Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mezzomonte - Val d'Artugna

Needed a quick ride this morning so I could take Marilyn shopping in the PM.  Then it dawned on me- I've climbed Mezzomonte and the road from Dardago up Val d'Artugna many times, but never together on the same day.  So  I headed down Via Pedemontana Occidentale toward Coltura.  Many dozens of cyclists out today- good showing for a Saturday.

Shortly after Coltura (50 m) the road to Mezzomonte hits a wall of average 10% (though the Garmin showed a stretch of 16%), which I climbed standing.  This mellows after a few hundred meters to 9%.  A family was planting olive trees on newly-terraced land below the road here- those will be beautiful.  The road continues steeply through a series of 11 switchbacks, reaching 420 meters in 4.2 km, averaging 9%.  Excellent workout!  From here the road gently rises to 475 meters and pavement ends.  An old guy at the bar (having first ombra of the day at 1030) said "Sei contento?" because I was smiling after the climb.

The ride down was fast and great fun because of the fine pavement and lack of rocks, limbs, etc.  I headed back up Via Pedemontana toward Budoia, taking it easy till Dardago.  Here I turned left and headed up the gentle slope (average 7-8%), enjoying the woods and the wildflowers.  Quite a few folks out hiking, walking their dogs, etc.  After the Chalet restaurant, the road becomes a steeper, narrow mountain lane, finally turning into a gravel road at 580 meters.

Rode down fast, enjoying the long downhill straight stretch.  From Budoia to home wasn't bad- took it easy on the climbs so didn't get too worn out.  This is a good medium ride if you live in the area- 1397 meters of climbing in about 50 km and under 3 hours.
Road to Mezzomonte: 9th tornante by taverna (335 m)

Crode di San Tome- beautiful cliffs above Torrente Artugna

Crode di San Tome wider view

The tornanti up to Mezzomonte

Beautiful, peaceful climb up Val d'Artugna

Mezzomonte left, Val d'Artugna right

The gradient up Mezzomonte

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