Riding through the endless apple orchards
The path, which in some places turned into gravel, led us through orchards and vineyards as it gradually descended the valley. Just outside Merano it turned into a series of switchbacks, each curve marked like the Stelvio, as it dropped steeply. We rode quickly through busy Merano and were soon out in the countryside again, heading for Bolzano. The path was lost momentarily near Lana, but we soon regrouped.
Me in my new Stelvio jersey, looking like a total Guido
(photo by Dr. Chef)
I was feeling very fresh and went into time trial mode, pulling the others along the excellent path. We were joined by two locals who sat in on the paceline. After a while, they pulled around and passed us, and I jumped on the closest wheel. We accelerated to a steady 40 km/h but then I looked behind and saw that I had lost everyone else in our group, so I dropped back and rode at a saner pace. Later on, Glen and Carol, who returned from the Stelvio by train, told us that they had seen me leading our little paceline on the bikepath at an impressive speed.