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Passo di Larch III
"Never have I been so cold in my entire life." I remember thinking this as I headed back down to the base of Larch Mountain. Then, as I gripped the top-tube of my quaking bike with my legs I thought to myself. "Oh wait, this is exactly what this descent was like last year." Somehow it is easy to block these things from your mind, be it a year, or sometimes days later. Wonder what Andy would say about heading back up the Gavia?
In 1988 Andy Hampsten rode the Gavia and it covered him with snow and ice. Each year we ride the Passo de Larch to commemorate (commiserate?) with this surely epic feat. House Industries recently did a commemorative print on the subject.
With Slate Olson at the helm of this ride we not only pedal our bicycles in tribute, but we give the man himself a call before we take off. Not sure exactly what went on in the secretive conversation between Olson and Hampsten, but it left us awestruck and ready to ride nonetheless.
The only snow visible was dirty and shoved off the side of the road, whereas with the previous years version we did not make it to the top. This year was another story altogether and a group of us waited for the others as long as our shivering frames would allow. This hammered home the point that misery does love company, because we all had our share of moaning about the cold and wet. However, upon return, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds for a few short minutes. Enough time for us to enjoy a pint in the sun
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