Monday, June 7, 2010

Pedemonte - Col Alto

I've ridden parts of this climb before, but never altogether. The bottom half, Pedemonte to Castaldia, I rode as part of Pedemonte - Piancavallo. The top half, I rode as part of Costa - Col Alto . This is definitely the tougher workout of the three- steeper and longer.

I've been trying to practice standing more when climbing, and certainly got an opportunity this morning. Long stretches of 11-13%, with brief bits of 15% thrown in, had me standing at least half the climb.

It was warm and humid until about 600 meters, then became pleasantly cool. Around 900 meters I entered the cloud mist, and this continued to the top. I'd hate to try this on a clear hot day in July or August.

After the turn off at Castaldia, the landscape was beautiful, green meadows, beech forest, white stone outcroppings, cloaked in clouds. I came round a bend and a beautiful eagle was perched on a dead tree trunk. He heard me and took off, flapping his wings until he vanished in the mist. After a brief stretch of 13% I arrived at the high point of 1346 meters. I rested a few minutes and put on my wind jacket.

Then a fast descent down the main road through Piancavallo all the way back to Pedemonte . The road was practically deserted, though I saw a couple of bikes climbing up, and passed one guy going downhill. I wasn't pedaling, so no idea why I was going faster than him. Maybe he was clutching his brake levers all the way down.

At the bottom, I pedaled in silence, my hearing temporarily lost from the roar of the descent, and headed up the 200 meter climb home.

Graph of the gradient from Pedemonte to Col Alto

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