Bormio To Ponte Di Legno
I rode the Gavia the day after riding up the valley and doing the Stelvio, so my opinion of it may be tainted by the tiredness in my legs. The Stelvio despite being one of the toughest climbs you will ride helps by being stunning to look at, the Gavia right from when you roll out of Bormio feels completely inhospitable. It kind of meanders out of town on a side street, without the grand entrance of the Stelvio with its beautiful sweeping hairpins. It pushes up through a series of villages, some paved with cobbles to add to your distress. The second phase seems endless as it meanders through cow-covered pastures that have an particularly strong smell of cow dung, and a cacophony of flies to accompany you. When you break out of this you enter the final phase of the climb onto a road carved out of rock leaving steep sides all around you. It is a tough drag and a little dangerous with the Moto Guzzi’s taking corners a little wide. The Gavia is an icon of a climb, but not one I fell in love with. I think we just met each other on off days.