Raid Dolomites — BikeRadar
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Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides
edited August 2009
Having done the alp and pyrenee raids solo i'd be gratefull of any info on the route,accomodation etc. Does it realy take 11 days to do? Thanks in advance
It took us 11 days on an organised trip in 1998. I enjoyed it more than the Alpine and Pyrenean raids - not quite sure why. It seemed to have more variety of scenery I suppose, and being longer it was all the more of a challenge to do. The Stelvio is just incredible, the Splugen an amazing feat of engineering, the Tre Cime was undoubtedly the toughest climb that I've done in any of the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites.
Can't remember much about the accommodation as it was all organised for us. Andyp was there too and has a much better memory than me so may be able to help if he sees this thread.
Did it 2007. Great trip, probably one of the best routes in Europe/world in terms of variety of scenery/challenge as you go from smooth slopes of the Alps to much more rugged, challenging Dolomites At the same time you move from France to Italy to Switzerland to Tyrol (so German Italian) and to Med Italian. And if you feel like it at the end you can chill out for a day or two in Venice.
Re timing you could go quicker than 11 days but not sure I'd recommend it as wont leave much time to appreciate the local culture/no contingency for weather (see below). Also route is good in terms of building up, first day just has one, easy-ish climb, day 2 one long but steady one and from then on it gets more and more interesting, building up Stelvio/Tre Cime Ruth mentions. (Plus as a real climax there is an option on day 10 to detour south of the official route and do Zoncolan as the final climb of the trip which is an absolutely fantastic way to round the trip off).
I went with Baxters. Not a good experience I am afraid as very poor organisation/support. If doing it again I would do unsupported in light/fast credit card mode. However this would be tough and would recommend supported ride for most (in our group, even supported only 4 out of 24 managed the full route)
Part of reason for latter is that you need to go prepared for very changeable weather. In our ride we had everything from sweltering heat to an Artic blizzard on top of Stelvio. On the latter day (mid August) I was the coldest I have ever been in my life.
All that said I would definitely do it and its a great step on after doing the Pyreneen/Alp. If it helps I can probably look out the route we followed/where we stopped. Just post back here if you want this info.
PS some blog notes from trip here
Martin S. Newbury RC
As Ruth says, I did this with her and some other friends back in 1998. I enjoyed it so much that I did it again in 2003.
Both trips were with Baxters and, like bahzob, the experience wasn't as good as it could've been. The guide on the first trip spoke a bit of French and no Italian or German, and expected guests who did speak some to help out (which included supporting a rider in hospital after he'd had a coronary!).
The route is stunning but I did notice in 2003 that the traffic levels had noticeably increased since 1998. This was commented on by a few other riders who'd been on both trips.
It would be possible to shorten the number of days taken to complete the route down to 8 or 9 days but you'd miss out on enjoying the local culture, which changes noticeably as you progress.
From memory we stayed in Sion, Dommodossola, Bellinzona (actually a village just before there), Chiavenna, Bormio, Marlengo, Santa Christina Val Gardena, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Vigo di Cadore, Udine and Trieste.
I also learnt that one must never call Ruth a cycle tourist, the guy who did probably still has twinges in his legs from the pain she dished out as revenge!
Thank you all very much.
The busy roads/traffic aspect is something which puts me off slightly. I thought the Pyrenee was a fantastic route from that point of veiw. Logisticaly we were supported by friends/family which may be harder to coerse/persuade/beg/bully again for 11 days!
Any links to route profile would be great. Thanks again
edited 1 January
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