“Dolomites” or “Numbering Switchbacks“

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cooltours, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,501
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    Zuerich, Switzerland
    The Lamenting <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Winter’s waiting to jump in my leaving room… well, into my backyard at least…. Actually, now, while I’m typing this little pamphlet, radio’s reporting snow down to very low altitudes. There was snow on the hills around town a couple of weeks ago yet, but luckily it’s gone again.<o:p></o:p>
    It’s 6 weeks since my last high-mountains-motorcycle trip. Tears flood my eyes…. The season is over now. 4 month of coldness, darkness, wetness and tristesse ahead, starting tomorrow…. Can somebody hand me some drugs and the Gin! <o:p></o:p>







    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path><o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock></v:shapetype>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>​







    <o:p></o:p>
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    Presquabble<o:p></o:p>
    The Mother-in-law who’s living in the Belluno in northern <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region>, right at the very most southern rim of the Dolomites, was scheduled to do that nasty operation on her knees mid of September. So Cooltours wife was finding it quite some great idea planning a visit down there to support her after her return to the house for the first two, maybe three weeks. On top, that ideas was combined with the idea to introduce Cooltour’s offspring to here granny finally in 3-D an not by pictures only. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    If only the little shoat could be loaded on the pillow yet, it wouldn’t have needed too many other reasons for me to lock home’s door behind us for a couple of days. I’d be heading south to visit all the famiglia wherever it might live. 10 times a year, if necessary. <o:p></o:p>
    While undertakings like this still contain an extended use of the cage, it took me quite a while to sign up to the “visiting relatives”-project which includes a 8hr. cage-trip all over the Alps. <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Anticipation<o:p></o:p>
    While hanging in some coffee-bar in northern <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region>, I received the phonecall from my BMW-Dealership: The training-rig for Cooltours shoat has arrived! Yes…! The future starts right here and all of us almost couldn’t wait anymore to get back, putting hands on that thing!<o:p></o:p>

    ADVRidesse:
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
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    Getting the rig <o:p></o:p>
    Yes, this IS a motorcycle ride report! So, around midweek of the first week, I managed to rent a motorcycle after I was hanging around the internet and asking locals for quiet some while. I finally ended up renting a Kawasaki Versys for EUR 260.00/2days at Techno Sport in Belluno. Not my first choice, if there would have ben any, but not the worst bike one can get anyway. At least two wheels and 650ccm engine in a small and light frame…. I don’t want to complain! <o:p></o:p>
    #1
  2. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,501
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    The D O L M I T E S&#8230;. sing: Doooooolomites!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    There&#8217;s NOTHING like riding a motorcycle into a fresh, clear October morning on almost empty roads and between the walls of 9000ft-rocks. I&#8217;d choose such day immediately out of ANYthing you&#8217;d offer me (Yes, this also includes the night at some romantic <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Venice</st1:City></st1:place> hotel with that 25yo leggy, busty and more than willing brunette) because:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    There&#8217;s simply nothing like a sunrise that you can forefeel&#8230;.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A pile of rocks, lightened and shaped by the sun, is not only tough to trade against the profoundness of ordinary lewdness, but in itself can be a source of enlightenment and incitement for spirit and soul.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Pictures newer do it justice&#8230; sometimes the mountain&#8217;s walls elevate so steep and high infront of you, that you can not see to the peak without stopping your bike and rise your head as much as possible.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    If finally the sun makes it over the peaks in the east, the play of colours comes back. Slowly and foot by foot, starting at the top of the rocky walls in the west.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Allmost like a fourth dimension, the weather is part of being and living in this place. It is changing from hour to hour and has influence on your journey, much more than you&#8217;d ever expect. Not only that a cold, grey day with lots of rain does keep you away from the road at all, but also the clouds announcing the change of weather make the whole land appear totally different as if it would look in the warmth of a sunny day.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Sorry, to be continued later....! Must go changing ADVRidess' diapers.... <o:p></o:p>
    #2
  3. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2003
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    Location:
    Sterling, Virginia, USA
    Damn, Rene!

    I didn't think that you'd make it that far south :D

    Cute kid.
    #3
  4. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
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    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    :lurk ...............
    #4
  5. dolomoto

    dolomoto Destroyer of Motorcycles

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
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    3,025
    Location:
    Veneto, IT
    Can't wait to see some pics! From the archives..

    [​IMG]

    I'm headed to Aviano (PN) next week and hope to get some moto time.

    :clap
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,808
    It's been a while since your last cooltour report... Looking forward to this one :thumb

    :lurk
    #6
  7. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
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    Zuerich, Switzerland
    In short: At that wonderful, mid-October early Wednesday morning, I had the whole valley from Friera di Primiero all the way up to the passo di Rolle (~ 15mls) just for myself. I’m not talking about a quiet day with poor traffic. Nono… If I say “all for myself”, I mean “all for myself”! There where not more than 5 cars approaching me on the opposite carriageway and I did not overtake one single car on the whole 15mls! OK, some may say that it’s not easy overtaking anything if one's riding that slow…. well…. They have not followed me at that day…;-)
    [​IMG]

    Coming up the southern ramp, almost at the top of the passo di Rolle and on the right hand side, just behind the ski-lift station, there’s this little dirtroad leading to “passo della Costanzza”. Turning east, off the paved road, is considered to be a level 3 on Denzel’s 1-5 scale of difficulty. Twice I have been here before, twice the barrier was locked and indicated that the defaulting has to expect very painful punishment, after finding a way around it.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    So, as I am turning onto that ski-lift's parking area, more because of curiosity but because of having a real plan…. that damn’ gate was OPEN now!!! Well, here I stand with that rented streetbike, and I am supposed to make a decision; Shall I try to make it up there and risk dropping the rig once or twice (which logically would directly be connected to the loss of the EUR 500.00 deposit I had to leave at the renting company), or shall I just fullfill a longtime desire of mine and chase that damn two wheeler up that class 3/5 challenge…?!<o:p></o:p>
    Well, the lack of any pics from the passo is proving not more than the lack of any braveness. Money, finally, seemed having turned to be more important than fulfilling dreams…. Kind of a reality that can keep a grown up man busy with plenty of thinking…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Busy with finding explanations and exploring the past in my mind, the road led me down the pass to the next intersection and the next decision. The road is freshly paved, and you’ll not be surprised to hear that still I had the black band almost alone for myself.<o:p></o:p>
    re important than fulfilling dreams…. Kind of a reality that can keep a grown up man busy with plenty of thinking…<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>
    #7
  8. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
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    1,501
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    This time it was easy: Eastbound I was turning, Passo die Vales as a next goal. This time, the lack of pictures is not a prove of cowardnes. This time it is the prove of having discovered another highlight, not to say another “My all time favourite- mountian pass”! May it be because of the great surface of the road, the wonderful outlook or the invitation of each curve to take it. Hard, fast and without compromise. I gladly did follow each and every one of these invitations and next thing I remember is switching off the bike on the pass’ peak and shouting a cry of delight in my helmet so loud, that the people who was sitting infront of the restaurant all turned their heads toward me, while my view already catched the mountains on the other side of the valley. “Come on, Mr. Cooltours! Quick, come over! We’ve been waiting for you to ride us yet too long!!”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    The villages of Falcade, Cencenighe and Alleghe, next fixpoints on my today’s loop. Not too interesting after such highlight, anyway enough time for more psycho-hygiene. At the intersection to SP20 than, it again was time for another decision. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Initially my intention was to do the “Sella Loop”. This loop is an often reported top quartet in the middle of the Dolomites. Having not ridden the Sella Loop, you haven’t been in the Dolomites. So, Sella Loop No.10 or 11 was supposed to happen today. For what ever strange and unknown reason, I took a look at the map and it made me decide NOT heading further north towards Passo die Sella, but instead turning east onto SP20. Not yet knowing, that
    a) I’ll find a third “My all time favourite- mountian pass” today, but
    b) soon I realized, having ridden here once before, just from the east to the west. <o:p></o:p>

    Passo di Staulanza, from now on will be on my Top 10 list for sure!<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    Incidental remark

    It is a funny thing; I don’t know a number, but I’d say we have at least one zillion mountain passes here. Riding theme all can easily take the lifetime of a very busy motorcyclist. Now, here, while approaching Passo di Staulanza’s westramp, I am realizing that in reality what we have is not only one, but actually two zillion of mountain passes, as each of theme actually is TWO. Riding it up on one side and than down on the other is giving you a certain picture. “Yes, I’ve ridden Klausenpass. When you ride towards the peak, that incredible Waterfall on the right hand side grows bigger and bigger as closer you get. Well, the ride uphill, beside the waterfall, is not so cool, but going down on the other side offers some quiet funny switchbacks, huh!” That’s how Klausenpass looks when you ride it from south to north. <o:p></o:p>
    A total different pair of boots, when you come from the north: “Waterfall?? What fu..’n waterfall you’re talking about. Man, I was so busy chasing up these switchbacks, I’ve seen no waterfall! But have you seen the mountains chain when you approach the top of the pass? Man, all the way down I couldn’t take my eyes from the horizon and the snow covered peaks in the distance!” <o:p></o:p>
    “Montains chain….?! What Mountains chain you are talking about…” etc. etc. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Back to Passo di Staulanza,...<o:p></o:p>

    ...back to the Dolomites! As indicated earlier, I have ridden Passo di Staulanza once before, but the other way around. Cool, nice, well, one of a (two) zillion mountain passes just. This time, my view goes right over to the steep wall which at that time of the day was highlighted from the side by yellow sunlight. A phantastical composition with the contrast against the green which still was in the trees. <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    While standing there and handling around with my camera, that deep, typical sound comes up the valley. A sound that only can come from one of these “funbikes”, usually in orange or white. I hurried to get ready for a nice shot, unfortunately at that moment the camera switched off for the first time after it indicated “low battery” since quiet a while…. Anyway, I caught that orange thing at the latest possible moment simply because of the fact, that it was much slower than it was loud.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    #9
  10. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,501
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    Descending on the south, right after the first hairpin, 9500ft Monte Pelmo towers up in front of me and again and the sun spoils me so much by illuminating the rocks with its yellow-orange light. One more picture-book-scenery. Immediately I knew, this supposes to be my next picture (with an empty battery in your camera, my friend!)! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I parked the bike and threw myself in the ditch next to the road. I want to make a dynamic, colourful photo, showing a blurred bike in front of this orange rock. Did I mention already that I have been almost alone on the street all day long?? Well, after 5’ or more, I saw a Jeep coming from where I came earlier. I decided to test the pre-settings of shutter and focus and I “shoot” at theme (kneeing in the ditch next to the road and pointing at them with a black, long item holding infront of my face…) <o:p></o:p>
    Sadly too late I realized my mistake! They stopped right next to me and the sign on the Jeep clearly indicated “Guardia Finaza”. Damned… believe me, it took me quiet some effort to stay cool, especially as my Italian is quiet poor and the explanation that I could deliver for sitting here in the ditch and pointing at a Guardia Finaza Jeeps must have sounded quiet weird, especially as the cam did not want to start up anymore when I wanted to show theme that I actually did not even take a pic from them….<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    OK, ciao, tutto posto! Buona giornata….! And here I am still, sitting there in the dirt with a low battery camera….<o:p></o:p>
    In the meantime, just in a sudden, the sky partially slightly covered with thin, not very spectacular clouds. Nothing to worry about, but, right at the moment I heard a motorcycle approaching, somebody seems having switched off the beautiful orange illumination of Monte Pelmo. As a countermove, and as a result of the long discussion and waiting, the camera managed to get ready for one more picture! Shutter closed, camera dead!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Well, that’s the story how the picture of “blurred biker in front breathtaking orange Monte Pelmo” turned out to be “the Picture of blurred biker in front Monte Pelmo” only.<o:p></o:p>
    Well, I’ll be back on one nice autumn late afternoon…!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG] </o:p>

    Sorry, low bat…. To be continued soon.<o:p></o:p>
    #10
  11. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    Jul 8, 2007
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    1,090
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    Western Australia
    Magnificent ride.:D:clap
    #11
  12. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    Jul 17, 2003
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    Sterling, Virginia, USA
    You should always succumb to temptation!

    It may not pass your way again. :D
    #12
  13. Goride

    Goride ISR adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    268
    Location:
    Jerusalem, Israel
    WOW....Those are great pictures and sceneries!
    :thumb
    #13
  14. enduro0125

    enduro0125 Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    36,774
    Location:
    WNY
    I miss them.....:cry
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    thanks for the warm reminder,and awesome photos. :thumb
    #14
  15. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
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    1,501
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    Zuerich, Switzerland
    Many of you have been to the Dolomites and the Italien Alps. You know what I’m talking about when I say “Tornati”!? Long ago I stopped counting these sings, yet the question remained: WTF is exactly the reason that makes them numbering the curves!?! <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    During the many many hundreds of hours I have spent riding the Dolomites, I found two, more or less lucid, explanations so far:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Giving directions<o:p></o:p>
    “To <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Lake Garda</st1:place>? Mmmm…at Tornat0 #7 you turn right, just down/up the 1000ft vertical wall…” <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Seems to be logical enough for me. Another possible reason:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Giving information of location <o:p></o:p>
    Local pub, 6pm. <o:p></o:p>
    “Heard da news yet, Giovanni?” <o:p></o:p>
    “Nuh! What?“ <o:p></o:p>
    “Another tourist didn’t make it all the way up to top of Passo Giau.” <o:p></o:p>
    “Hmm..…”<o:p></o:p>
    quiet<o:p></o:p>
    “…where?”<o:p></o:p>
    “Tornato #13”<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Sorry folks, no better explication. Maybe someone can lighten the mystery here!?<o:p></o:p>
    #15
  16. Cooltours

    Cooltours Rider of passion

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,501
    Location:
    Zuerich, Switzerland
    So, you all might have gotten a small insight now about the problems motorcyclist faces on a trip to the Dolomites; insights some in fact don’t even want to have, unpleasant contact with legal forces, and to be spoiled for choice of which picture, which pass and which route to take. And finally, one danger I am never ever forget to point out: Because of all the pleasure and beauty that people experience who are riding the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Alps</st1:place>, they … <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    … [​IMG] [​IMG] ...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    ..often and long enough!!

    Indeed just too often I find my self climbing off the bike late in the evening just to realize, that I have not made one single pause that have taken longer than taking away the lid of the camera’s lens, point, adjust and shoot. Often enough I don’t even climb off the bike to take a picture.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    In <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Italy</st1:place></st1:country-region>, anyway, it is more easy to resist the temptation staying in the saddle all day long. The reason is simple: Food! For me, today, the temptation came along with a sign aside the road that promised: Primo e secondo, EUR 9.00 and ended up on my table as a nice mixed salad and a plate of excellent tagliatelle con funghi! <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A meal for (motorcycle)kings, especially if you are fortuned enough to have it on an outside-porch with a view.<o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    #16
  17. zorsch

    zorsch vanvandero !

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Austria - EU
    sehr schön !

    i also fell in love wirh riding the passes in italy they usually reward you with great scenery :)
    #17
  18. strommer

    strommer Ride for balance

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    374
    Location:
    Beantown
    Still looks like a great pic to me

    [​IMG]
    #18