Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forchia di Meduno - Monte Valinis

After finding Pala Barzana clear of snow at 840 meters, I thought I'd check out conditions a little higher up.  As I set out today it was overcast and cold, with no wind.  After a fast ride to Meduno at 313 meters, I headed steeply up a stretch of 10.8% toward Borgo San Martino.  Then the road mellows to 7-8% on up to Forchia di Meduno at 640 meters.  Lots of tractors hauling wood down from the forest today.

For the next kilometer from Forchia di Meduno to Forchia Piccola the road is almost flat, a good chance to catch your breath.  Then just as suddenly, it tilts steeply upward again, remaining constantly above 10% for 2.5 km.  The road climbs through a dense forest, shady even in February when the trees are bare.

Finally the constant 10% lets up a bit at 923 meters.   Then the pavement ends at 940 meters.  Now the road is very rocky- better suited to a mountain bike than bici di corsa with 23mm wide tires.  I managed to ride all the way up to 985 meters before encountering  a stretch of ice and snow in the road.  No snow on the surrounding pastures though.  At the  end of the road at 994 meters sat a couple of cars from Austria with hang gliders on the roof.  I saw the drivers standing on a nearby knoll- maybe deciding whether to make the leap.

The descent was very fast and curvy- fun!  Good ride.

Monte Raut, right.  In background, mountains of
Valcellina west escarpment

Frisanco, left foreground.  Poffabro, right

Emerald green Torrente Meduna,
town of Meduno in foreground

Icy pond atop Monte Valinis

Winter clouds
The grade

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