Congratulations Ant and Caroline x x x
Sep 05, 2010
Aug 21, 2011
Where I stayed
Camping Alpine Sport
. When we eventually saw the summit through a coach driver going the other way congratulated us honking his horn and abandoning the wheel to clap. We had a well deserved beer in the 1800m restaurant before putting on all of our clothes in layers to try and keep warm for the descent. We had to stop after 10 minutes because both of our hands were unbearably painful in the cold, even with our plastic garage gloves over the waterproof gloves for extra protection. Banging them together eventually made it possible to continue. Near the bottom we stopped in front of another cyclist who had clearly also just done the pass as he was pushíng his bike. He had been traveling a very long time, so much in fact that when Mikey asked where he´d been he couldn´t remember and seemed pretty incoherent. He was wrapped in all his clothes and had made some very interesting and innovative adaptions to his bike including tying rucksacks to the wheels. He said he was going to Italy to the sunshine so we left him to it. We freewheeled down to the nearest campsite and despite only actually cycling 35miles, felt it was definitely the toughest day yet. The campsite lady clearly thought we were bonkers to be cycling and camping, and more bonkers to have cycled over the pass when there is a perfectly good train. (It was tough to cycle past that, I remember) She gave us free tokens for the showers to warm us up - again great facilities. The skiing drying rooms are perfect for us. Mikey cooked another delicious meal, sausages and beans and we were really happy to get a text after supper from Ant saying he and Caroline are engaged.
Got an early start as we knew we had loads to sort out before we could start cycling, and that when we did, it was likely to be very tough. Pedaled a couple of miles into Bludenz, where we managed to get a new map, an excellent breakfast (excited to be back in the land of very cheap food) and some new break pads for Mikey - essential for downhills ahead. Set off at 11am in slight rain, feeling nervous. We were right to do so, as the 25 miles which we did before stopping for lunch near the bottom of the Alberg pass were nearly ALL uphill. Pumpkin soup and chips in Klosteres warmed us up a bit to prepare for the big climb, but as soon as we left the restaurant we both felt absolutely frozen in the biting wind. Soon warmed up with an 800m stretch uphill through a tunnel - not fun and we´ve agreed we´re not going through tunnels again, felt really unsafe. The sun came out as we started the actual pass, which wound incredibly steeply uphill, and it was actually a relief to be there after the hype of getting to it. All the way up, I was just excited about throwing my first snowball at Mikey, which was possible after about half an hour