Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cuel di Forchia

After a week of non-stop rain I finally got to ride this morning.  I headed out through Pinzano and the Grifoni Reserve to Peonis, then  to start of climb at Avasinis.  This is definitely the hardest of the 3 routes to Monte Prat.  I made it up the slope to about 350 meters, where a stretch of 17% left me stopped in the middle of the road panting.  Not sure if it was the week off but this climb was whipping me.  The road winds through dense forest along the hillside to 570 meters where I stopped to rest again.  More grappling brings you to a clearing with group of houses around 750 meters.  I couldn't get a picture of the panorama because a massive group of clouds had moved in.    

This begins the worst part of the climb, very narrow, slopes hitting 18%, crossed by slippery metal drainage channels and piles of wet leaves.  Made it part way up but almost fell when rear wheel spun around on a channel, so got off and walked for a couple of hundred meters.  At the top things get better and soon you reach Cuel di Forchia at 950 meters.  Beautiful views of Cima Pala (950 meters), which I will try to reach on MTB from Monte Prat this summer.  I was surprised 4 foreign (English?) road bikers went by in the opposite direction.  Maybe word is getting out about Friuli cycling.

Other than a herd of cows with bells in the road above Monte Prat the descent was uneventful, though fun as always.  Good ride home until around Sequals, where I ran out of gas.  Didn't bonk, just worn out.  So I took it easy the rest of the way and arrived back in Giais, where it was drizzling as usual.  Fun ride with many new roads to explore nearby.

Crucifix at 750 meters

Very pretty rustic house near the crucifix

Cima Pala (900 meters)- will try to get up there with MTB


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