CROCE D'AUNE | DOLOMITES
Passo Croce d'Aune is a small pass just north of the town of Feltre, located in Belluno Dolomite National Park. This mountain pass was once the main route of communication between Feltre and the Cismon Valley. Now a tunnel and road has been constructed, resulting in this special spot being forgotten. There are lots of hiking paths starting from the Passo Croce d'Aune, and this happens to be the start point of the for many Italian Dolomites walks.
Passo Croce d'Aune is the site, where Tullio Campagnolo (from Vicenza) had the inspiration to develop the skewer (quick release) for the bike wheel. He was racing across the pass in the 1920's and due to bad weather and cold Campagnolo had trouble taking off this back wheel to change a flat. On November 11th, 1927, with snow covering the roads of the Croce D'Aune Campagnolo needed to remove his rear wheel to change gears. Because the large wingnuts that held his wheel on had frozen, and his hands were too cold to budge them, he was unable to remove his wheel to change gears, and lost his chance at victory that day.
As he struggled to free his wheel, he muttered five words to himself that changed the history of cycling: "Bisogno cambiá qualcossa de drio!" ("Something must change in the rear!") and that simple event -- a wheel that couldn't be removed -- started Campagnolo thinking. He went back to his workshop, and emerged with the invention of the quick-release lever (in 1930) and, soon after, an early bicycle derailleur (1933).
HOW TO GET TO PASSO CROCE D'AUNE IN THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES
The nearest train line is in the town of Feltre then you can find a local bus that goes up to the pass. If you are bike touring the area you can cycle to the southern side by crossing Monte Grappa, or ride the Valsugana Bike Path to Reach Arse, also riding over Passo Brocon is a nice option is you wish to reach the northern (classic) route. I do not recommend riding up the valley along SP80 there are too many tunnels and most do not have access roads to the side.
WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING PASSO CROCE D'AUNE