[ blog » 2021 » 07_Tour_Italy ]d26: Isarco and Adige (by Philipp Gesang, location: At the Foot of the Stelvio)


It kept pouring almost all night. Between 3:00 and 5:00 the rain grew so intense that I woke up from the noise. Which is quite a feat to accomplish since I slept like a hibernating animal after that monster day yesterday. The rain stopped around dawn, the sky cleared and occasionally sun even could be seen during the morning.

This time I took the "percorso ciclabile" almost from the get go. In a "rails to trails" fashion it was constructed on an old railway line and thus very regular. The road is paved throughout and even features tunnels that are lit, just for cyclists. Not bad at all.

A Post-Mortem to Rain

Already near Brixen I noticed signs about a road closure further down the valley. No such signs at the cycle route so I thought nothing of it. The effects of last night's rain could be seen occasionally and parts of the route were closed because of flooding. The Isarco had swollen massively in its bed and reached torrential velocity. In some turns it hit the embankment with such a force that water was spraying all over the road two meters above it.

Near the village of Atzwang it happened: the cycle route was closed and on the main road I saw what looked like a traffic jam. One of the locals at the roadside informed me that the road to Bozen was closed as well. In fact all routes -- the main road, the cycle route and the railway -- were impassable due to an avalanche. I shuddered as for me that would mean having to climb up to over 1000 m to get to Bozen. Needless to say with the "legs of lead" I had this morning I wasn't thrilled about that prospect! Luckily one of the traffic guiding police officers informed me that the cycle route had already been cleared of debris and if I was cautious I might be able to sneak past. Indeed, the workers were almost finished with the main road as well so to my relief I could continue down the valley without that bonus climb.


The descending part of the day ended in the town of Bozen near 250 m above sea level. It was all uphill from there. The scenery changed as well, a wide flourishing valley replaced the narrow gorge of the morning. Till Merano the gradient was barely noticable, then at around 80 km into the ride the tougher section began.

Primed by the pleasant experience earlier today I stuck with the cycle route. For the most part it was actually great. Decent tarmac and sufficiently wide to accomodate bicycle traffic in both directions plus some stray walkers. Near the village of Goldrain a five kilometers stretch of gravel path kind of ruined the up to that point excellent impression, on one of the steeper sections too, but at that point I was almost too tired to care. Lots of tourers and above all roadies on that cycle route. But they were just a drop in the ocean of fat e-bikers zipping up- and downhill on oversized Rocket Rons.

At around 17:00 I reached Prato at the foot of the Stelvio, at about the same altitude I started out on. The campsite Kiefernhain is an absolute treasure. On the pricier end but nowhere near Venice lagoon levels, with excellent facilities, strong wifi even on the tent lawn, and a view to die for.

After the tent was pitched I did some maintenance work I kept putting off, replaced a leaky tire I was tired of inflating every day, changed both pairs of brake pads, and tightened the rear fenders (it's always that hard to reach bolt on the inside that comes loose!). The tri-bars made flipping over the bike trickier than I had expected but I improvised a stand with two water bottles. With that work done tomorrow is surely going to be a breeze!


gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail gallery image thumbnail