Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Valdobbiadene-Rifugio Mariech-Casera Budui

First dry day in almost a week.  I did sneak in a commute to Pordenone Friday morning (our last lesson! ), but otherwise I've been housebound.  This morning I drove early to Vittorio Veneto then started biking west toward Valdobbiadene.  The cool front that came in yesterday blew all the clouds and haze away so the vineyards and mountains looked crystal-clear.

At the piazza in Valdobbiadene I started upward toward Pianezze (1076m).  This is their local big climb everyone trains on, similar to our Piancavallo.  It's a wonderfully shaded ascent, cool even on bright summer days.  After the initial wall of 9-10% the gradient averages 7-8%.  Not bad.  Favorite moment of the climb was watching a hawk (with one meter wingspread) floating in place on an updraft about 20 meters away as I pedaled up the road.  I've seen smaller birds like kites and kestrels do this but never one this big.  Magical. 

At the Pianezze ski area most cyclists turn around and descend, their training complete.  But a few other mountain goats continued up toward Rifugio Mariech (1510m).  This upper portion is much different- exposed to sun, long straight stretches rather than switchbacks, and a steeper average gradient including 3 km at 10-11%.  Still not too bad, especially on this fresca June morning.

From here a fast descent to Pianezze, then a traverse of several km gaining 150 meters to Casere Budui (1218m).  This is a pretty torn up road- needs paving, so go slow.  From Casere Budui a fast fun descent of Madean to Combai, Miane, and Cison Valmarino.  Fantastic ride on a beautiful day!

Strada del Prosecco: Combai, right, Col San Martino, left

Looking back down valley toward Miane

Prosecco vineyards and wooded hills stretching for miles

Monte Grappa (1732m) from the Pianezze climb

The grassy bald of Monte Cesen;
the antennas are a bit below Rifugio Mariech 

Vineyards of Valdobbiadene from Pianezze climb

Steep uphill grassy meadows on the climb to Rifugio Mariech

The grassy meadows continuing downhill 

Strada del Prosecco, Laghi Revine, with Monte Pizzoc
and Monte Cavallo in background

 More cowbell!

Dolomiti Bellunese from Rifugio Mariech

Looking southwest toward Piave River 

Patchwork of vineyards

Abbazia di Santa Maria (Follina) built in 1268

Rode clockwise

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