So this morning I left early and parked at Vittorio Veneto. I road the Strada del Prosecco to Tovena (239m) and headed up toward Passo San Boldo. Beautiful climb with 18 tornanti. I passed a pack of older guys on a club ride. I could hear them discussing that I was francese. That was new- I'm usually presumed to be tedesco (German). At 630m begins a series of switchbacks built into a cliff face with semicircular tunnels drilled into the rock at each end. Very unusual road. At the passo (706m) I headed down through beautiful meadowy slopes to 512m, climbed the 10% slope up to San Antonio Tortal, and then continued down to the main road along the Piave River at Trichiana (347m).
I turned left and headed west toward Mel and a frazione called Gus (love these town names). At Gus I took another left, toward Carve and Passo Praderadego. Immediately you hit a 10% wall, which later hits 14%. That was a wake-up call. It mellows then steepens again to 10% for a half km, then 8% for another half km. I was hanging in there, but I knew what was coming. After Carve you descend to Valmaor, losing about 70 meters of altitude. Now the hard part begins- almost a km of 15-16%, with no let up. I stood, of course, pulling up on the handlebars with each pedal stroke, concentrating on belly breathing and inter-costal breathing, exhaling as completely as I could with each breath, then gasping to fill my lungs as quickly as possible. This worked and I eventually reached the more-restful 12% section. After another half km, the grade finally slackened enough that I could catch my breath. I continued in this mode, briefly enjoying the shady forest until reaching a few more steep ramps before passo Praderadego (915m).
Like last time, there were quite a few people who had driven up and were enjoying pit-cooked barbeque etc. I began the descent and soon reached the level dirt section. It was rideable, though with all the rain the mud puddles were larger. Rejoining the pavement, I descended as quickly as possible down the switchbacks. At Valmareno I took a left on the Strada del Prosecco and returned to Vittorio Veneto. Nice drive home with lots of cycling clubs out in force- everyone wants to get a ride in before the rain resumes.
|Tovena, lit by hole in the clouds, at mouth of the valley|
|The awesome switchbacks/tunnels at the valley head|
|Looking back toward Passo San Boldo from San Antonio Tortal|
|Valmareno from the dirt road below Passo Praderadeo|
|San Boldo left, Praderadego right|
|A couple of steep bits above Valmaor|
|The climb from Tovena and descent to Trichiana|
|Climb from Gus and descent to Valmareno|
|Close up of climb from Gus to Valmaor|
|Continuing from Valmaor to Praderadego|