Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sarone - Rugolo

This is a lovely ride along the foothills from Giais to Fregona, above Vittorio Veneto. It's similar to the ride I posted on 24 January, with a couple of differences. Instead of following the flat main road from Polcenigo to Caneva, I turned right at Sarone and took the high road. It's a nice climb because it starts easy and gradually increases to 8%-10% grade.The steep stretch has lovely views all the way to the mountains along the Slovenian border. At 220 meters (the junction with the road to Il Cansiglio) the road begins to descend. There is an excellent curve on the descent maybe 220° around which seems to go on forever. It was wet from yesterday's rain, so I went slow, but it would be fun when dry. I stopped to take some pics of the Castello di Caneva, and some elderly gentlemen from Vittorio Veneto zoomed by on bikes. I'm presuming they ascended Il Consiglio (1118 meters) this morning and were on their way home. I hope I'm it that good shape when I'm in my 70s.
At Caneva the road is flat briefly, but instead of continuing to Sarmede as before, I turned off at Villa di Villa and took the back road up past the ruin of Castello di Cordignano (13th century), and a stretch of 21% grade up to 300 meters. From there it descends to Rugolo, and rejoins the beautiful cliffside drive through Montaner and Osigo to Fregona. There's a fast descent to Capella Maggiore, then more or less flat to Polcenigo, and then the 250 meter climb home.
Looking east from Bivio di Sarone toward mountains along the Slovenian border
Castello di Caneva
Castello di Cordignano
Tail end of a bike club headed the opposite way on the back road to Villa di Villa
Montaner, with mountains in Belluno in background
Olive grove near Montaner with Colle Umberto in background
The rolling land of Sarmede-Fregona, with collline di Conegliano and Belluno mountains in background
Osigo, backdropped by mountains in Belluno

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Short ride, but a good climb. Very warm out for late February: 14ºC . Even though I wore my lightweight Spring windjacket, pants, shoecovers, etc I was still hot even from the start. After cruising down Via Pedemontana Occidentale past Polcenigo to Coltura, I hung a right and headed up the wall. The road snakes up the mountainside with several long stretches of 16% grade, rarely staying below 10% for long, gaining 440 meters altitude in 6 km. Finally in the last km it levels out a bit, as it enters Mezzomonte. The pavement ends here, but if you have a mountain bike you can continue all the way up to Piancavallo. After a fun descent on the long switchbacks, I climbed the less-vertical route home (300 meters).
It was quite hazy, but after lugging my camera all the way up the hill I had to take some pictures. My apologies for the poor quality.
Il Torrione
Col dei S'cios
Mezzomonte from Budoia

Monday, February 22, 2010


Beautiful sunny morning, lots of cyclists out near Maniago- a large town-club ride of 200-300 (split into two groups). After Meduno it turned partly cloudy- still nice out. Rode up the Val Chiarzo' to Campone- lots of snowmelt in the river so sounded/looked awesome. The road up to Piani di Clauzetto had some slushy ice the last few hundred meters, not bad. But the sky was looking ominous in the Pradis di Sotto, Orton, Clauzetto zone- low, dark clouds. Temp felt like it dropped (may have just been all the slow descending without pedaling because of the ice). Anyway the snow was beautiful on the beech forest and the big fir trees. The descent from Clauzetto down through Travesio, Sequals is a blur. From Arba home was flat and easy. Nice ride.

Waterfall near Lago di Redona
Torrente Chiarzo'
Monte Celànt
Piani di Clauzetto 670 meters
Orton, Monte Pala
Looking South toward the plain from Orton-Clauzetto Road
Looking east toward Tagliamento River from Orton-Clauzetto Road

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I set out intending to climb from Poffabro to Pala Barzana (830 meters), then descend to Valcellina. But nature intervened- at 650 meters the road was suddenly snowy and icy. I put on my cleat covers and walked a few hundred meters, thinking maybe it was just a shady spot, but it continued around the bend and as far as I could see. So I turned around, snapped a few pictures of the area and headed back through the tunnels to Maniago and on home. I'll try again in March.
Poffabro from turn-off to Monastero Santa Maria
Casasola from Poffabro
Time to turn around
Mountain stream
Little mountain stream

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rifugio Bornass

Short ride, but the climb makes a good workout. Started by riding down into the plain a bit to warm up. After Sedrano I continued to Aviano, where the long easy slope to Costa begins. After Costa, the road turns abruptly upward, with19% stretches until Santuario Madonna del Monte. From there it levels to 6% (which feels flat) and passes through some nice woods until the bridge over Torrente Ossena. From there it follows switch backs up the slope, reaching 10% at times, finally reaching Rifugio Bornass at 767 meters. The last few hundred meters there was some snow and ice, so I had to dismount a couple times. It was hazy/cloudy today so the panorama was less breath-taking than usual. The road descending from Rifugio Bornass to Pedemonte (in Aviano) has been rebuilt and is great- very fast and smooth.
From Pedemonte I headed home on my usual route, Via Pedemontane Occidentale, with another 200 meters of climbing.
Santuario Madonna del Monte (foto from internet)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valcellina - Passo San Osvaldo

Cycled through Montereale, along Lago di Ravedis, through the 4 km tunnel to Barcis. The lake at Barcis was very low, awaiting the snowpack to thaw in Spring and refill it. Continued up the beautiful gorge of the Valcellina, with rocky cliffs, frozen waterfalls and snowy peaks flanking a turquoise river, roiling and shimmering in the sunlight. Luckily it's upgrade all the way, forcing you to go slowly enough to enjoy it all. At the Claut-Cimolais junction I headed left, up through a pine-covered sloping plain, Il Pinedo. Passed through Cimolais, surrounded on all sides by peaks with craggy dolomite formations. I headed up the steeper climb to Passo San Osvaldo, at 830 meters. It was nice and cold on the pass, with patches of ice so I had to be careful. I rode over the pass and maybe half kilometer down toward Erto. Rode fast (trying to get warm) all the way home.
Looking from the Passo toward Erto
Ice sicles on the cliffs
The back of the mountain above Cimolais from Erto
On the road from the Passo down to Cimolais
Looking back at the mountains above Cimolais from the road to Claut
Looking toward Claut
The peaks along the Valcellina

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celante - Manazzons

Visited our old comune, Castelnovo del Friuli, where we lived 16 years ago. I rode up the Val Cosa past Paludea, then turned right, up the 17% grade to Celante. Then down through the still winter forest toward Manazzons. After a few kilometers, the road is closed to traffic because of a landslide, necessitating a steep climb over the ridge to the cliff-dwelling of Manazzons. I was feeling lazy so headed down the closed road to see if I bike could get through. It was no problem. Stopped at the gorge carved out by Rio delle Fontane and took some pictures, then continued down to the meadowy village Pradaldon. Beautiful spot. From there a few km of rolling hills and then on the plain toward home.
Celante murale
Manazzons galleria
Rio delle Fontane

Manazzons upper left; far upper right Clauzetto

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lago di Santa Croce

Wonderful sunny winter ride. There were hundreds of cyclists on the road today, finally free of hiding from the rain and snow. There were 5 or 6 bike teams, with Direttore Sportivo following in the team car, two very large groups of 40 or 50 riders (maybe town bike clubs?), numerous smaller groups of 5-20 riders, and lots of couples and families on city bikes enjoying the weather. Very nice having some company on the road in winter for a change!
I rode on Via Pedemontane Occidentale to Cordignano, then continued to Vittorio Veneto, a lovely old city with centro storico, stone-paved streets, and many pretty buildings. From there I headed up the hill to Lago di Santa Croce. It's a natural glacial lake, whose smooth surface reflects the surrounding snow-covered peaks and blue skies. It's a beautiful sight. I cruised around the lake and then headed down toward Vittorio Veneto. I took the back way home through Polcenigo, Santa Lucia, Budoia, Aviano, and Marsure. At Aviano all the streets were blocked for Carnevale parade, so I zigzagged around the back streets till I found a way through.

This photograph and others are displayed at
Also a bella panorama of the lago jn summer can be found here:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caneva - Sarone

Lovely short ride down Via Pedemontane Occidentale to Caneva, climbing up past the castello to Bivio Sarone (where you can turn left to climb to La Cansiglio), fast downhill to SP29 and the climb home. Here's the pretty castello:

Monday, February 1, 2010


Usually I ride this from Maniago to Poffabro to Meduno, but decided to ride it counterclockwise for a change. The roads were clear of snow and ice, the skies were blue and sunny, and pretty snow-capped mountains arced from horizon to horizon. A little after passing Meduno I turned left toward Navarons. Stopped on the Fiume Meduna bridge and took a picture toward Monte Rest.

Continued up through Navarons and then up the Val Muiè, silent except for a picchio hammering on a tree. Lovely views of Monte Raut, Frisanco.

Views of Poffabro and surrounding mountains

Climbed up to Poffabro then headed down toward Maniago. I planned on going around the galleria at Bus di Colvera but the old road was covered with snow and ice (though a brave man had stopped his car and was taking his baby for a passegiata through the snow in his carriage).
Nice easy ride.