Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monte Cor 2012

Today is Labor Day so good time for a ride- no big trucks, less traffic generally, and hordes of cyclists enjoying the holiday.  I must have seen 5 groups of over 50 riders each coming up Via Pedemontane from the pianura despite the weather.  It was cloudy and threatening but I pressed on.

After Cordignano,  it began lightly raining and continued until I reached Anzano near Vittorio Veneto.  When I passed Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo in Vittorio Veneto the sun suddenly broke out.  I took this as a sign of divine protection and vowed to finish the climb come what may.  

After turning left toward Valdobbiadene I climbed up the hill to Longhere.  Here the climb proper begins- almost immediately you see a right turn signed Fais.  Follow this up a steep wall for 100 meters and turn right again onto Via del Landro.  I continued climbing and then began a set of steep tornanti.  An elderly women was walking up this and told me to Fai forza!  After these tornanti I climbed steeply up through a village and the worst gradient of the ride (15-20%).  My rear wheel slipped only once because the earlier rain had dried somewhat- I would definitely have slipped, stopped and walked had it continued raining because the road is very rough and narrow with lots of slick stones protruding from the asphalt.

On cue the light rain recommenced as I climbed more tornanti, eventually arriving at the meadows of Borgi Olivi.  Here an older man was scything his orchard and asked Faccia un bagno?  Friendly people here.  Onward to Menegon at 650m, where the new road starts.  This is a modern, wide, well-graded road, but still as steep or steeper than below.  Long stretches of 12% and more, with few switchbacks to catch your breath.  I saw one other rider on this whole climb- he was descending.

At Pian dei Grassi (1150m) you reach the end of the wide new road, and a rough dirt road continues on the right up to Col Visentin.  This is climbable on MTB but I've only seen one guy report doing it on a cross bike (with 33mm tires) http://jackciclista.blogspot.it/2011/10/col-visentin-pedalare-in-paradiso.html 

I instead took the narrow paved lane to Monte Cor (1312m) where the sun popped out again.  Beautiful alpine landscape with great views (despite the clouds).  I headed down and took it easy because of the wet and also some fallen rocks I noted on the ascent.

The ride home was interesting.  At Fiaschetti they were having a fest and had the main road blocked off as a pedestrian zone.  I coasted through here very slowly, maybe 2 or 3 kph because the road was blocked by the crowd.  It was a nice rest.

Then later, near Coltura the road was blocked for a local bike race.  Another welcome chance to catch my breath.

Note: today was my first ride with a new backpack, a  Deuter Race X Air .  I asked Jerry of www.cycloclimbing.com for advice because he lives out of his backpack for 2 or 3 weeks each summer while cycling all over the alps.  This backpack has a mesh back pad that allows air to flow over your back to provide cooling and evaporate sweat.  Also the straps are quite wide so no digging into your shoulders on a long ride.  Excellent product.

Casera Sonego rifugio- with barbeque pit fired up
judging by the smoke

Left center note the road to Pian delle Femene (1126m)
from Revine Lago (maybe climb next week?)

Col Visentin (1763m) accessible by dirt road from Pian dei Grassi

Monte Pizzoc (1536m) across the gorge

Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo at end of a lane flanked by Italian cypresses

Leaders of bike race sponsored by cycling club of Fontanafreddo 

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