Thursday, September 22, 2016

Passo della Forcella Road Bike

I rode up here on my MTB a couple years ago, stopping to hyperventilate repeatedly.  But I figured my fitness has improved since then plus I've got a 34-32 granny gear on the Viner so I might be able to road bike it.  I started at Comeglians and did an easy warm-up loop then headed up through Luint and Mione.  Now you start a tortuous climb rarely dipping below mid-teens gradient.  I tried to take it easy and enjoy the glorious fir tree forest.  This worked amazingly well until 1375 meters when the cumulative toll of all those 20% ramps finally blew up.  I stopped and hung my head over the bars gasping for oxygen for several minutes.  I waited a bit.  Then I restarted, made it up the next long ramp and burst into flames.  I was done.  I did ride bits and pieces here and there in the remaining kilometer or so, but once I hit the concrete ramps, I was walking.  Luckily the road bike is much lighter to push than a MTB.  

The descent is a delight because the road is so well drained: no wheel-destroying channels to jump or death-brake for.  On the other hand it's kind of a corkscrew and you rarely have enough distance to build up speed before the next bend.  That's ok though: it's a climb unto itself and doesn't fit into any category.  I will try this again, possibly on MTB so I can continue to Rifugio Losa and descend to Lago di Sauris.  Spectacular high country!      

Views from 1740 meters

The obligatory rooster shot at Mione

East toward Zocolan

North toward Rigolato 

Northeast rises Monte Crostis


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