Chilly Morning Ride, Women’s ITT

It was a very chilly morning – not much above zero. I waited until around 10:45 to go for a bike ride while Colin stayed back at the apartment with Mo. It was still so cold that I put on my riding jacket with the hoodie and my full-fingered riding gloves.
The trail that runs right past where we’re staying led shortly to a bridge across the little river. At that point I opted to stay on this side of the road rather than cross and follow the trail on the other side.

A4A3337F-2271-4C6E-B73C-D0B0605F0D46The trail led to the next little village, then on paved paths to the town of Gasse. The whole way I was looking across a beautiful green valley surrounded by towering Alps.

6ECA1CCA-CBCF-4349-BD49-D59BD12FFDE8I didn’t go much further before I turned around and followed a smaller unpaved path back. Along the way I noticed that on one of the many path-marking signs there was a blue scallop shell – this is part of the Camino trail!

BDBD1668-3C7D-4700-A3EE-EFC3F625B98BShortly before the path that goes back to our apartment the Camino trail heads up the hill above so I decided to keep that for another day as I didn’t want to go too far and be late getting back.

We left around 12:30 to find a place to watch the women’s individual time trial from. The drive from where we’re staying to Innsbruck is lovely – several really pretty villages/towns, and every so often you can see a ski-lift. The towns all look very well setup for the ski season – both alpine and cross-country, and hiking is also very big in this area.

75E61645-188E-4DB9-9D30-79E64489908DThe GPS took us through Innsbruck on a very confusing route in order to avoid all of the closed roads, and we eventually arrived at the town of Hall-in-Tirol where we turned left and up the race’s most difficult climb of the day.

5B7C82DA-783D-4342-AD9F-AA1EE87B5B41We drove along the climb to the town of Absam, where we decided to park – there was already a crowd gathered, along with several policemen. They waved us on towards the west, but rather than going we stopped and asked where we could park – they pointed a short ways east and told us ‘by the policecar’. We pulled in right beside their car and decided to take a little walk down the main road as we still had some time before the first racer arrived.

9AD9949F-8241-435D-9FF3-4C4FF3A15555We walked a couple of blocks, going into a health shop to use the WC – they didn’t mind that we didn’t buy anything. They had a fish tank inside that Mo was pretty interested in and outside there were several stationary bikes setup with folks having a go on them.

We walked back to the corner at the top of the climb,, picked up our chairs and went down the hill just a bit to pick our spot. We hadn’t brought all of the flags, but I did grab the maple leaf that Colin had bought – I pinned it to the back of my chair so it could be seen from the bend in the road down below us.

24D4E2C9-704B-432F-AD8A-0E1DB91506F4There were quite a few fans, some perched rather precariously on the roof of the house across from us, three guys on the wall, and several folks on the edge of a small fountain.

I almost missed the first Cdn rider as I was focused on the one from Great Britain – the Cdn was about to pass her and all I got was a photo of her back-end after she’d gone by us. I was paying more attention when the second one came along.

3CA98D9B-D182-414F-B61E-C395B8193BE9Once the last rider and all of the following vehicles had passed a couple of the ladies that had been watching from the fountain across the road came over and asked me about my earrings – they thought they were awesome. The husband of one of them had been watching the race just up from me on our side of the road and said he’d taken a photo of them earlier. I told them that they’d been made for me by a friend of Colin’s and they thought that was great.

C638EEF2-CA86-49B9-B636-1883EA68598DWe went back up to the car and instead of heading home we went a little further east to check out what will be the men’s ITT course tomorrow. We stopped at a supermarket that had a cafe and used their WC, then sat down for a coffee – well Colin had coffee and I had a nice glass of wine.

61FB0497-9645-4FE0-B09C-BD5096DA7A8BWe followed the route backwards and saw quite a few spots on the one very hard climb that would be great to watch from. Back home we had a nice dinner of fish cakes with beets and coleslaw, and got a slightly earlier night.

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