Passi di Mortirolo e Gavia


For a good time, turn left.


For a really good time, turn right.


The Mortirolo is steep.

fred and mike

Mike and Fred on the Mortirolo, with Edwin hiding on the lower ramp.


Sterl having a good time.  Those aren't armwarmers under his jersey, he just likes having his picture taken.  


Fred yarding on his Taiwanese bike.


This must be the top.


Or maybe this is the top.

fred, gran fondo summit

Fred next to the oblisk the La Gazette dello Sportivo  - sponsored Gran Fondo used to signify the top.  During the Fondo, these oblisks detect transmitters on each bike at the top and bottom of each climb.  


If the Mortirolo didn't satisfy your needs, turn right here.

At the foot of the Gavia a collection of signs indicates what a beautiful road lies ahead.  The signs, from left to right and top to bottoms, say something like, 30 kph maximum speed; 16% grade; single lane; narrow road / dangerous curves / falling rocks.

ed and mike

Edwin and Mike on the Gavia.  Those ears may be wider than the road.

over the shoulder

Leave your Chevy Suburban at home.  The road is not only steep, it is also narrow.  That's Sterling with Fred down the road a ways.


The road is a thing of beauty.


The road gains elevation up the side of a valley, then breaks out of the trees to provide nice views.

The road snakes along the steep hillside and makes switchbacks to gain more elevation up the valley side.

old road

Higher up, the hillside cliffs out.  This is the old road, literally cut into the cliff of schist.  The new road cuts through the cliff in a tunnel.

image               image

Sterling climbs the gravel.  He cleaned the entire old road section on his 32x26, although Jobst said it couldn't be done.

jobst shot

Sterling took this photo of me re-enacting the famous Jobst shot that appears on an old Palo Alto Bicycles poster.  The drop to the rider's left is precipitous.

passo di gavia

This is the Passo di Gavia.  By the time we reached it the clouds were moving in and it was drizzling and chilly.  We took shelter in the Refugio di Bonnetta, on the left.


The last meters of the Gavia; I looped back down so Sterling could snap this photo.  Note the 26 km marker over my shoulder.



The refuge was a veritable shrine to cycling and nordic skiing.  The poster of Jobst was on an adjoining wall and Sterling left him a postcard on it.


Beautiful glacial landscapes surround the pass.

three stooges

Moe, Larry and Curly; nah, I didn't say that!
What a day, what a trip.

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