10-27-2012, 08:31 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Western NY, further from NYC than 6 entire states
Every trip he has special days, with images that are indelibly burned into your brain, today was one of those days. After booking the tour I preceded two order detailed Michelin maps of the region's we would be traveling. While perusing the maps, doing a little reconnaissance, I spied a road along the French and Italian border that piqued my interest. Boy you have to love technology. I sat down at the computer and fired up Google maps. Google street view has extensive coverage of small back roads in Europe, which is a great tool to plan routes. Sure enough the road looked just as phenomenal close-up, 30 switchbacks in what measured to be five kilometers! And street view confirmed it was a narrow paved road, the type I live for.
While looking around the area in street view I also spied another road, it didn't look that twisty but looked narrow and remote. I dragged street view icon over to the road and my screen filled with a wonderful panoramic view. I continued to drag the icon along the road and everywhere I stopped the scenery was just breathtaking. Although not paved, the road looked easily passable on a GS, even 2 up. It is a destination road for off road riders and bicyclists, in fact in the summer it is only open to bicycles a couple days a week, called the Strada dell' Assietta. It is so obscure it doesn’t even show up on the GPS and several maps
I had talked with Rob about the road and he said he had been up there but not in a few years. He was a worthwhile trip, but said he would not send everybody up there, as it could be challenging in places, but said he had no problem with the capabilities of the people on this tour.
Looking at the routes on the tour, it appeared I could incorporate this road into the tour a couple of different days. When we woke up a clear whether this morning, after an overnight rain, so today was the day to head up.
We headed back north over the Col d'Isord. When we were coming back to the hotel last night often the distance we saw some black clouds and even a few strokes of lightning. Luckily we did not get wet getting back, but the storm must are settled over the Col. The pavement was littered with stones in several places where their rain had washed them over the road. There was even some remnants of snow, that had accumulated along the road, and still evident in the grass, but this morning was brisk and clear.
Morning at the top of Col d'Isord.
We headed east toward the Assietta. As we came into the town before the turn off we ran into Rob and two other riders from the tour. It was mid-morning so it was time for cappuccino before heading up the road. It was a perfect clear day so I knew the viewers would be gorgeous, and sure enough they were. As we headed up the road, I began to worry that two other riders who were on street bikes with street tires might find this a big challenge.
West ramp to the Assietta.
About five kilometers of climbing through ever rising Meadows, we crested a ridge and were greeted by the breathtaking view of the valley before us.
Two R bikes pretending they are GS’s
The dirt road was approximately 30 km long traversing a high ridge the entire way. Each kilometer brought ever changing views of the valley's on both sides of the ridge.
PFFOG screwed with this post 10-29-2012 at 05:49 AM