Thursday, September 9, 2010


After 3 or 4 days of rain, today the skies suddenly cleared to the south.  The skies were still black over the mountains, so I decided to head south down through Dandolo to Vivaro, then west across the Magredi toward San Foca.

I had booted the hole in my front tire sidewall with a piece of very tough plastic food wrapper- can't tear it with your hands.  When I inflated the tube I could see the outline of the plastic piece through the tire casing, so I was worried it would thump every rotation.  But I couldn't feel a thing today.  Just in case, I bought a couple of Michelin Krylion tires, which seem a little tougher in the sidewalls.  When the front ProRace 3 bites the dust, I'll put a Krylion on the back and rotate the rear ProRace forward.

The long, slightly-downhill glide to Vivaro felt great.  I turned west and crossed the long viaduct over the Magredi.  I could see the mountains well from here, and it looked clear up to Caldastia on Piancavallo.  So I decided instead of continuing along the plain, I would head upward.

The climb was pretty easy at first, then went to 11-12%.  I decided to climb standing as much as possible to keep in practice.  So I stood probably two-thirds of  the time.  The long stretch of 13% below Rifugio Bornass was an especially good workout- really worked on deep breathing using both intercostals and diaphragm.  The average grade from start of climb to Bornass is 9.6%.

After Bornass I continued toward Caldastia despite the menacing black clouds rolling in.  Alas at 845 meters big, fat, frigid rain drops started coming down.  I turned around and the rain picked up, like it was chasing me.  A little ways below Bornass it let up.  Had a great time on the curves and switchbacks- this is about the best paved descent around here.

At Pedemonte I turned toward home.  Predictably, as I approached Giais the rain started back up.  We live in a perpetual rainshower.

Good ride-  930 meters of climbing and 60km distance.

The gradient

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