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Venice to Geneva, Day 4: Merano to Ponte de Legno

Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Dolomites Italy Passo dello Stelvio Passo Gavia

Venice to Geneva, Day 4: Merano to Ponte de Legno

Passo dello Stelvio (2758 m) and Passo Gavia (2621 m) Our day began with breakfast and Timb requesting a bowl for his Coco Pops. The hotelier promptly provided a rather large antique bowl, which was possibly a bed-pan. Timb then proceeded to slowly fill the bowl with the entire box of Coco Pops, then stated matter-of-factly “I’m not even very hungry”. I nearly spat out my coffee. The first leg of today’s 146 km ride was a 50 km stretch of cycle path. This kicked off with a short section of hairpins leaving Merano followed by 50 kms of gentle incline to...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 3. Pescul to Merano.

Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Dolomites Italy mountains Passo Falzarego Passo Giau Passo Pordoi Shutt Velo Rapide Sportive stamina Veneto

Venice to Geneva, Day 3. Pescul to Merano.

Passo Giau (2236m), Passo Falzarego (2105m), Passo Pordoi (2239m) Passo Costalunga (1745m)   Waking up in the mountains for the first time on the trip put a bit of a spring in everyone’s step. Any remaining grappa-induced fuzziness was gone after an all-to-brief 4km descent to the bottom of the first climb of the day. Passo Giau is a tough but lovely and relatively short climb. The 10km climb averages 9.8% with peaks of 14% and is placed late on in the Maratona Dolomites which leads to it having a killer reputation. Although this was our first real 'high' mountain...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 2: Conegliano to Pescul

Alpine Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Dolomites Forcella Franche Forcella Staulanza Italy Mountains Passo Duran Passo San Boldo Veneto

Venice to Geneva, Day 2: Conegliano to Pescul

Passo San Boldo (706 m), Forcella Franche (990 m), Passo Duran (1601 m), Forcella Staulanza (1773 m)First day in the Dolomites and four mountains to contend with. First up was the Passo San Boldo, which at 706 m wasn’t particularly high, but was certainly one of the most interesting and picturesque. Our route up included 18 hairpins, 6 of which were hidden inside narrow one-way tunnels controlled by traffic lights. The red lights providing a welcome excuse to stop, have a rest and take photographs. We met a couple of Italian cyclists at the top who took a team photo for...

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Venice to Geneva, Day 1: Venice to Conegliano

Bike Packing Cycle Touring Italy veneto

Venice to Geneva, Day 1: Venice to Conegliano

Today was the first day of Team Shutt’s 2017 Venice to Geneva bike packing tour over the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps following a route inspired by Mike Cotty’s heroic non-stop effort from 2014 (watch the YouTube movie if you haven’t before, it’s amazing). We're planning to take a bit longer than Mike’s 50-hour epic and have given ourselves just over a week to complete the 22 mountains: Passo San Boldo, Forcella Franche, Passo Duran, Forcella Staulanza, Passo di Falzarego, Passo di Giau, Passo di Pordoi, Passo di Costalunga, Passo dello Stelvio, Passo di Gavia, Passo dell'Aprica, Bernina Pass,...

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Planning our next cycle tour

Alps Bike Packing Cycle Touring Dolomites France Italy Mountains Switzerland

Planning our next cycle tour

Planning a cycle tour is exciting, and it’s always nice to know you have a holiday in the pipeline - otherwise there’s a danger that work can become all stick and no carrot. It will have been two years since my last tour, when 5 of us followed the historic Route des Grandes Alpes. That tour took us due south from Geneva through the high French Alps leaving the Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites unexplored and perfect for another trip. And this is it. For this tour, we’ll be flying out to Venice and riding more than 1000 km west...

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