I had been looking forward to cycling to Tre Cime di Lavaredo for a long time. The start of the ride was about an hours drive from Corvara so we packed the bikes in the van and drove over.
Starting in Cortina d’Ampezzo, we set off heading to our first climb Passo Tre Croci. It’s a fairly short climb surrounded by stunning mountains. But it does ramp up to 12% in some sections so its not all easy going but its a pleasant climb all the same.
Then we arrived at the scenic Lago di Misurina, it has a 70s Butlins vibe somehow to the area, tat shop galore but it is a beautiful lake. We stopped here for a coffee knowing a quick caffeine kick couldn't harm up before the pain began.
58km | 1789m elevation gain
Av speed 16km/h | Fastest speed 62 km/h
It was a one way road now up to Refugio Auronzo, cars had to pay 24 euros but cycling was free - I think they knew what was to come. It was a 6.7km stretch of steep switch backs. After weeks of riding in the dolomites I thought I was ready....maybe not.
It was so damn tough, I've never had to throw my weight so far back on the bike to keep it balanced, and every pedal felt like such a chore. Maybe it just wasn't my day but I struggled. The thought of the descent back down and the strudel at the top kept me going but I wasn't breaking any records.
As I had my usual mental stern talk to myself about not giving up and my rule of no stops allowed I finally made it to the top, even cycling the extra few kms to the door of the refugio where my strudel was waiting.
Everything after that felt easy although we had 2/3 of the ride still left to complete the descent from Tre Cime was so fast it was brilliant. Although the climb was one of the hardest I had ever done it was simply an incredible ride, the route is stunning and after such a brutal climb the breathtaking view is worth every ounce of effort it took.