Skid marks in your undies!

Trip Start May 04, 2013
1
9
21
Trip End Jul 07, 2013


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Where I stayed
Oetz

Flag of Italy  , Trentino-Alto Adige,
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday 11th June

Livigno had been our home for that past two nights as the weather had not been very promising. We wanted to stay in this area to set us up to ride Passo dell Stelvio. Riding this pass had eluded us in 2011 as we were ready to ride it in April – only to discover that it was closed until June – too much snow before that.

We were not 100% sure that it was open this time either. We had been told, about 10 days before, that a land-slip had closed it! We had checked the internet and the site said that it was now open! The only way to find out was to go and see. We set off about 9am and rode towards Bormio. A quick trip to the Visitor's Information Center and we had what we wanted to hear – OPEN!

Wasting no time, just in case, we headed up the pass. The weather was overcast and rain was forecast for later in the day so we were taking the opportunity to ride this elusive pass while we could.

Anyone who enjoys motorbike riding will probably have heard about Stelvio. It is a bit like knowing about the Isle of Man, Sturgis Black Hills Rally and MotoGP’s. Riding Stelvio is one of the things you want to achieve as a rider (or in Kerrie’s case, a pillion).

We started up the mountain and were soon gaining a better understanding of why this pass is so well known. What starts out as sweeping curves soon turns into sharper corners and then to challenging switchbacks. As we rode higher, the corners became sharper ad the snow drifts became higher. The views of the road back down the mountain looked like someone had scribbled on the side of the mountain with a giant grey crayon.

We were exhilarated when we reached the top but knew the most challenging corners still lay ahead of us on the way down the other side.

It must be compulsory to stop at the top to take photos and reflect on your achievement. There were many other bikes already parked so we found a spot and got off to explore. The first people we spoke to were 3 other riders from – you guessed it – Australia. They had also shipped their bikes with Get Routed and had been spending their time so far riding the Pyrannees in Spain. We chatted for a while before going to buy a sticker for the bike, a few postcards and a fridge magnet.

Before Kerrie could find a magnet she liked, it started to SNOW!!

Greg was VERY keen to start the descent before the weather set in so it was back on the bike, telling Chris that we would meet him at the bottom. Chris seemed less concerned about the snow but that is probably because his bike has all the gadgets like traction control and mapping that can be set for the conditions – he also does not have a pillion adding to the weight to be manipulated on the road!

Our descent was slow but amazing. The road was slippery and it was not until we were nearly at the bottom that the snow stopped falling. The curves were tight and Greg had his hands full avoiding the traffic that was coming up as were going down. We got off at the bottom, wiped the snow from our helmets and waited for Chris. He arrived about 20 minutes later – dressed in his wet weather gear so we guessed that the conditions at the top had deteriorated somewhat after we left  - we were glad we had come down when we did. Still – we had achieved one of our riding goals – a tick in the box for STELVIO! No, Jo, I did not bring the rock back – it is safe at home and now we have one of our own to keep it company.

Our destination for the night was Oetz, Austria and we still had to ride Paso de Rezia to get there.
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Comments

Mike Hannan on

Well done team! I know you would get there eventually. Thanks for the continued posts. Mike H

Jo Hannan on

Congratulations!!! You really deserve that companion rock. At least we had time for a hot chocolate and a piece of strudel.

Mick Reilly on

Aced it! Greg should be a pro at mountain passes by now. The English and Irish lions continue their unbeaten tour in the lead up to the first test. The Bunnies are still top of the table having lost only one game.

Sandra Karamitelios on

Yahooooooooooooo, well done - what a fantastic account of your ride, the way up sounds fab, the way down not so fab!
Congratulations on ticking that one off the bucket list, bet you'll never forget it. Order a magnet online!

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