Saturday, March 30, 2013


Today we had a 3-hour rain-free window so I rode to Celante to finish my interrupted ride from February. I continued down through the bosco to Pradaldon, then headed up to Manazzons.  This section is a steep climb, 1.3 km averaging 10%, with a few 13% spots in the mix.  From the hill above town you plummet back down to the road along Rio Coz and follow it back to Celante.  Made it all the way to Campagna before the drizzling started so only was slightly damp when I returned home.  Good ride.

Beautiful waterfall of Rio Coz above Pradaldon

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Troi dei Vuolth

Head north from Selva on foot to end of the gravel road (near our wideband repeater on a disused WW II bunker).  Head up the trail signed Troi dei Vuolth and follow the trail up to the alpine meadows at Baitola Polo.  There are great views from here of the mountains above, the plain below, and steep scree canyons on either side.  Next time I'll  continue on the Troi dei Vuolth to Palussa, another mountain cabin for hikers.

Tried out the trekking poles my mountain-running friend Doug recommended.  They're great- let you use upper body muscles to augment lower body when climbing, and help with balance when descending.  Love 'em.

Cavern high in Li Gravis canyon 

Selva from 800 meters

Valfreddo (1307 meters)

This ridge at 1300 meters obscures view of
Monte Ciastelat (1641 meters) on other side

Pala Fontana high above (1637 meters)

Baitola Polo (813 meters)

Framoso canyon/scree slope

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Giro del Prosecco

Paul Kim showed me this route last year and I'm finally getting round to riding it solo.  After Vittorio Veneto you climb up over peaceful Passo di San Lorenzo.  Then you coast down to Tarzo, up again along the ridge to Resera, and down to Rolle.  Here begins a beautiful little winding road down through the bottom of a valley covered with prosecco vines.  You continue down to 186 meters on Via Molinetto, then begin to climb up through  Refrontolo and along the ridge to San Pietro di Filetto.  Here starts a beautiful loopy series of 8 tornanti gliding down through the prosecco vines to the intersection with the main road from Tarzo to Conegliano.  Go straight across and continue to Cozzuolo, then descend to Vittorio Veneto.

Amazingly at Vittorio Veneto I caught a tailwind pushing me at 30+ kph all the way to Fiaschetti.  From there up the hills and home.  Wonderful first ride of Spring. 

Looking back at church and Monte Pizzoc
from Passo di San Lorenzo

Bare prosecco vines from the ridge above Rolle

Cascade at Rolle

Some of the tornanti below San Pietro di Filetto 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rifugio Bornass

Not sure why I waited 18 months to check this road after it was washed out by flooding.  It's only 3 miles from my house but somehow it never occurred to me.  But today I had a spur of the moment impulse and rode up there.  It hasn't been repaired yet, but it is passable on a bike if you put on some cleat covers and carry your bike along the edge a little way.  After that, it's a peaceful climb up to 784 meters, then a fast descent down the main road from Piancavallo.  The road was wet so I took it easy on the bends, but still hit 75 kph on the straight stretch.  What a great workout!

The barrier at 412 meters; you can climb over/around it on foot

A view into the abyss
Just carry your bike along the right edge

Looking back with relief at surviving

The second washout, on the west side of Torrente Ossena

Friday, March 15, 2013

Monte Cuarnan

Our rainy days were blown away last night by the Bora, unfortunately dropping our temps to near 0℃ and blowing strongly all through today's ride.  Non c'è male though; any day on your bike is a good day.
I left early, riding up through Pinzano and Trasaghis to Gemona.  The toughest part of the ride was climbing up through Gemona- very steep streets with dead ends and one-ways to make you double track after you've struggled up a street.  I finally found Via Cappucchini and Via Gieseute, which traverse across the mountain to the start of climb, Via Foredor.  These first few kilometers are very dolce climbing, allowing me to recover from Gemona.  The sweetness gets a bit steeper later, until you reach a little box canyon connecting Monte Chiampon and Monte Cuarnan.  This traverses to the steeper Monte Cuarnan climb, with metal drainage channels every few meters.  It got quite cold here despite exertion.   The normally silent forest was hit by a wind blast every few minutes, which sounded like a freight train blowing through the trees.  Up around 800 meters started running into patches of ice and snow but was able to get through till about 950 meters.  Here the road was snowed over, and even a mountain biker whom I'd passed on the hill earlier was struggling.  He eventually gave up and started walking his bike up to the malga.
The descent was freezing cold, despite going slow to avoid ice, bunny hop channels, etc.  I turned off the main road and took Via Baldo, a very steep street with drainage channels.  I was trying to find the road to Artegna, but got a little lost and finally spotted it in the distance from a cliffside.  This is a great road, much nicer than the busy route from Trasaghis.  I continued through Buia and Majano then across the Tagliamento to Cornino and back down through Pinzano.  Luckily the Bora was to my back now  and I got to rest a bit.  Great ride!    

Monte Chiampon (1709 meters, left) and
Monte Curnan (right) across the Tagliamento

The mountains beyond Tolmezzo from 950 meters

Prealpi Carniche in background,
Monte Brancot, foreground

Prealpi Carniche stretching further to the west;
in left background you can see Monte Ragogna by the river

Monte Chiampon towering above 950m clearing
on Monte Cuarnan

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Valcellina- Val Meduna climbs map

Here's a map of some good climbs in Valcellina area.  For now you must click on the green bike place marker to see name, link to description, etc.  I'd prefer a label to pop up when you scroll over the place marker, will work on it.

View Valcellina- Val Meduna in a larger map

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Val Ciadula

Finally the rain let up a little today and merely drizzled.  I rode up Valcellina; after Barcis at Arcola the rain picked up a bit but still not bad.  I decided I would continue to Claut and then return home.  As I entered Claut I noticed a little road winding way up the hillside and thought "Too bad- if it wasn't raining I would try that."  I did a little lap around the centro of Claut and the rain stopped.  So when I returned to the turn off I decided to go for it.  The road is marked Via Grava Ruggero at first, then becomes Via Creppi.  The narrow farm road winds steeply up the hillside through wild stretches alternating with small groups of farmhouses with pasture.  In a couple of spots the road was snowed over so I charged through it until the bike stopped and then carried it a few meters.  The fun finally ended at 819 meters where the pavement ended and turned into a rocky trail.  Going down was hairy because the brakes were iced over.  I stopped and cleaned them after each snowy stretch but the steepness (16% at times) kept me from slowing down real well until I reached a flatter spot.

The ride home was wonderful- slightly downhill almost the whole way so felt like flying.  The new Pearl Izumi windstopper gloves were absolutely dry inside- very impressed.  My old neoprene shoe covers still let some water in though, I think after 15 years they may deserve retirement.

End of pavement at 819 meters

Looking back down Val Ciadula toward Claut

View of Claut from Creppi
View toward Valcellina from Creppi

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Col Scussat

Test ride for new FSA integrated seat pillar on the Viner Maxima- works great.  This one is a bit heavier and beefier than the original which broke a few weeks ago.  I don't mind an extra ounce if it keeps my saddle from falling off on a high-speed descent.

I intended to do the usual climb up to Mezzomonte with its 4.2 km averaging 9%.  Then I reached the cemetery at 468m and had an overwhelming urge to turn off and follow the little mountain road I "discovered" in December.  This time at 534m I turned right onto a side road.  It climbed some more and then, above Mezzomonte's campanile, turned into a dirt road.  The road wasn't too bad, but too rocky for 23mm slicks.  Still I kept going until around 640m when the dirt road turned into a hiking trail, Troi dei Mui.  You could do it on a mountain bike but I think I'll go back and hike it from the opposite end.  It connects to the road above San Tome and Dardago, then climbs up to Col Scussat at 711 meters, then down to the dirt road I travelled today.

The descent was very fun as always.  Great ride.

Troi dei Mui starts here and climbs Col Scussat
Looking down from the dirt road at Mezzomonte's campanile 

New FSA integrated seat pillar 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

San Tome

The ascent from Torrente Artugna bridge (80m) below Budoia to end of pavement (565m) above Dardago is one of the best training climbs I know.  You climb 485 meters in 8 km, very easy grade at first, gradually increasing till it sustains 10-11% for several stretches before Il Chalet restaurant.  The very top section eases a bit until end of pavement.  I've heard you can continue on mountain bike all the way up to the ridge between Piancavallo and Il Cansiglio, but you must dismount for much of the steepest loose-rocky stretches.

Today I tried something new.  Often when riding I reach a trail I want to explore but the surface is unrideable and I can't hike in road bike shoes, even with cleat covers.  So today I wore my Deuter backpack and brought some sneakers.  When I descended to San Tome trailhead (by parking lot of Il Chalet and rock climbing school) I locked my bike and wheels to a signpost, changed shoes and walked to San Tome.  Very cool cliffs (croda) here, with the sorgente del Artugna and XII century San Tome church to see.  Would love to hike further down the east bank of Torrente Artugna next time. 

Crystal cear waters of sorgente del Artugna

The croda looming above

XII century church of San Tome

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Above Bosplans

I was headed up to Pala Barzana from Bosplans but the snow was too deep above 600 meters.  So I went back down a bit to the big horseshoe curve in the snowy meadows above Bosplans and took some pictures.  What a beautiful place!

End of plowing at 616 meters
Horseshoe curve with Monte Toc (foreground)
and Monte Castello (1923m) 

Monte Taront (1320m)

Monte Caulana (2068m) and Monte Sestier (2084m) in background

Monte Fara (1342m) on left

Zuccul de Zan Modest