Ortisei, Italy (Sellaronda Bike Day 2014)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 18, 2014
The beautiful view from the bus ride from Bolzano to Ortisei
Well Ortisei was the second town we visited on the trip and it was breathtaking with views of the Dolomites all around us.  Jackie of course had bikes rented to take on the infamous Sellaronda Bike Day and then up the ski lifts to the Alpes De Siusi to ride in the largest Alpine meadow in the Alpes, but more on that in the next post.

According to the Sellaronda Bike Day website, it was their largest turn out ever with more than 20,000 participants.  WOW, I know right?

We had a great time riding in the event which left St. Christina at 8:30 am on Sunday, June 22.  We climbed up to the first pass, about 40K and it took about 2-1/2 hours and about 3,000 feet on switch back type roads.  Chloe and I had E-bikes which meant we had a motor boost when we needed it and we needed it because we'd pull over and take a drink and rest, looking for Jackie.  That engine helped us boost off to keep climbing the switchback type mountain.  We stopped at the top at a restaurant, refueled and took the same road back down.  It took just 30 minutes to descend, I know right?  It was a spectacular ride and there were several E-bikes and mountain bikes like Jackie along the ride.  It was a very memorable day!  Here's a link to see more of the historic ride: http://www.sellarondabikeday.com/en/news.html
We were the selfie Smith family from Birdeye
(2nd of 100 taken :))

There were many of these cyclists going up the mountain next
to our bus (our bus took 3/4 of the road in most spots but
it was a two lane roads, these jokers were climbing from
Bolzano 860 ft., where we got the bus, to Ortisei 4040 ft.)

Photo at our hotel the day of the Sellaronda,
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chloe and Jackie at the start of the day

Notice the sign is in German, Italian and Ladin, and the
beautiful Dolomites in the background

Notice the size of Chloe's tires (she and I rented E-bikes, bikes
with a small battery to help in the hills).  Our bikes were HEAVY
but needed on the way as we stopped often to rest and watch
the 20,000 (yes 20,000 that's not a typo) participants.
The E-bike helped us to start each time on the road...we climbed to
the Sella Pass which is about half of the entire loop.  The
Dolomites that surrounded us were outstanding as you can
see in many of the photographs 

It was a beautiful day to be riding

The road was narrow in sections and it got quite congested
in some parts too

Chloe and I were waiting for Jackie to catch up
to us and got this great photo

Lots of the road cyclists would see Chloe
flying by them and they'd comment in Italian,
German or Ladin something then they'd notice
her big tires, then that battery and chuckle saying,
"Ah....MOTOR!" She'd smile and give them a thumbs
up.  Here this 7 foot tall cyclist was talking to her
and I'm sure commenting

For some reason, I love a picture taken over
 my shoulder, you can see Chloe and Jackie

We headed back down the mountain after 2-1/2 hours of
climbing.  This is going back down while hundreds of cyclists
were still heading up

It took us only 30 minutes to get back down...
what a beautiful photo!

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