Sunday, February 19, 2017

Villa Varda

Villa Varda is a lovely villa down south in Brugnera.  The grounds have been made into a public park with lots of joggers, couples taking walks, etc.  One great feature is the meandering Fiume Livenza, which forms a natural border on the park's west side.

Despite meticulous planning I got lost in Brugnera, as always, wandering around for 7 or 8km.  I nailed the route on the ride home though so it wasn't so bad.  

Villa Varda chiesetta 

These shade trees form a galleria verde
in summer, keeping joggers cool

Beautiful Fiume Livenza 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rauscedo loop

Nice ride down through Tesis, Rauscedo, Domanins and Cordenons.  Beautiful weather in Giais but foggy down on the pianura.   Good flat workout.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Arba loop

Another 2 weeks of indolence, and now I must start over again regaining fitness.  I gingerly mounted Maxima and soft-pedaled to Tesis.  From there the road begins rising very slightly to Arba, Orgnese and Cavasso Nuovo.  Then easy rolling road to Maniago and home.   Maybe I'll catch back up in a few weeks.

Monte Cavallo Gruppo from Campagna

Monte Raut peeping over Monte Jouf 

Julian Alps toward Slovenia

Orgnese campanile with Monte Raut

Monday, January 30, 2017

Laghetto di Vivaro

Nice flat spin across the Magredi gravel fields to vineyards above Rauscedo then back through Vivaro.  Cold but it made for a good workout.

Frozen Laghetto di Vivaro

People have pitched fairly big stones out on the ice to
test the thickness; as you can see they didn't break through

Even the sunny side is frozen stiff

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Castello Roganzuolo

I intended to go to Refrontolo via San Fior but got lost (as usual) and ended up in the southern end of the morainic hills of Colle Umberto.  This turned out to be a great place to ride and explore.  It's technically not in Colle Umberto but in the comune of San Fior.  A hilltop castle caught my eye and I rode over to it to.   Lovely place, I'll definitely be back.

Church and campanile from below

Campanile in olive grove

Refrontolo far in the distance; next time

Coat of arms on gate post

The castle's church

Down the hill in San Fior, copper onion-domed chapel 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Castello di Toppo

I was making a little loop through Meduno, Travesio and Arba when I passed under Castello di Toppo and suddenly turned toward the climb.  It's on the south flank of Monte Ciaerlac: all these years I've never tried it, not sure why.  The route I took was a hiking trail and I quickly hopped off Fedaia to push.  Before long it was too rocky to push so I picked the bike up and carried it.  I considered stashing it in the brush temporarily to save energy but decided to haul it to the top in case there was a rideable road down.  Good call.  

At the castle I took some pictures, very impressed by the condition of the ruins.  It's in great shape.  Next time I'll try climbing up on the paved road which I descended today.  I'll try it on Maxima because the road has some +20% stretches.   

Read more about Toppo here: 

Arco entering the castle

Inside the rampart walls

Wall Detail

Wide view of the extensive outer walls 

I think this may have been the tower 

Well-preserved high south wall

Westward-facing structure 

View from the southeast

The chiesetta, Monte Raut in background

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Another cold, clear windless day, perfect for long flat riding.  Once initially warmed up you have firm control of your temperature and exertion level.  I only got cold near the end when I flatted along the irrigation canal from Porcia to Roveredo.  Even then the sun was bright enough to avoid shivering.

Oderzo is a lovely town in Treviso province with a beautiful piazza.  Enjoyed a very pleasant day.

Campanile, topped by San Gabriele

Campanile from opposite side with octagonal church

San Giovanni Battista

Clock tower

Porticos with medieval painting along the eaves

Statues along the bridge 

She's walking along Fiume Manticano

Monte Cavallo Gruppo to her north

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Meduna Livenza Confluence

Another flat ride, windless and sunny, from Giais to Prata di Pordenone to the confluence of the Meduna and Livenza rivers.  Wonderful day and a great workout.

The old Meduna bridge at Prata di Pordenone

The Meduna river shortly before joining the Livenza

Sun reflecting from the Livenza

Bridge shadow on the Livenza

Friday, January 20, 2017

Fiume Veneto

Il Bora has calmed to a normal 10-20 kph wind, and daytime temps are generally slightly higher than 0°C.  It's time to begin training for Spring.  Decided to try a flat ride, this time to the southeast.  Down to Cordenons then east to Zoppola, where I crossed SS13 and headed west to Fiume Veneto.  The first frazione of Fiume Veneto I encountered was Pescincanna, along the river Fiume.  A few more km and I was in Fiume Veneto proper.  I then headed down to another frazione Bannia.  Each had a nice church and bell tower so I took some pictures.

I was doing good heading back toward Zoppola then went astray.  Not a total loss though because I found a shortcut through Murlis.  Have to use that next time.  The road returns to Cordenons  crossing the Magredi nature preserve.  This is a beautiful area if you are ever near San Quirino or Cordenons.  

San Michele Arcangelo church at Pescincanna

San Nicolo' Vescovo in Fiume Veneto

Fiume Fiume at Fiume Veneto

Campanile at Bannia

Perpeuta e Felicita Church, Bannia

The Magredi's beautiful wild grassland 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lower Valcellina

Il Bora (our cold northeast wind) is kicking up today but I tried to get in a short ride on Maxima.  I intended to ride along the Cellina river embankment but missed a turn and rode down into the dry river bed instead.  This turned out to be quite fun because the usual wet spots are frozen so you can ride the whole way.  Didn't slip down any, but the rear wheel did break through the ice once into shallow water.  From below Montereale I continued under the old railway bridge, under the new highway bridge and finally exited at the narrow old bridge between Vajont and San Leonardo.  From there up to the hydroelectric plant where the aqueduct from Barcis Dam supplies an irrigation canal network.  The ride home was great with the Bora at my back, spinning the biggest gear on the flats.   Fun unplanned ride.


Old railroad bridge connecting Sacile and Gemona

Aeration fountain at the irrigation canal head

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Failure to Pedal

Took a break from riding awhile.  First I caught a cold and reasoned not riding in the cold would  shorten the duration.  Then our dog Teddi had serious heart trouble and I wanted to be nearby to rush her to the vet if she worsened.  After that a Siberian cold front settled in.  But today my Athletic Director/Motivational Speaker Marilyn told me to to ride or else.

Wasn't bad, no wind nor precipitation.  I did an easy loop to San Leonardo.  I think I'm ready to resume pedaling.  

Sporting my Aviano Draghi jacket at
Crous de Clap, ancient stone and wrought iron cross

Friday, December 16, 2016

Troi dei Mui

Today's ride is also a hike.  I had previously attempted it from the opposite direction  but turned around when the dirt road turned into trail.  That was less problem today with Fedaia's 28mm tires and disc brakes.  

I started by climbing the classic Val di Croda from Dardago up to end of pavement at 585 meters.  I then rolled back down to the trailhead at 557 meters.  I picked my bike up and heard panting, turned around and a gigantic black Newfoundland strolled up.  His owner soon appeared and they headed up the trail first.  Then I climbed up the nearly vertical stairs and headed onto the ascending trail.  This section I had hiked previously (pushing a MTB) but my objective then was to the north  .

Today I continued climbing, pushing Fedaia to the south till 734 meters.  The trail levels off here with lovely views of Croda di San Tome.  Someone with cyclocross handling skills could probably ride this section but I continued walking.  Suddenly the trail veered away from the cliff and I had the feeling I'd been here before.  I was certain this was where I'd turned around back in 2013.  I began riding brief stretches and before long I was on the dirt road.  This was excellent riding and later it turned  to asphalt.  A few minutes later still  I joined the road down to Mezzomonte cemetery.

The descent was cold and fast and I rode all the way home without thawing out.  Wonderful ride.    

Trail to the right goes to Val di Lama
and trail to left goes to Mezzomonte 

Gorgeous view  of Croda di San Tome

The hiking part

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sella Chianzutan

Got a late start so drove to Lestans and rode from there.  The gorge of Torrente Arzino is one of my favorite places in Friuli, and today I rode almost the full length of it.  I was lucky to get some warm sun along the way, though many stretches are in perpetual shade and stay frosted over.  After you turn away from the Arzino toward the Sella you ride through a gorgeous forest of big beech trees (faggio) similar to Pizzoc.  The pass is grassland, hopefully snowy soon but today bare.

The descent was great fun with Fedaia's disc brakes and intuitive handling.  The 28mm  tires were smooth riding and never slipped, even on the frosty bits.  Wonderful ride.   

On the switchbacks below Anduins

View north from the pass toward Tolmezzo

Beautiful autumn grassland of the Sella

The climb from Rio Rugoni landslide to the Sella