sestriere

Finally Mountain Biking!

Sunday was an actual MTB ride. 
 
We headed into Pinerolo to meet up with some friends of Liz’. Liz is who I am staying with in Mazze’ in Italy. We had to drive up and over Sestriere and down into a valley where we pulled up to a huge mountain glaring down upon us. 
 
The people who we were riding with said it was about a 3hr ride. Roughly 2hrs up and 1hr down the other side. So we set off cruising with the group for about, 30 seconds when Alex and I rode off at our own pace which was about… four times their pace. 
 
This was a solid climb with sections reaching 18% with a 8% minimum on the whole climb. We hit the top at 54min and waited… and waited. Not realising I was getting toasted by the sun because it was really really cool up onto of this ridge. 
 
Whilst Alex and I were waiting we were sitting down, looking down into the valley where we rode from when this huge March fly landed on my leg and bit me. Semi-shocked, I whirled my hand down onto of it. Missing it. But what I had forgotten was my point and shoot camera was attached to my wrist and it followed my hand and swung straight into a rock, Now the lens won’t retract and I can’t take pictures. Now I have to venture into Turin to see if it is fixable. Bugger.
 
When everyone arrived we hung around at the top with the other riders taking pictures. I tucked my camera back into it’s case and they showed us the track heading down the hill that we were taking. It was steep narrow and looked like a hell of a lot of fun. 
 
I jumped onto my bike and stormed down. Flicking my back wheel around corners and expecting the unexpected. About a third of the way down I couldn’t pedal so I stopped. My chain had over lapped it self. So I unkinked it. But it had already damaged it self with bent links. I have only done about 100km on this chain. Brand spanking new chain pretty much and now it is trashed. Luckily I have a spare chain but it is a bit a bummer having to use it so early in the trip. Things are going up and down at a serious speed on this trip.
 
Oh well, could be worse. I am still feeling 100% besides a little bit of sunburn and a little back pain. Nothing like a bit of sunscreen and stretching can’t fix.
 
I would be uploading more photos to the blog but I am using a friend pocket wifi internet and I don’t want to use it all up. So only text posts for now. But here is a link to one of the guys facebook group that we rode with. https://www.facebook.com/bicibikers/photos
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Sestriere

Friday we went into Turin. Taking the train from Chivasso took us about 30minutes. We found an Apple shop and I could get my phone to function again and so we walked about most of the day in the awful heat taking a look at some places and and taking some pictures. 

 
Once we got back Alex and I hopped onto our bike and did an easy roll for about 45minutes.
 
The day after (Saturday) we drove out to Roure which is a town on the way up to Sestriere. Setting off we held a good pace and we were bracing our selfs for the tunnel that we had to head through expecting it to be grossly hot. Heading through it was a cool and pleasant. About 15km up I rode away from Alex. The heat effecting him a little. I found some pace and rhythm and spun my way up there. Finding some 1 to 2% sections really easy to power along at 33-36kmph. Then the climb went on and on and got a little steeper with some head wind. Keeping my cadence high I surged on and rode to the top passing many road riders.
 
The descent was probably the toughest bit. Struggling to stay over 30kmph with the powerful head wind almost pushing us backwards. On the steepest sections with a lot of effort we could touch 60kmph but nothing faster. I sort of died after mid turn down the descent and I could barely hold onto Alex’s wheel. 
 
We ended up doing 66km in about two and a half hours. Another solid ride.