Saturday, January 25, 2014

Monte Castelir

I noticed this side road heading up the mountain near Rugolo last week.  So today when the sun finally popped back out I headed over to try it.  After warming up riding to Caneva I turned uphill at Villa di Villa, climbed past Castello di Cordignano, over the hill and down towards Rugolo.  Just before you descend to Rugolo turn right on the road marked Chiesetta Alpina di Monte Castelir.  It's steep immediately but not too bad.  Then the nice smooth pavement ends, and it becomes crumbling concrete alternating with rocks stuck in tar, tilting up into the +20% range.   This would be a good workout on a mountain bike.  In fact, during one of my numerous stops to hang my head over the handlebars to gasp, sputter, and pant, a mountain biker wobbled by me and appeared to be struggling with the hellish gradient as well.  Eventually I made it to the closed church gate and walked up from there.  I was having trouble even walking this stretch, having forgotten my cleat covers.

The little church at 626 meters and surroundings were beautiful and I really enjoyed the visit.  Then I descended with brakes in a death grip: going fast on this broken surface would likely send me flying headfirst over an embankment.  When I reached Rugolo my legs felt rubbery so I went home the easiest way possible.   Arrived just in time for a nice cool down walk with Marilyn, Teddi and Honey.  Will return soon with MTB- from Monte Castelir a trail continues to Col Alt and the Strada della Patriarca (the ancient road from Villa di Villa to il Cansiglio).

The lovely start of the climb, with olive grove and prosecco vineyard

Chiesetta Alpina di Monte Castelir 626 meters

Front view

Hazy view west across Sarmede,Vittorio Veneto,
with Monte Cesen in background

Memorial to the Alpini (mountain soldiers)

Hillside town of Montaner with its huge campanile

Snow-capped Col Visentin

The killer climb

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Val Muiè

Finally a sunny Spring-like morning after weeks of interminable inundation.   Val Muiè is a favorite local ride.  Warmed up with a spin to Meduno, across Fiume Meduna and up to Navarons, along the rain-swollen Muiè to Poffabro and then down through Bus di Colvera to Maniago.  A great winter saliscendi workout.   

View north along Fiume Meduna

Poffabro with Monte Raut and  Monte Rodolino

Close up Monte Raut and Poffabro church
Bus di Colvera

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Castles and Caves Foothills Ride

Finally a sunny day for a favorite foothills ride.  No big climbs but plenty of shorter ones, some of them quite steep.  Tons of other bikers out- people have been going stir-crazy from the rain.

After warm up on Via Pedemontane you turn toward Sarone and continue up to the right turn for La Crosetta.  Instead of turning go straight, passing below Castello di Caneva.  Descend to Caneva and continue to Villa di Villa. Head up the hill toward the backroad to Il Cansiglio, but don't turn onto it: head for Rugolo instead.  Shortly you pass Castello di Cordignano on your left.  Lots of saliscendi on this road with some 15%.  At Rugolo turn right and ride through Montaner to Fregona.  Here turn right and climb up through Grotto di Caglieron to Colors.  Via Colors is a beautiful looping ride through pastureland with mountains above, ending in Vittorio Veneto.  Take a left to Anzano, then follow the signs for Il Cansiglio, climbing to Fratte.  Now descend to Cappella Maggiore, continuing to Sarmede, Caneva and home.  Wonderful ride.

Note: I didn't take many pictures because there was a cloud of wood smoke along much of the foothills.  In this weather it hangs in the air instead of blowing away- wood stoves becoming too popular!    

Monte Pizzoc from Via Colors