30. Unscheduled Rest Day because of predicted crappy weather. Instead got talked into riding Serrai di Sottoguda again by Kerry. 15.3mi 1,598ft.

Not bad for an unofficial rest day

Not bad for an unofficial rest day

Day 5, Wed 8/31. Transfer day. Passo Giau, Passo Valparola and lunch at Cinque Torri, Passo Falzarego. 36.8mi, 6,722ft.

Partway up Passo Giau

Partway up Passo Giau

Day 6, Thu 9/1. Official Rest Day. Rode the Passo Campolongo and the Passo Pordoi(!) instead. 34.3mi, 4,859ft.

Day 7, Fri 9/2. Passo dell’ Erbe Day! Spent a year telling Ian he would love this, and I was so right!!! 66.3mi, 10,000ft.

Day 8, Sat 9/3. Beautiful flat valley ride from last year–but this time, found some hills. 42.6mi, 3,848ft.

Love this valley

Day 9, Sun 9/4. Transfer day back to Venice. But first, did some shopping in Corvara. 10.8mi, 902ft.

Total: 334.8mi, 44,740ft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost week, training fail :(

Sigh. Well, I’m here to report that, aside from a few miles doing errands by bike on Wednesday and today, it’s been an epic week of not riding my bike.

I’m blaming Operation Cover Myself In Paint, an endeavor which also resulted in the front and back porches being repainted. On that front, I can at least claim success.

But the prep work for painting, the painting, the clean up, etc, all took more time and energy than I had scheduled for. I started on Monday with the back porch, and finished up yesterday with the second coat on the front porch. (Though I’m still giving it another day before taking down the “wet paint” sign and walking on the front porch. When buying the paint, the guy at the store said “24 hours between coats.” To which I said “so what you’re saying is that I shouldn’t do the front and back porches on the same day…”)

While I finished painting yesterday, Ian went off on a brutal training ride. That’s ok, I rationalized to myself–he was about to go out of town for work, and meanwhile I could do big rides on Sunday and Monday.

So I got up really early for a Sunday morning, took Ian to the airport, came home, and… Didn’t immediately change into cycling clothes. Whoops. I was just really tired, and thought that resting for a bit would make it easier to get out there.

I was starting to think about venturing out, and on my way upstairs to change, opened the front door to look out at the shiny new porch. And one by one, four earwigs  fell from the door to the floor at my feet. My bare feet.

I. Really. Really. Really. Hate. Earwigs.

I eventually took care of them all, but that torpedoed my remaining initiative. I can take a hint from the universe–this was not my day for enjoying the great outdoors and the wonders of nature. This was a day to hunker down in fortress mode.

So I got back into bed, and finished reading a library book that’s due today. Now I’m going to very cautiously venture outside (and try not to get ambushed by anything creepy-crawly) and return it.

Tomorrow’s another day, right?