A 42 mile ride from the top of the valley toward the south. With many layers of clothes to keep warm on a steep descent from Burgeis, we set off following the river that flows between two mountain ranges: the Tyrolean Alps to the north and the Dolomites to the south.

Since bike travel is a natural part of tourism (indeed, all aspects of life), we followed the bike path, the Radroute, as the local signs call it. Past vineyards, past apple orchards, past tiny farms (no agribusiness in this part of the world), past camping areas, we zipped along the river at a reasonable clip. (Much easier to keep a quick pace when the path is mostly downhill.)

Lunch at a small café that is connected to a camping area. Complete with a server who had done some camping in Utah and spoke English quite well. Her English was, of course, much better than our German – the primary language of this part of Italy. And, much better than our Italian – a few phrases do not suffice to address serious options of exactly which kind of cheese is wanted.

After lunch, as the temperature rose, we began to shed layers of clothing. Despite the constant view of snow-capped mountains, we were soon quite warm. Cooled, occasionally, by spray from the irrigation systems a few feet off the bike path. Despite the lack of agribusiness, the need for extra water is part of even family farming.

By afternoon, we were in the town of Merano. For the uninitiated (which included us 1 day ago), Merano is magnificent – known for its focus on wellness and culture. A favorite destination of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, it became a meeting place for European high-society.

Today (May 16) was a “rest day” time to explore a civilized town. Shops, cafés, a Sesselift (chairlift) up into the Alps for a lovely view… A few moments in our Spa…

Yes, it’s the Bicycle Adventure Club, but people do like good food and affordable 4 star hotels.

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