Sunday, May 29, 2016

Madonna della Neve

I tried this climb a few years ago but the grass was so high I couldn't find the trail at the top.  This time it hasn't grown as tall yet so it was no problem.  The weather forecast said morning rain but luckily it held off till mid-afternoon.  There are great views from up here.  Looked like there might be a mountain bike trail to descend on so I'll research that.

Monte Ragogna across the Tagliamento

Castelnovo del Friuli rolling hills 

Monte Pala looming above

Chiesetta Madonna della Neve

The ramp from Vito d'Asio to
Madonna della Neve

The total climb 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Monte Frascone

Another favorite climb to Pian delle Femene on Monte Frascone.  Afterwards I descended a few hundred meters and took the concrete/dirt road connecting to Pian dei Grassi road.  From here I climbed a couple of hundred meters to an overlook where I decided to descend and head home.  Gruppo and wheels worked great on this first big climb.  The 11 speed shifters are very comfortable descending on the hoods.

View west from Piane delle Femene

View north from Piane delle Femene

Cottage on dirt road between Monte Frascone road
and Pian dei Grassi road

Alpini memorial by Chiesa di Sant'Andrea in Vittorio Veneto

Monte Frascone climb from Revine Lago

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


This is a favorite local climb to Lago Ca' Selva northwest of Meduno.  After the village of Chievolis you ascend steeply at first, then through a series of saliscendi until you reach the dam.  There is a gravel road on the far side of the dam which isn't great on a road bike but passable.  After a bit it becomes paved again, then ascends steeply to a hard right turn.  This is the beginning of the 0,5 km ramp to Panuch with gradients between 15% and 20%.  At the top is Panuch trailhead, where I rested awhile and headed back.  If you're in the area try  it out.

Snowy Monte Raut from Panuch

Cliffs above the gorge at the dam

Lake is happily full of snowmelt again

Torrente Silesia Gorge

Gorge from a different angle

From the dam to Panuch

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Campagnolo Zonda First Impression

Decided to upgrade the wheels while I was at it.  The old Racing 7's have been great wheels but I figured I would hand them down to the old Merckx and try some Campy Zondas.  Yesterday I mounted them and rode them around our village to get the derailleurs adjusted to them.  This morning was their first real ride.  

I rode down to Conegliano and found a new (to me) road up into the prosecco hills above town.  It's a gorgeous area with many bike rides.  I ended up in a place called Rua di Feletto and after some touring around I began descending.  After awhile I realized I had been near the Castello di Conegliano but I was already down the hill.  Some pics of my prior visit are here .

As for the wheels they feel wonderful.  The reduced rotating weight felt like the whole cogset had been shifted up a cog: each gear felt a little easier than usual.  Acceleration also seemed easier, as if I had a lightened flywheel.  Really nice and surprisingly inexpensive.      

Prosecco vineyards of Rua di Feletto

They look nice too

Friday, May 20, 2016


Went to sleep dreaming of climbing Passo Giau and Matajur but woke up feeling tired.  Maybe it was standing out in the cold wind in the immigration office holding pen for hours yesterday morning. Don't know.  Anyway I ended up doing one of my short, flat, winter loops: Vajont-Vivaro- Tesis-Vajont.  Pretty weather with a bit of wind for added training resistance.  Fun ride.

Monte Raut from Tesis

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dardago + Mezzomonte

Another day of unpredictable weather.  Looked like an impending hailstorm one moment, and a burst of sunshine the next.  I rode down through Castello d'Aviano to the plains below Budoia, then headed up the long gentle climb through Dardago, past Belvedere, Chalet and San Tome to end of pavement at 582 meters.  I coasted back down the hill, and then certain that I would get soaked, continued down past Gorgazzo to Coltura.  

Here I turned up toward Mezzomonte, so steeply at first I had to stand and pedal, and then just less steeply enough that I could manage it seated.  At Piazzetta Nuvolone (485 meters) I turned around and coasted down  Made it all the way home with no rain, very lucky.

Pianura from 528 meters above Dardago

 Dardago climb

Mezzomonte climb

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chorus 11 speed test ride

The Viner Maxima upgrade to Chorus 11 is finally complete so I tried to find a rain-free window for a check ride.  First impressions: the new shifter design is very comfy, especially the higher pivot point and longer brake levers.  Much easier to get usable brake force now.  The shifting is great and braking perfect as we've come to expect from Campy.  I can't think of a single complaint. Got a little wet in the passing showers but I was too happy to notice.  So good to be back on the Maxima again.  What a wonderful frame.

Menacing thunderclouds over Monte San Lorenzo

Short but deadly:
North side of Monte San Lorenzo

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Another beautiful day, another ride down to Brussa.  It's a wonderful undeveloped beach similar to Fort Pickens National Seashore in Florida.  The Merckx rode fine and I tried to avoid any mud that would muck up her gears.  I felt pretty strong the whole way except the last 10-15 km.  Great ride.

Small shells make marks in the sand when they move with the waves

Dune creation in the piney woodland

Eastward toward the sun

Friday, May 6, 2016

Via Buscole / Col Indes MTB

I tried this on my road bike a couple of years ago but had to push the bike halfway up the hill.  For me it's too steep and slippery for anything but a MTB.  I warmed up from Sarmede through Vittorio Veneto to Lago Santa Croce.  After climbing killer Via Buscole at Spert I continued gently climbing through Broz  to Sant' Anna then up the ramp to Col Indes.  Great views from here.  Returned via Pian Rosada, Il Cansiglio and Strada delle Patriarchi to the car park at Villa di Villa.  Exhausted.

Fara d'Alpago is all set for the Giro stage in 2 weeks.

The washed out bridge on Via Buscole.  It seemed easier to
scramble across the 2 streams today, despite carrying a heavier bike 

Had to dismount to get past these 2 tree falls

View east from Col Indes

View northeast from Col Indes

View north from Col Indes

View north from Col Indes 

View northwest from Col Indes

View west from Col Indes

Via Buscole

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Col Alto/Piancavallo

Had a bit of time to kill so I jumped on the Merckx and pedaled up to Col Alto.  Around 1300 meters there was a snowy stretch so I hopped off and pushed the bike.   Otherwise a perfect ride.  The Merckx is much better handling going fast around curves than I remember.  I was impressed. 

The 100 meter snowy stretch just before Col Alto 

The climb