So, i took a little ride up to the whispering wall a few weekends back, a beautiful morning and the roads were surprising quiet. Couldn’t ask for anything better.
No particular reason other than I had heard about a number of Reservoir rides across the globe over the years, and had always wondered what a similarly inspired ride in Adelaide would look like. Looking at the Reservoirs around the Adelaide, a route taking in the Whispering Wall to the North and Myponga Reservoir to the south would be over the 300km with an altitude gain gain of around 4,200m.
It would be an epic ride with some fantastic scenery, but I just don’t have the conditioning nor time to undertake this, so I decided instead to tackle it in two goes, the first being my Reservoir Dogs – North. refer strava link here https://www.strava.com/activities/539668560
And a couple of videos from that bike ride.
1 – Whispering wall
2 – Checker Hill – Descent
Not sure when Reservoir Dogs – South will take place though!
Camp Quality – Geelong to Glenelg
Camp Quality is Australia’s most trusted children’s charity. Our purpose is to create the best quality of life for every child in Australia who is living with cancer.
1,000 K’s 4 Kids is a fantastic bike ride adventure which goes for 10 days and covers 1,000 k’s to raise much needed funds for the inspirational kids of Camp Quality and their families. The Ride was started in Newcastle in 2011 with 19 riders and 10 support crew and has now grown to 45 riders and 20 support crew.
Having completed its fourth year, the Ride has raised in excess of $1,000,000.00 for kids who are living with cancer and their families.
The ride is full of mateship, teamwork, long days, blood sweat and tears and is full of fun, optimism and resilience. Together they struggle, laugh and conquer.
Over the 10 days they visit on average 3 schools per day and get to introduce lots of school kids to our wonderful Camp Quality puppets and give the children and local community an insight into what Camp Quality really does and what we provide to our children and their families. We pass through lots of towns, meet lots of amazing people and leave a trail of our Camp Quality magic as we go.
Due to the success of the Newcastle ride, it is now being rolled out in other areas and in 2016 the first 1,000 K’s 4 Kids – SA will take place.
Registrations opened 18th May, 2015 and the Ride will take place from 6th to 15th May, 2016. Their dream is to raise lots more awareness and funds for Camp Quality so that our courageous kids living with cancer and their families can forget about their cancer journey for a while and enjoy some quality time together through our Camps and Fun Therapy Programs.
Be part of this small group of ordinary people who take on a huge challenge for some special kids and as one team accomplish the extraordinary!
Great to see the SA office of Schiavello get behind this ride.
”Just an update regarding our training for our ride in May which we are very proud to have Schiavello as a sponsor!!
On Saturday 30 January 2016, 11 of us including Evelyn from Schiavello met at the Buffalo at Glenelg for a training ride from Glenelg to Tanunda. The conditions were magnificent and the scenery was breath taking. Adelaide is truly a great cycling city! We made our way up Cross Roads to the bollards and then through to Crafers. From there we were enjoyed the scenery of the Adelaide Hills making our way out to Gumeracha – Birdwood – Williamstown – Lyndoch then through to Tanunda giving us a total of 115 km’s.
We enjoyed lunch at the Tanunda Hotel before 3 of us then made our way back to Adelaide giving us a total of 190 km’s for the day. Not bad for a training ride!
The young lady on the left of the tandem bike is an amazing young lady by the name of Jessy. Jessy is blind as she was diagnosed as a child with cancer and as a result lost her sight when she was 5 years of age. She has also grown up through Camp Quality, she will be participating in the ride in May which in itself is an incredible feat!!
I will keep you updated on the progress of our training as we get closer to the ride in May.
Thanks again for your kind support.
Oh My God – Mathew Hayman
Mathew Hayman (born 20 April 1978) is an Australian professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam Orica–GreenEDGE. Hayman is an experienced and respected domestique, as he typically takes on a supporting role within his team. Hayman is a specialist in the cobbled classics.
After 15 attempts, Mathew Hayman became the second Australian to take victory at Paris-Roubaix. Mathew has typically worked for others, but this year he seized the opportunity to take the biggest win of his career. Unbelievably 6 weeks after breaking his arm (radius) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
As SBS myth busted:
- Breaking your arm six weeks before a race means you can’t win it
- You need form to win a race
- You can’t win after being dropped
- You’re a Domestique, you can’t win
- 37-year-olds are ‘over the hill’
- Riders in early moves can’t win
Last posting I published a list of Everstings in South Australia. Looks like I missed a few, so here is an updating of the list, including the recent Everesting of Windy Point last Sunday by Brad Holmes.
Keep an eye out this coming long weekend for more Everesters in Adelaide, and if you get the opportunity, provide some sherpa support, any and all support is much appreciated.
Adam Williss Ackland Hill
Michael Fraser Addison Avenue
Dave Edwards Chambers Gully Trail
Alex Louca Chandlers Hill
Darren Hansberry Chandlers Hill
Phil Tillotson Cherryville
Chris Barker Chomolungma Down Under
Alex Louca Cleland Access Road
Dave Edwards Cleland Access Road
Dirk Gardner Cleland Access Road
James Raison Cleland Access Road
nathan elliott Cleland Access Road
Sam Jeffries Cleland Access Road
Benny JJ Coach Road
Maximillian Hardy Coachhouse Drive
Josh Cardwell Collins Hill
Rob Wood Corkscrew Road
stu ‘Rowdy’ W Eyre Fowler Gulfview
Tim Ely Fox Creek Rd
Durianrider Gill Tce
el fighero Glynburn Road
Demonic Dan V Gorge Road
Tim Ely Green Valley Drive
Phil Morton Greenhill
Adam Tarzia Greenhill Rd
Jeff Morris Holly Hock Court
Benny JJ Jacobs Ladder (Gill Tce)
Durianrider Kensington Road to Lookout
Dave Edwards Knotts Hill/Pound Road
Dirk Gardner Linden Avenue
nathan elliott Linden Avenue
David Bills Lindsay Terrace
Steven Klaebe Little Italy
Demonic Dan V Lynton bike path
Mark Perts Mc Beath Road
Alex Louca Mcintyre Rd
nathan elliott McIntyre Rd
Dirk Gardner McIntyre Road
Lachlan Cawthorne Menglers Hill
James Raison Mt Osmond
Chris Leung Mt Osmond (Beaumont Side)
Durianrider Norton Summit
Benny JJ Old Belair
Ivan Clark Old Carey Gully Road
matt hawthorn Old Carey Gully Road
Richard Mackenzie Old Carey Gully Road
dan f Old Willunga Hill
Matt Rodgers Old Willunga Hill
Dan Humphrey Saddle Hill Road
Mark Rides Saddle Hill Road
Nick Liau Seaview Drive
Rob Wood Sheoak Road
Andrew Speer Stock Road
A.V.O. Summit Road
Shane Sody (S. Odysseus) Summit Road
Demonic Dan V Sunnyside Wall
Sam Jeffries Wickham Hill
adam bowey Windy Point
Benny JJ Fox Creek
Its getting to that time in my life (ie child almost finished high school where I am now casting my eye to what cycling holidays I can get away with over the next year or so. I’m not delusional, I know its a bit task to get past the dearly beloved, but I figure I got to start taking these opportunities before I turn onto a late aged Porsche owner.
So, naturally the discussion at coffee turns to the where? Its gotta be Europe, but where, and why?
- Event driven
- Spring Classics – France, Belgium
- Grand Tour – Italy, France, Spain
- Cyclo-Sportive – Everywhere
- France – Alps, Pyrenees, Corsica, Provence, Normandy, Brittany
- Italy – Sardinia, Italian Lakes, Alps, Dolomites, Puglia, Tuscany, Umbria
- Spain – Andalucía, Pyrenees
- UK- Yorkshire, Lakes District, Cumbria, Isle of Wight, County Clare
- Craoatia, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary
- Colle del Nivolet
- Passo dello Stelvio
- Colle Fauniera
- Passo Gavia
- Passo di Gavia
- Col de l’Iseran
- Grosse Scheidegg
- Route des Lacs (Lac Cap de Long)
Col du Galibier
- Monte Grappa
- Mont Ventoux
- Lago di Narèt
- Laghetti Superiore
- Cime de la Bonette
- Passo della Novena (Nufenenpass)
- Col Agnel
- Lac d’Emosson
- Col du Granon
- Plan du Lac
- Passo San Gottardo
- Col du Sanetsch
- Col du Grand St-Bernard
- Passo Giau
- Berner Oberland
- La Grand Dixence
- Col d’Izoard
- Rifugio Auronzo
- Cime di Lavaredo
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo
- Colle della Lombarda
- Lac de Moiry
- Cormet de Roselend
- Lac de Roselend
- Coll de la Lombarde
- Lac du Moiry
- Val Thorens
- Lac de Mauvoisin
- Col de la Cayolle
- Col d’Allos
- Colle di Sampeyre
- Port de Bouchar
- Albula Beauty
- Colle di Sampeyre
- Passo Pordoi
- Passo Sella
- Passo Gardena
- Cirque de Troumouse
- Col du Mont Cenis
- Lac du Mont Cenis
- Hannibal Monument
- Petit Mont Cenis
- Mont Cenis
- Croix de Cœur
- Ofenpass/Pass dal Fuorn
- Lac d’Engstlen
- Col du Sabot
- Alpe d’Huez
- Col du Tourmalet
- Croix de Coeur
- Passo Falzarego/Valparola
- La Plagne
- Col des Champs
- Barrage Plan d’Amont
- Col de la Croix de Fer
- Col du Petit St. Bernard
- Col de la Croix
- Col de Sarenne
- Col de la Madeleine
- Col du Joly
- Passo delle Erbe
- Lago di Place-Moulin
- Signal de Bisanne
- Col du Glandon
- Passo del Lucomagno
- Lago di Santa Maria
- Passo di Gavia
- Mont du Chat
- Col de Pierre Carrée
- Grand Colombier
- Col de la Colombière
- Le Semnoz
- Plateau de Beille
- Lac de Tseuzier
- Col de l’Arpettaz
- Col d’Aubisque
- Col du Pré
- Col du Noyer
- Col du Solude
- Col de Joux Plane
- Col du Chaussy
- Les Lacets de Montvernier
- Mont Salève
- Col de la Forclaz
- La Dôle/La Barilette
- Col de la Machine
- Combe Laval
- Plateaux des Saix
- Plateau des Glières
- Lac de l’Hongrin
- Gorges des Nesques
- Les Gorges de la Nesque
- Col de la Moutière
- Passo del Bernina
- Col de Vars
- Col de Tramassel
- Chalet de l’Ebaudiaz
- Flanders – Ghent – Molenberg, Valkenberg, Koppenberg, Steenbeekdries, Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Kapelleberg, Foreest, Berg Ten Houte, Kruisberg, Knokteberg Oude Kwaremont,Oudenaarde, Paterberg, Antwerp, Wevelgem, Kemmelberg, Schoten, Paddestraat, Kapelmuur
- Roubaix -Arenberg forest, The Wallers Forest, Orchies, Velodrome
- All of the Netherlands
I know I’ve missed quite a few, but I think the above gives you little appreciation of the difficulty in deciding where to go.
Once you’ve decided where you would really like to go, the next decision is the how. Self tour or hosted.
I’m looking at an article on hosted tours from Australia in a future article, but for starters, the place that really really REALLY sticks out in my mind are the Dolomites.
The Dolomites, also known as the “Pale Mountains”, are a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps cover. Their geographic extension, however, is not simply based on complex and unusual geological elements; it also finds its roots in tradition and in the pages of history, which more or less coincide with the widespread idea of the Dolomites that people have today. Up until the 18th century the range didn’t even have a name. The name “Dolomites” is in fact relatively new.
The Dolomite region is characterized by jagged peaks and ridges with scenic valleys nestled in between. It are these jagged peaks that stick out in my mind from Giro tv coverage (thanks SBS). That and the Stelvio, well, who hasn’t heard of the Stelvio and thought of riding up the hairpins with that stupendous scenery in the background.
Riding the Dolomites
Cycling in the Dolomites has to be high up on the to-do list of every road cyclist. Declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 2009, the region between Val Pusteria to the north and Valle Isarco to the west offers a unique variety of legendary alpine roads. Falzarego, Gardena, Sella, Campolongo and Pordoi pass are the most well-known pass roads in the Dolomites, but don’t forget Passo delle Erbe or Passo Pampeago.
The Giro d’Italia 2016 pays homage to the thirtieth edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel event, the pink caravan will cross the roads that have made the name and fame of Europe’s premier Gran Fondo race.
This is an exceptional acknowledgement by the Giro organizers to a sports event that in its thirty years of existence has succeeded in bringing to fruition the full potential of the Dolomite-biking experience, increasing the importance and awareness of the strategic benefits of two-wheeled tourism. The stage will give participants of the Maratona the possibility, at a distance, to measure their steel up against professional cyclists along all the passes that characterize the Dolomitic event.
Saturday, May 21st, the classic Dolomitic Queen Stage will leave Alpago and end in Alta Badia, in Corvara to be precise. When they reach the town of Arabba after 85 kilometers, riders will face the classic roads of the Maratona with its familiar pinwheel of breathtaking passes that overlook all the Ladin valleys: Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campolongo, Giau, Falzarego and Valparola. Once the riders reach La Villa, they’ll head for the Mür dl giat (the cat wall), a grueling ramp about 400m long with gradients in the 19% range. Cyclists will tackle roads with an elevation change of 5,000+ meters on this 210 km-stage. The finish line is in Corvara, on the same finishing straight as the Maratona. The Giro hasn’t finished in Alta Badia since 2002: the last rider to win a stage with a finish line in Corvara was the Mexican Julio Perez Cuapio.
If there is but one sport to which the Dolomites are best suited, road riding is it. The Dolomites are, to put it simply, sublime.From any number of villages within the range, one steps outside their door and has endless possibilities; passes, valley’s, narrow cobbled village roads, alpine terrain, and of course the Italian cycling culture in which to feel a part of.
In the spring and summer months (May-September) the Dolomites are the home of literally thousands of cyclists each day. They come to ride the passes, enjoy the roadside restaurants and of course to take part in any number of Granfondos, including the most famous of all, the Maratona dles Dolomites with its 9000 starter field. For a cyclist, these roads are the skier’s chest deep blower powder. It doesn’t get much better
Cycling is as much a part of Italy as pizza and pasta. The sport is the third most popular in the country behind only Soccer and Formula 1.
While the primary roads of the Dolomites offer the famous passes which have been the scene of epic battles in the Giro d’Italia, the secondary roads can provide the cyclist who is willing to explore and ride some steep roads, a solitary experience. It is all here.
Beginning in June, just before the Maratona, the cyclists begin to arrive. So large are the numbers of cyclists and the tourism potential that the region actually re-paves many of the passes prior to the cycling season, all to make a good impression and to make the roads a bit safer.
The cycling hub is likely the Corvara area of the Alta Badia. Several small villages tend to provide the most to offer the visiting cyclist; Arabba, La Villa, San Cassiano, Pedraces, Colfosco and of course Corvara itself. Check into a hotel or apartment in any of these villages and you will have a lifetime of riding.
One thing the area is not so good for is a rest day on the bike. In the Dolomites proper, the roads either go up, or down. Rest days are for the Val Pusteria or out to Trento and the flat valley
In the center of the Dolomites, almost like a heart, is the Sella Massif. This giant, round island of stone is 60km in circumference. Sometimes called the wedding cake for its flat walled and tiered appearance, it is the center point of numerous events. With trails, roads and ski pistes around it, it is the ideal loop.
The number one tick for visiting cyclists is to do the Sellaronda, also called the four passes. To ride the loop is to see some of the most impressive sites in the Dolomites, and to ride some of the best roads on the planet. The passes are Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena. The total loop is about 60km with 1800 meters of climbing. The Sellaronda is the most classic of all the “short tours” in the region. It is so good that twice a year all the roads are closed to let the cyclists own the loop – in celebration of cycling, it can be done traffic free. It is estimated that 16,000 cyclists come to the region for the day, Sellaronda Bike Day.
But the Sellaronda is just a warm up for the big loops and the even tougher passes, those that often play crucial roles in the Giro d’Italia each May; the Giau, the Falzarego, the Duran, the Staulanza and the mighty Fedaia which climbs a sustained 16% grade for several kilometers on its east side.
The passes have their corners numbered serving as both a countdown and reminder of just how many more you must endure. The number of hairpins on several passes reach into the 30′s. Luckily there is much to take your mind off the severity of the climbs for you will find yourself amongst a heavenly landscape. Lush fields of wildflowers line the roads, cows graze the green grass, majestic Dolomite towers rise all around, while below other cyclists provide company with Ciao’s, Gruss Gott’s, and even the occasional Bon Jour. Keep your eyes open and you will see numerous pros training as well.
With an endless supply of food throughout the day, it is possible to avoid carrying any supplements. Throughout the Dolomites, one can stop and enjoy a baked good, panino, coffee, piece of pizza, etc… Water is found most everywhere at natural fountains lining the roads as well as in every town. Get savvy to their placement and you will never lack for water.
Alta Badia and the Giro
As noted above, the 2016 edition of the Giro is passing through Alta Badia, which just happens to be the home town of Igor Tavella, a well-known sportsman and hotel entrepreneur in Badia.
Igor runs a sports holiday company called Holomites that specialises in sports holidays in the Dolomites. His family have been running a hotel called Hotel Ustaria Posta . I asked Igor a few weeks back what it means to a local that is hosting a stage of the Giro. You can read the excitement and passion for the Dolomites in his response.
The Giro d’Italia! As a kid that grew up with a father with just one sport in mind … cycling of course, I had already at a young age a ‘relationship’ with those strange ‘pink’ cyclists passing through the Dolomites.
I remember some things of the first Giro d’Italia I saw passing by in the Dolomites. It was 1983, the stage that was finishing in the nearby town of Arabba. At the age of 7 I was cycling along with my dad and friends of the local cycling club on the Campolongo pass (last pass before the finish) before the riders came through. I simply felt like a champion with all the ‘tifosi’ along the road cheering this 7 year old kid struggling the hairpins of the Campolongo. Along the road more people asked me “Sei tifoso di Saronni o Moser?” “Are you fan of Moser of Saronni?” Honestly I didn’t know who these 2 guys were. Dad answered for me “Moser ovviamente” “Moser of course” … ok let’s pick this Moser!
But as a kid what has remained in my mind, and the main reason I wanted to go and see the Giro every year was all the swags I was able to collect from the Giro merchandising carovane and the water bottles from the pro cyclists.
Years passed and cycling was always present. It was growing into a big family affair while organizing events and races with the local cycling club. Thanks to local municipalities we where able to get a stage of the Giro d’Italia in Alta Badia in 1989, 1992, 1993 (2 stages in the same year) and the last in 2002.
14 years have passed since the last time the Giro d’Italia had a stop in Alta Badia and it was time to get it back. Of course it’s easy to say “let’s have a Giro stage” but it’s hard to get it. People may think that you just need the money to pay the stage, but even that doesn’t make things any easier. It looks like there are many dots (or interests) that need to be connected and make sure that the whole Giro becomes a great event.
Looking back, all the waiting was really worth it. In 2016 we celebrate the 30th edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites, the cyclosportive that came out of the mind of my dad with first edition in 1987. And if you skip the first 78 km of the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia, it runs all on the actual Maratona dles Dolomites course.
What does it mean to get a Giro stage in the Dolomites?
There are of course 2 sides of this coin. On the one side, the tourist season usually starts in the Dolomites mid June. Having a stage the last week of May means that many operators will need to open at least one month earlier than usual. For some it’s not worth it as after a sold out weekend they will have 3 more weeks of nothing going on. On the other side, having a stage in the area is publicity you just can’t buy, and it would be even better if the stage becomes epic. Epic like, there is snow on the Passo Giau and cyclists can’t ride it. The Passo Stelvio taught us some lessons. For 3 times the Giro couldn’t get through the Stelvio because of bad weather. Of course this was better for the stage but the Stelvio is now on the mouth of every cyclist in the world that have this climb on their bucket list.
But there is one more thing that makes even the non cyclists happy to have the Giro in the Dolomites. Just image, these are mountain roads, after every winter you have broken pavement and potholes everywhere, but because the Giro arrives we know we will get the roads re-paved all around the Dolomites. And the benefit of having the roads paved is worth the cost of a stage. 😉
Igor has just finished the long winter skiing season and is undertaking some renovations at the family owned hotel before the arrival of the Giro d’Italia.
Thanks Igor, all the best for the Giro, and fingers crossed I get to ride with you next year. And one last thing Igor, if you can, fly a boxing Kangaroo flag on your hotel and we’ll keep an eye out for it during the Giro.
Link Here – Holomites
Link Here – Maratona dles Dolomites
I’d highly recommkend having a look at Igors website called cycling dolomites – link here
I’ve extracted a few bits I like from Igor’s website below.
Where your soul longs for more and your legs beg for mercy
One of the most common reasons why cyclists come to the Dolomites for a cycling holiday is to see our region’s amazing views. But, when we ask cyclists what they liked best about their rollercoaster ride on the Dolomite Passes, they rarely say, “The views”!
We cyclists love suffering and, when we suffer, all we see are drops of sweat trickling onto the road. It’s only at the top of the climb that we enjoy the terrific Dolomite view. So, what do cyclists remember the most? Imagine yourself climbing the Passo Fedaia: will you tell your mates about the lake and the Marmolada glacier at the top or tell them how you struggled up the 2.7 km stretch with a 10-15% gradient? What gives you more adrenaline on the Passo delle Erbe: the view of the Odle Massif or the tiny, never-ending road that winds along luscious meadows and Tyrolean farms?
First-time visitors often miss great spots along the ride. That’s why I created this website: to describe every Dolomite climb – including their secrets – so that, when you’re struggling up a steep gradient, you’ll know when to look up and look around… and have a good excuse to stop and take a picture with a gorgeous Dolomite background.
Enjoy browsing… riding through the climb list and hope to see you soon in the Dolomites!
Riding along the valley floor at the back of Falls Creek a month ago, the Sellaronda was mentioned to me by someone previously unknown to meas a ride of distinction and one of his favorite rides in Europe.
Description – Sellaronda
The classic Sellaronda loop should be ridden by every cyclist at least once. This is the direction we prefer because having Passo Campolongo at the beginning is a nice warm-up for the next 3 climbs.
Starting in Badia head south (uphill) on the SP244 towards Corvara.
There’s a fantastic cold water fountain to fill your bidons on the right side of the road. Be sure to fill up because there aren’t any water fountains along the road for quite some time (30 km).
In Corvara, go straight following the signs to Passo Campolongo/Arabba.
Welcome to the top of Passo Campolongo! Get ready for a short downhill ride towards the town of Arabba.
You’re at the crossroads to the Passo Pordoi, turn right. There’s also a water fountain in front of the church.
You reached Passo Pordoi, the second climb of the day. There are two more climbs to go.
Campolongo-ArabbaNow you are at the crossroads to Passo Sella. You may encounter many cyclists here packing away their jackets after the descent and getting ready to climb the Sella or the Pordoi, depending on their descent.
Passo Sella – it’s just a few meters higher than the Pordoi, so this is your ‘Cima Coppi’ (highest peak).
The Passo Gardena crossroads – the climb will be short but you’ll be feeling a bit tired by now after the 3 climbs you already left behind.
Passo Gardena is yours! What awaits you is now a long descent towards Colfosco, Corvara and then back to Badia.
In Corvara turn left towards Badia or – if you want to do it again – go right!
Welcome back! We hope you had a nice ride!
Igor’s family own the Hotel Ustaria Posta in Alta Badia and its where his passion for cycling started.
Till next time