My 57th Birthday Climbing Stelvio …

I turned 57 yesterday and was joking on Stocktwits and Twitter that ‘I am so old I come to Fintwit for the bond picks‘.

I am having one hell of a birthday week thanks to my pals and the Alps. I am so incredibly grateful for how lucky I am to have these opportunities and a family that understands my wierdness.

As hard as these adventure cycling trips are, I feel younger after I complete each one. There is something about the grind and pain of climbs (and the cameraderie at the end of them) that makes me feel alive. There are worse vices.

As luck would have it, my birthday fell on the day we climbed Stelvio.

Stelvio is just a beast of a mountain pass in the Italian Alps (Wikipedia page here).

My buddy Michael Kinsbergen brought me here in June 2016 with a group of his pals and I have had the cycling bug ever since it kicked my ass for 4.5 painful hours (2016 blog post here).

Long story short about yesterday…it kicked my ass worse this time even though I completed the pass in less than 2.5 hours. The pass we took yesterday time is 21 km (13 miles) and 4,500 feet of climbing with an average grade of 7.5 percent. The hard part was the rain, snow, ice, cold and wind. At one point on yesterdays climb the wind chill was -6 degrees. You can’t train for the elements which is part of the thrill.

Here I am climbing near the top…

This video my pal/guide Fillipo took is about the only way you can appreciate the scale of Stelvio. I was almost blown over a couple of times and had to stop to layer on clothing three times (Fillipo has done the climb 36 times having grown up in the area). Here are some other photos from the climb.

My buddy Uli came over from Copenhagen to join us for my birthday and the ride (I met him on the 2016 trip) and is taking us all to Oktoberfest tomorrow in Munich tomorrow as we drive out of the Alps. Here is Uli and Mike Dean and I all innocent at the bottom yesterday as we left Bormio..

We are staying tonight at a fantastic hotel that was an old hunting lodge called Castel Fragsburg…

You can’t see the Alps through this window, but I am enjoying their reading room as I write this post and catch up on emails and work (there is a grandfather clock ticking off to the side as well which is rather soothing)…

I am looking forward to this evening as the Biko team always puts together a 15 minute video of the whole adventure.


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