600 km << 10,000 m. altitude gain << Petit Saint Bernard pass 2188 m. << Cormet de Roselend pass 1960 m. << Saisies pass 1650 m. << La Forclaz pass 1527 m. << Montets pass 1461 m. << Simplon pass 2005 m. << ITALY << FRANCE << SWITZERLAND <<
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My tour blanc 2010

The eve...

La vigilia...Are you a good morning starts in the morning ... I could turn the gallon, but Tour de Mont Blanc!
It 'Friday, the eve of departure of the patent 600km from Mont Blanc and I wake up full of aches, my throat burning and my head weighs a ton due to incorrect use of air conditioning in the office. I go to work and also spent the day very heavily.
But it is not easily give up my usual appointments taken in the evening and I'm going to rest hopefully he can get up in less than destroyed.
At the dawn of the four I get up for breakfast, is still struggling to eat but at least it seems a pain, remains a bit 'of a headache.
Worth said: "Heaven help that will help thee" and then that way it's off to Biella, along with Graziano and big brother.
Here you can find friends ever stray, those who share with us many weekends on the streets of patents.
What a surprise review riding Captain-Fakir (Fulvio Gambaro), only in February we had been to visit him in hospital after an operation, there is also Barbara (Fanchini) with whom I had cycled the randomauri last year and not seen since Then Olga Maffei, another great randonneurs, and his friend Mark (Narcissus) by Correggio, a big "stray", always happy and generous to all and many others.
We get ready, I prepared the bike with the bag front and rear top case, I prefer to take everything below, as we reach Martigny (where there is an opportunity to be wearing a bag-drop), probably tomorrow morning, so I have need to have everything necessary to ensure adequate coverage during the night.

Everything is ready, lets get started:

Si entra in FranciaBriefing at 8 and leave Biella.
The first "commitment" is the moraine hills of the Serra d'Ivrea, from Mongrando climb to Zubiena. Just a few rides to warn that I'm better, it seems far in blaming the state last night, and it comforts me greatly.
The weather is the best you could want, and we are quite assured that we should not encounter rain, if not some typical summer afternoon thunderstorm. Meeting in the first few kilometers Paul, the stray friend who runs the site and forum randonneurs audax, what a pleasure to see him and get on your bike, this time, although next few short sections.
The White peeps already at the head of the valley in the meantime I started to nibble a sandwich of ham carefully prepared dawn.
Pre-St-Didier: the rise begins at the Piccolo San Bernardo. Start now with a slow pace and agility, as is my usual.
It 's long ascent to "Small" and yet it passes quickly, after La Thuile the air gets cooler and I feel fit, Graziano is on top waiting for me, I confess to having some difficulty eating, the great heat and stress of the first ascent can sometimes lead to these problems but a stray knows that the crisis, as they came, they pass, we must not lose heart. Take a Coke and sit for a moment, then we start the fast descent to Bourg St. Maurice, the temperature increases more and more As we approach the town.
And here we are the first check, just before beginning the ascent to the second hill of the day: Cormet de Roselend.
Are 15.55, the control is placed along an avenue lined with trees, I eat two sandwiches with jam and put myself in borsino that already abounds in food, a couple of packets of wafers, which I'm sure come in handy tonight.

Embodies the group "perfect"

RoselendMany leave, we linger a few minutes and when you hang up the pedals form a quartet with Barbara and companion Max, so it will be until the end of the hikes that will add a fifth element, Ivan (Bergamo), which will meet soon on the rise the Roselend. There is shade along this slope is very good and pulls a slight breeze.
As usual, but remain ultimately reach the other three when it opens on the environment and vast lawns and views over beautiful "Val du Glace ': missing six or seven kilometers of the hill. And 'where we meet Ivan, in his fine shirt finisher Patent Epic. From now on we will always be five of us.
When we get on top of the Roselend, we find the camper of a cyclist who is also the GC Meschio randonnée venturing into this and thanks to his good heart we are invited to make use of their private dining. Damn that people with a heart of gold that is in the world stray.
Refreshed again for the descent to the Barrage de Roselend, the beautiful artificial lake where I stop to do some photo shoot.
Then again down to Beaufort, where he began the climb to the third hill: the Saisies. Meanwhile, the evening comes, but there is still plenty of light.
The strays are familiar with those moments of ecstasy or tested during this quell'ascesa, alone, in that moment when what surrounds them creates a kind of ethereal suspension and the toil of the climb fades to give way to light flight of thoughts : the first lights of evening shades that highlight the vast alpine meadows framed by massive white and cool air caresses my face I detached from the earthly world, I do not know where and with whom they have never as yet in these moments I feel at home. Put an end to this state of ecstasy, deep vision of the road rears up to the country of Saisies, a major ski resort that also marks the culmination of the hill.
The last rays of the sun straight in the eye to steal me from almost the end of the climb. When the road opens I see four companions on the roadside near the camper and we had met before on the Roselend. We have yet to eat and drink, goes some way to reciprocate with an offer because we regret ever going to latch. It 's time to set up the lights, put the long link, the leggings, and reflective bands before going down to Megève, in the evening arrived and began to pull fresh air instead.
I am pleased and reassured to see that the brother has taken his usual energy, is a rock!

Here comes the night

Arriva la seraDescend now spotlights play their jobs well. Now is very careful not to mistake the road, the dark, narrow streets and lanes, which require higher speed descents mean that mistakes become easy.
St.Gervais reach and if we eat should we hurry to find a bar soon otherwise we will find everything closed, are nine and a half years and in these places the "stop" part-time course in anticipation of our habits.
A brasserie that also serves pizza and sandwiches: we sit, the customers are watching more than a little curious and maybe take us a little 'crazy for, but the taste of the hikes is this: to awaken the curiosity and wonder of ordinary people.
We stay for about an hour, having eaten and drank a cold beer we will give back enough energy to reach the next control instead of Martigny 70 km from here, but he sees half of the excess over the hills and Montets Forclaz and especially St.Gervais by hills leading to Chamonix.

A large group comes together in the middle of the night:

La magia delle AlpiWe start over again, some moments of indecision at certain intersections, but we are good at it right in the street.
Climb, ramps bad, the memory in my lap three years ago but then we meet them down at some point, just above us seem such a quantity of lights approaching fast, as to believe there is a ship in need of repair that is falling on our heads!
They are strays that were ahead and they're convinced that back down the wrong road.
We consult, but in the end wins our idea that we are on the line (so to say seeing the countless hairpin turns) away.
Fortunately for them, even to us, the road will be just right and proceed uphill to get over the hill, reaching the outskirts of Chamonix.
It 's a chance that we have reconstructed this bunch right now: we road up to Martigny town expecting on each entry and making it safer to travel.
Argentiere: climb to the Col Montets, nothing to do with the packages cycled before, much milder, there cool, not cold, a full moon can see clearly even turning off the lights, but obviously not anyone and is always very dangerous despite the traffic is virtually absent.
We descend from Montets, we pass through customs (empty) and enter in Switzerland rose to Forclaz long, but even this very easy to cycle.
I still feel hungry even if he ate thirty miles ago. I reject those wafers that had taken the first inspection yesterday afternoon and I devour them!
We arrive at the top of Forclaz, everyone is there to wait for stragglers, and I am among them.
Then dive down to Martigny, because now beginning to be cold, the dawn is approaching and it is the moment when the temperature drops significantly, then we can not wait to take a break.
We're going down the long straights of Forclaz, the road illuminated by our powerful spotlight when my faithful companion Cimebianche risk their necks because of a deer that suddenly popped out from the roadside him do not know what sort of balancing act to avoid the worst: at the scene, since I am a little behind him, and I am seized with a shudder, fortunately for my brother, but also of the animal, the two do not match and apart from the fear can be summed up best.
Are 3.40 in the morning when we make entry to the local civil protection Martigny where you place the second control. We pounce on a nice plate of pasta (even more) and fruit before you give us a bit 'off on one of bunk beds in the shelter is provided.
Apart from a few who decide to start again almost immediately, most will give a few hours of sleep. After a quick consultation we decided to put the alarm clock at six. I can fall asleep and apart from very sore throat, I shot back a few days, I find tremendous benefit from this Oretta or so of rest.

Starting over after a few hours of rest

Massiccio del Bianco dalla vallèUs up again at six, but between a stock and the other seven will do when we move from Martigny, and the sun is already present on most of the Rhone Valley: Directorate Brig. The wind saves for the whole stretch of the valley, Brig awaits us climb the Simplon. We have two alternatives, the classical state, sweeter but also more traffic, or the old road that joins, much higher, in the same state but which has much greater slope. It was decided, given the fatigue accumulated over the state. Perfect, then follow the road, well, boys ... this way! ... But it is, as it is, we find ourselves right on the ramp of the old road killer! Okay! we have now, we want to do ...? know we can not go back!
Proceed on these slopes that never go below the 8:00 to 9:00 per cent with the aggravating circumstance of a scorching sun! When, after six or seven kilometers I see the reunion with the government breathed a sigh of relief! Now the slope is gentler and will become the shadow.
Most of the morning group is now on, we are five of us aficionados waiting for the summit at 13.20 and stamped on the third control of the pass.
We face now the fast descent to Domodossola to be followed by the long approach to Biella Valdossola through the basin and Baraggia Cusio Vercelli: surely there will be burst by the heat but at least we still have plenty of time available.
Just past the customs Iselle we are back on native soil, a restaurant is right for us to eat something better and we could not find because we are the first ten seconds and vegetables, beer and coffee! Really amazing!
The thought of losing out on the bike and then deal with the missing 120 km takes us to evil but in the meantime we enjoy lunch.
The five riders "errant", even four because between us there is a lady, you grant a short rest at the table of the restaurant.
When share is almost three in the afternoon.

The final stages

Il Barrage de RoselendAs long as it is to reach Domodossola is fine because it followed the road to go down but then go through the entire valley of the Toce becomes gradually more and more difficult, the heat is oppressive and we will also put the strong headwind. Better not waste energy unnecessarily and try to quiet a pace that maintains a certain reserve, since we still have a long way. A bit 'of relief along the shore of Lake Orta: the temperature here is cooler and ride better.
Some slight difficulties for our comrade in Bergamo when the road rears lose some 'ground but we have cycled so far in five and five will get there.
Slow down the pace a little, this will allow us to definitively not braise for the next km and tear in the next. It 's a constant to make sure that all stand united, nobody loses the wheels of those who lay ahead. The sun begins to drop when we come to Cossington, are the last tear in the first twelve kilometers of the final straight and slightly slight slope, leading to the destination.
Not enough as the "suffering" endured so far, a nice bug that knows where to look, because I would keep my right hand properly, I crashed in my mouth! Fortunatel, I can close it in time but that is enough to be stung on the lip. But put me through the fatigue and sleepiness, which will be doping is effective?
Compagni di viaggioSo here we are in Biella, we come to the same square where we started yesterday morning. This concludes that our ride around the White after 36 hours and 40 minutes (if you really want to be precise) that has given us so many emotions and personal satisfaction for having believed in spite of the physical state of the vigil.
I thank first and foremost Graziano, and brother, and fellow travelers Barbara, Massimo and Ivan, this is the beauty of stray dogs: the spontaneity with which you create a group that shares all the difficulties and gradually you do complement each other in their ability to continue to your destination.
Thanks also to the organizers of VallelvoBike that their first experience in a 600 have labored so dear.
One criticism can be made about the time limit for this patent was rather low, given the difficulties of the path. Maybe leaving the membership of the standard approvals, it could manage with a self-regulation that allow you to stretch the time giving it up, so, even more beauty. For the rest of us are "fun" and whoever knows the stray dogs will have guessed correctly what I mean.

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