In 218 BC Hannibal crossed the Alps with Elephants; in 2014 Robert Crabtree decided to do it on Trek road bike. He and a friend started their journey in Munich with the preparation of true athletes, taking in plenty of fluids….mostly large steins of German beer.
Suitably fuelled up they headed south with the Alps revealing themselves intermittently through the beautiful Bavarian landscape. Carrying on in a southerly direction they reached Austria and cycled through Telfs, a small market town in the state of Tyrol. Turning left towards Längenfeld, they eventually reached Sölden which is at an elevation of 1,368 metres. Austrian beer proved to be just as refreshing as the German kind; vitally important on a trip like this.
Suitably fortified they started the hard climb (probably wishing they had some elephants to help out) up to Timmelsjoch, the high mountain pass along the border between Austria and Italy. Although this has an elevation of 2,474 m, it proved no problem for our cyclists. Robert and his cycling companion headed through the Italian Alps, passing Lake Guarda and could practically smell their final destination, Verona. Situated by the Adige River, this charming city on the Lombardy plain in Northern Italy is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is awash with plenty of beautiful and historic buildings and made for a great end their epic journey. They had cycled 475km over three days with a lot of climbing. No doubt that first refreshment stop in Verona was a well-deserved one.
If you want to see the route: