Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Marziai Via Castello MTB

I was planning a ride from Lentiai to Rifugio Mariech via Col Artent, when I noticed an entirely new climb from the west on the map.  And it seemed to be paved almost to the top.  I had to go check it out.

 I drove to Segusino on the Piave River northwest of Valdobbiadene.  From here I rode along the east bank of the river to a tiny town called Marziai.  I found Via Castello and continued climbing up past the church.  Soon I was in a dense forest with sheer mountainsides plunging down to whitewater streams below.  It's quite steep but not bad on a mountain bike: then the asphalt ends and a homicidal stretch of concrete road continues into the forest above.  I climbed it seated because the road was damp with rain and whenever I stood I lost traction.  Finally I was spent and started pushing the bike up.  Even that was hard- I had to stop and take a rest from pushing several times.

After a seeming eternity the road flattens back into the meer teens and I resumed riding.  Shortly afterward, the pavement ended and I started up a series of slippery white rock switchbacks.  Then it flattened out and I reached the dirt road from Col Artent to Rifugio Mariech at 1171 meters.  This was an easier road with very loose stone in many parts but rideable.  

Before long you emerge into rolling alpine pastureland and the high spot around 1500 meters at Rifugio Mariech.  Fun zoom down to Valdobbiadene and back to the car at Segusino.  I will try this again after a dry spell (maybe late summer, fall) when I can stand on the steeper gradients.  Or simply ride to end of asphalt and turn around.  Too beautiful not to revisit.

I could barely even push the bike up this; in winter
it would make a good luge run 

Looking back: the photo flattens the +20%

Capella del Monte Garda at 1170 meters

Rifugio Mariech at 1500 meters

From near Mariech: prosecco vineyards, the Piave River,
the Adriatico on the horizon.

East toward Revine Lago, Monte Pizzoc

Monte Grappa to the west

The principle climb

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