Tornante, tornante, tornante
JH's Trip number 47.
What an excellent ride - everything exactly as John describes it.
An obscure little backroad through the mountain suburbs and up higher into the forest and then blasting out onto a meadow of wildflowers. Perfect surface, wonderful hairpins and no traffic at all except a bunch of cyclists.
Continuing on to Mt Baldo and Paso San Valentino on the most perfect roads ever. Seriously perfect roads - wide with good vision and smooth as silk. The weather was iffy so that may have put some lesser motorcyclists off, but a few clouds just added to the dramatic effect. I rode up and down about 4 different passes so I just kept climbing into and out of clouds all day. One minute you have a view and the next it's gone again. The only other bikes at the pitstop were two maxi scooters.
I just cruised all day... well almost all day.
After Prada, the road turned to crap. And after the amazing roads all day I actually thought I had missed a turn and lost the "main" road. But no, the main road was a one lane goat track and then horror of horrors - a 20% incline (or is that decline) for 20 hairpins.
That's steep - really bloody steep!
About hairpin 12, Henry lost his back brakes. I was on such a slope I could not even get off safely and put him on the stand. I had to "walk" him down the hill on front brakes only and figured if the front brakes went too, I would just run him into the wall at walking pace. Luckily the front brakes held till the next hairpin where I could pull over safely and scratch my head. That's about the full extent of my mechanical knowledge.
I contemplated ringing the AA Breakdown service. "Yeah, I'm on turn 12 of a one lane goat track... no I don't think you'll get a truck up here"
Nothing for it... I had to freewheel (engine off) down each stretch at 10km/h resting at every hairpin to make sure front brakes aren't overheating. About turn 18 the back brakes started responding again so I'm guessing it has something to do with temperature of brake fluid. Must ask my guru.
Anyway - no further incidents after that. Back brakes came back online completely and made it the 25km home along the lake shore without more drama.