Thursday, June 26, 2014


My ride today started at Gorizia, the first time I've ever visited the city.  It's nice and clean, with shade trees, parks, and sidewalk cafes.  Didn't know where anything was, so I warmed up by riding around getting my bearings.  Eventually I saw a neighborhood called Rožna Dolina I remembered from the map and started my ride.  After a steep diversionary climb up to Loke, I got back on course, past Castle Kromberk and up through Breg to Ravnica (3 km averaging 10%, constantly varying gradient).

After Ravnica I started to head up the wrong road, to Lokve, but realized it, turned around and descended to Grgar, hidden in a valley behind Monte Santo (Sveta Gora).  Here I began my principle climb of the day to Lokovec, above Cepovan valley.  

The road has decent pavement and isn't too steep for a few km, then at 476 meters you turn off left toward Lokovec.  This road is well-paved with a constant 10-12% gradient for 3km: a really good workout.  At 800 meters it reaches the altopiano of  Banjšice.  This is a fantastic place: remote, silent, natural and wild.  Very glad to visit here.  Alas I got confused on my map and couldn't complete the route I had planned on descending through Bate and Grgaske Ravne, but it will be fun to return and try again.  As it was, I did a great deal of gravel road riding and the road bike and skinny tires survived intact.
The return route I used instead was north to Lokovec settlement at 847 meters, with much steep up and down riding.  Then a long killer descent to Cepovan (very torn up old road), then back down the beautiful valley to Grgar.  From there down to Solkan on Soča River and along the river bank to Gorizia.  Have to come back soon.    
Kromberk Castle built in 1609

Banjšice high plain, karst outcroppings and beautiful milk cows

View across the altopiano- mountains are on the other side of
Cepovan valley, above Gorenja Trebuša

This dense beech grove with mossy karst was the dead end
of a beautiful gravel road I got lost on

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever bike in Spain? Near Segovia, Avila, Cuenca?