Friday, December 19, 2014

Stavoli Sopracengla

Monte Prat is a fun area to explore not too far east of here above the Tagliamento River.  I rode from home to Forgaria and then began the climb.  Not a killer but still challenging.  A bunch of University of Udine geology students were hammering on rock cliffs along the road.  Around 750 meters my rear tire went flat and I changed it quickly to avoid getting cold.  

Soon I reached the altopiano and pedaled easily, resting from the climb.  At the old hotel turn right through the forest.  Before long you reach an intersection with Via Agar, which heads northwest to Cjanet and Peonis.  To the north is the road for Monte Pedroc (900 meters).  But the road I was looking for was Via Ledrania, to the south.  Almost immediately it began plunging down the escarpment toward Lago Cornino.  After a few small groups of restored stone houses I reached end of pavement at 530 meters, below Stavoli Sopracengla.  From here a hiking trail descends to Lago Cornino.  I'll hike it someday.

I turned and headed back up the escarpment at a snail's pace: it's 2 km averaging 13% with ramps over 18%.   I made it but I was toast.  The decent was fun but the long ride home was tough.   After a month or so of rain it's time to start rebuilding my fitness.   

Via Agar toward Cjanet and Peonis

Road climbing to Pedroc and Cima Pala

Via Ledrania heading down the escarpment

Restored rustico near end of pavement

Tagliamento to south; grifoni were circling almost at eye-level

Tagliamento to east

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Deferred Maintenance

Last year I noticed the Viner's left downtube cablestop adjuster was frozen solid with corrosion.  I just used the rear derailleur screw instead and forgot about it.  Then a few months later I tried loosening it with penetrating oil, whacking it, and finally applying some torque, but the adjuster screw broke in two.   The cable had an odd angle but it seemed to shift ok so I kept using it despite being broken.

Then last month the rainy season arrived and I decided to finally fix it.  The aluminum screw remnant wouldn't move so I drilled it out and installed some nice Jag-wire steel adjusters.  The shifter cables were trashed so I replaced all the cables and housing, then rewrapped the bars with Cinelli cork ribbon.  I even scrubbed the frame (I think that may have been the first time I've done more than hose the mud off). Simple stuff but now it feels like a new bike.  If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'll give it a proper test ride.

Edit: went for a spin to Malnisio and San Martino- shifts smoothly as new.  About the only difference I feel with the new setup is the brake cable housing on the back of the bars instead of front.   This routing made it easier to get rid of the crossed-derailleur cables under the down tube.  Never did care for those- looks much cleaner with cables parallel.

This is the side I drilled.  Luckily I didn't drill out the threads.

Close up of Jag-wire adjuster

New Cinelli cork ribbon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Casera Valfredda MTB

Beautiful cold clear weather has finally arrived.   I MTB'ed from Costa up through Rifugio Bornass to Castaldia, took the back road toward Col Alto till Candaglia and then turned onto the gravel road.  A little snow and ice but not bad.  I intended to continue to Forcella di Giais or Ronciade but ran out of time at Casera Valfredda (1385 meters).  I'll have to return and finish the loop later.  Many good trails in this area.

Monte Cavallo from Casera Valfredda

Panning out to show the area

Skirting around the left side of this hill (1500 meters high with
microwave relay towers)  you arrive near Forcella di Giais

Pretty little conch valley below Casera Valfredda

View east of Julian Alps near Slovenia