We woke up this morning under very heavy snow. It was a very nice Christmas postcard, but not really the best condition to start a ride.
The main road was covered with a mix of melted and fresh snow, in particular on the side where bicycles should ride. The situation was a bit better along the secondary road…covered only in fresh snow.
In any case it was clear to everyone that there was no question of us following the planned schedule, including reaching the Arlberg pass (more than 1.800 m), due to the weather condition. The only possibility was to get to Sankt Anton am Arlberg (just before to go uphill to the pass) and from there take the train to Bludenz.
After this decision there were three options : riding along the main road, going uphill along a secondary road or taking the train directly to Bludenz.
We all agreed that the first option was not feasible because the heavy traffic along the main road (even with trucks) and the bad condition of the ground would put everyone at risk.
The group had different views on the feasibility of riding up the mountain, absolutely impossible for Roberto with a bike for ordinary roads with very thin tires. At this point the group split in two. One going back to the train station and taking the train in direction of Bludenz and the other one trying toride up the mountain.
It was an amazing experience! Riding with a growing amount of snow on the road (up to 20 cm…) in a beautiful landscape, but with evident difficulties to ride our bicycle.
But we soon learned to put all the weight of our body on the back in order to reduce the slippering of our back tire, to maintain a very careful balance on our bicycle, to move slowly and constantly with our bike and, when this was not enough… to push our bicycle by hand.
In the village of Grins a young couple (Katherina and her husband) invited us inside for a warm cup of coffee. When we explained the aim of our trip Katherina’s husband said “if you ride for the climate, I’m happy to offer you a coffee!“. Thanks really to Katherina and her husband for the warm coffee and for their warm hospitality.
It took 3.5 h to ride for about 10 km, but with around 750 m uphill.
At the end we reached the village of Strengen where we had a warm suppe and a deserved rest.
After that only the last 17 km along a clean road to get to Sankt Anton and from there take the train to Bludenz, where we met the rest of the group that had taken the train directly from Landeck.
We received also the bad news that during the bike transportation by train something happened to Roberto’s bike (something to the gear-shifting system) and he had left the bicycle at the mechanic with the promise to have it back by tomorrow in the early morning.
It was very nice not to have any events this evening because we had only three priorities in our mind: a shower, dinner and going to sleep.