Up up up! – Conquering the Infamous Passes of the Dolomites

This story originally appeared on komoot.

To the next corner. Just until the next corner. Right foot down. Left foot down. Breathe. And again. Pedal stroke by pedal stroke I am moving towards the next switchback, slowly, knowing there are many more to come, even though my body would like to lie down and rest in the grass next to the asphalt. I know it would only be harder to keep on riding later, so I keep on moving my legs. Meter by meter, my bike is moving forwards – and upwards. My breath is going deep and fast as if I am sprinting on flat terrain. Except, that I am probably going slower than any hiker would walk. At least it feels like it. I put my head down and tell myself, “Keep pedaling. Just keep pedaling,” while watching the grey of the asphalt below me move endlessly towards the back of my bike.

When I reach the switchback I steer towards the outside curve in the road, where the gradient is less steep. Once the curve is over, I let my eyes wander to the left, down to the valley, to the houses and streets that now look so tiny. “I’ve come all this way, I might as well ride up those last 14 switchbacks,” I am telling myself – and everything is on repeat. Right foot down. Left foot down. Breathe.

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