Beta Alp 4.0

A collection of information as it arises. There's not a lot out there!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day 7 The Stella Alpina

After normal 08:00 breakfast I set off from my lovely hotel without my remaining mirror and lower tyre pressures. Already there was a procession in both directions.

Just beyond Rochemolles I found an Italian gent stopped on his Alp 200. Somehow his petrol cap had come undone and fallen onto the road where it was smashed. He'd decided to cover the hole with his handkerchief but couldn't hold it in place. He readily accepted 2 rings cut from inner tube to keep it in place. I tend to carry a handful of these bands. Now I've found a purpose for them. I didn't see him later so don't know if he continued or made his way home. Pity no-one in front of me stepped in first. This is perhaps symptomatic of what I feel is wrong with the the event today.

The basic ascent had only 2 even vaguely difficult spots - a small rock step that caught out the big trailies on road tyres and the cruisers with very limited ground clearance. The second spot was snow just beyond a hairpin which needed one to align on the a[ex of the bend to take the firm line.

Whilst on the hill I opened the idle screw just enough for the engine to maintain an idle. That stopped the engine stalling every time I shut the throttle. (On the way home on Monday I turned it back little by little as I descended).

Close to the col was a band of snow which was stopping most. A few light enduro bikes made it through so I deflated the tyres more and cleared it with the help of 2 other UK riders (thanks chaps!). After that was a few metres of a scree ascent to cut out another snowbound hairpin. That was the col reached.

O the col was another band of snow but I couldn't clear this without help so I couldn't reach the peak. The stone on the cold was actually a very loose gravel suspension or mud an dthe bike kept wanting to fall into it. So with a little paddling I retraced my route and regained the route.

This year it seemed busier and faster traffic on the hill than last year and that made it less enjoyable. Too many trailered enduro machines were treating it as a training session, they didn't have to ride 1500km home on the same machine.

The afternoon was spent chatting and comparing notes on which cols can be done on a trail bike and whether the whole event should be done on a road bike anyway.



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