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BICYCLE TOUR: EUROTOUR 2010

FLAVIO BASSI'S ON-BOARD DIARY

DAY 6

DATE: 12:07:2010
START: LANDECK
FINISH: REUTTE
LENGTH: 80 KM
AVERAGE SPPED: 12.7 KM/H
DIFFICULTY GRADE: C3
Gap of memory
After Landeck normality recommences. I travel in the bicycle streets, as planned, fast and quiet. As I soon will realize, this will be only an appearance.

In a local for the rest we meet Christian, a German boy who is moving to Sicily traveling with a coach... towed by a bicycle. He built it, it's wonderful, a home always ready. But uphill has some issues, he says... Even in the passages blocked by the bars for bikes only, I think.

At Imst we leave the Inn River, a little reluctantly because now at the third year of knowledge it began to be really nice, and decidedly go north to the Fernpass. In Italian, it should be more properly called 'Infern-pass'. There is only one super highway-like statal road with hyper-heavy traffic, OR the usual shuttle bus (which here, however, would must be booked by phone), OR a path that our guide indicates as a way for bikes. Warning that it is very difficult.

As foreseeable, I opt for the bicycle route and my companions for the highway. I prefer not to get involved again with the shuttles, trusting in the advice of the guide. If there is the path, it will be feasible. Still I didn't know the truth.

Arrive at the Schloss Fernstein castle struggling on a fairly steep dirt road, but I get there well, pedaling. I pass it, continuing the rise for a few hundred meters. I rest leaning the bike on a bench admiring the scenery of the valley below. The last memory that I have for the day. After that, the hell begins.

The slope increases, more and more. The bottom becomes slippery, more and more. The road becomes narrow, more and more. In the end I find myself on a mountain trail, with inconsistent bottom and leaning as a stair (ladder). On my right, as in all respectable mountain paths, the nothing. That is, the precipice, the fall, the end, in short I explained.

What do I do? I pushed the bike by foot since a long time, but here the 55 kg on wheels do not want to climb.... or are my shoes that do not want to stay glued to the ground? And yet they are mountain boots with Vibram sole...

I curse several times the authors of the guide. They sell as bicycle route this stuff here. But have they ever made it with a bike and bags, tent and various paraphernalia? I think not...

Decide to continue. Even if the day is going fast, I don't feel like going back before the castle and taking the highway. I prepare for the worst, wild camp in case of darkness, and proceed one step at a time. That's right: a step of a few inches, throw on the bike with great difficulty, slide a bit backward, pull brakes, and I stop to rest. Then another step. Then another.

At the end, I do not know how many hours after, the climb ends. The pass would be overcome with large forest roads almost flat and then downhill, I launch... only to find that last part is fully blind. Forest road, forest works. To hell with the bike path, I throw myself on the last km of highway at full throttle, in a few minutes I'm at Biberwier and go out alive, to the appointment with fellow travelers.



I can't remember the rest of the day. So I suffered in that lie of path, so the rest overtakes me without my seeing of anything. The GPS has recorded that we stopped to camp of Reutte for the night, but I do not remember either what Reutte is, or campings, or anything.

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