Sunday, April 17, 2011

Malga Mezzomiglio - 2011

Today I rode up the eastern side of the Vittorio Veneto gorge, from Lago di Santa Croce to Il Cansiglio.  After parking at Vittorio Veneto, I rode up the easy climb to Sella di Fadalto (487m) and enjoyed seeing so many bike riders out.  After a quick roll down the east shore of Lago di Santa Croce, I turned right at Villaggio Riviera and started up the tornanti.  Beautiful views of the lake and not too steep. 

At Pianture (590m) the gradient becomes insane- 300 meters averaging 16%, with my Garmin showing 23.5% at the steepest point.  I rode this last year so knew what to expect: stand, pull up on the bars with each half-turn of the crank, inhale both with diaphragm and intercostals, exhale hard so you can suck in another lung-full immediately.   So it wasn't too bad.  After a brief flat bit, you start the worst part- a 6 km stretch which seems to never end.  There is one long straight stretch varying from 12-18%, with no switchback ends to recover in.  On the plus side the fir trees are gorgeous, with glimpses of the bluish-green lake far below.

Finally I entered the sunny meadows, still climbing steeply, until Malga Mezzomiglio, a rustic dairy with its own special cheese.  Lots of people have driven up for a Sunday visit.

I descended rapidly (and coldly) but took it easy in the curves- lots of loose stone.  At the lakeshore I turned south, awkwardly trying to pedal while frozen.  Finally at Fadalto I started the remaining descent, which is very fast because of the great pavement.  Driving home I saw hundreds of bikers- and a race marked off for the afternoon through the pavé streets of Vittorio Veneto- the 56th Frare De Nardi gara.   

View across the gorge- Col Visentin, left;
Monte Faverghera, center  

Watering hole in the meadows at 1200m;
the bowl valley of Alpago surrounded by
mountains in the background

The 23.5% grade at Pianture; note the other 18-19% stretches
8.85 km climbing 881 meters averaging 9.96% 

19 tornanti of the climb

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Bill

    We have finally gotten wi-fi here in the Sonoran Desert. It is beautiful here but getting hot. Some of the desert flowers are beginning to bloom. James and I rode our bikes today. I was able to climb the first hill but not the next, but I'm getting better.

    I love your blog, you have a lot of stamina !