Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mezzomonte-Valle Friz-Piancavallo

Rain finally quit so I had to get some riding in.  Rolled down to Colture then headed steeply up to Mezzomonte.  By now I was baking in winter clothes. so I stripped down to bike shorts and headed up toward the Cansiglio-Piancavallo panaramica.  At the junction near Col Palse I headed right and soon reached Valle Friz and then Casera Campo.  From Piancavallo an easy glide down to Via Pedemontanae and home. 

Swiss cow and dappled horse, Col Palse

Snowy September peaks toward Slovenia

Val di Croda cliffs above San Tome

Torrente Artugna

Snowy Monte Cavallo gruppo from Caldastia

Best local climb: it's official

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Pian Formosa

From Vittorio Veneto to Belluno spreads a spectacular cycling area: the Cansiglio altopiano, Lago di Santa Croce, the conch valley of Alpago, and Nevegal.  You're spoiled for choice and can't go wrong.  Today I revisited a spot I haven't seen since 2010, Pian Formosa.  I warmed up on this Novemberish September morning on Via Pedemontane and headed upward at Sarone toward il Cansiglio.  After crossing the altopiano I turned right at Pian Rosada, a gorgeous fir forest.  This ends up at Col Indes, with an eye-popping panorama of the Alpago conch.

I descended to Tambre and turned right toward Pianon.  Now you are on Via Cate, a cliffside  panaramica road  following the contour line along western Alpago.  At the turn off for Pian Formosa head steeply upward.  It's less than 2 km but makes you work for every inch, topping out around 1200 meters.

I headed home directly through the Cansiglio, skipping Col Indes and Pian Rosada.  Descending to Sarone something popped off of my bike as I sped over a big bump.  Looked around awhile and found my Garmin Oregon in the weeds.  I figured it was toast but it didn't miss a beat.  Heavy, but tough.    

Alpago panorama from Col Indes

Monte Messer

Pian Formosa

Monte Messer close up

The high pastureland of Pian Formosa

Sarone La Crosetta climb; I refused to use
the 34-34 gear out of vanity

Pian Formosa climb

Friday, September 8, 2017

Casera Casavento

Another favorite:  up through the tunnels to Barcis, Valcellina and Claut, then down to Lesis and up the switchbacks to Casavento.  Such a gorgeous place, yet deserted only a few days after the mass vacation of August.

Casera Casavento

Mountains to the north separating us from Val Pussa

The headwaters of Torrente Cellina

Wild crocus with cache of saffron

A fraction of the climbing but the hardest part

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Canal di Cuna

Another favorite ride.  From home through Meduno to Tramonti di Sotto, then turn right toward Tramonti di Mezzo.  Take the steep rightish turn as you enter town and the first alley on right is Via Canal di Cuna.  Ride the saliscendi along the torrente and at the bridge in the photo below you will begin to climb steeply.  Eventually pavement ends and the gravel road continues climbing.  A couple of places have been concreted due to erosion.  Up you continue until the road levels out at an abandoned settlement at Forcella Zuviel. 

After wandering around a bit I headed back down.  Very fun ride.

Rio Chiavelara where the fun begins

At the top the road continues aways, then turns to forest

Abandoned settlement at Forcella Zuviel

This spring has good mineral water.
UnfortunatelyI could only fill one bottle.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Pala Barzana - Piancavallo

The forecast called for more rain so I planned to stay home, but suddenly Il Meteo updated, it was only partly cloudy and cool, I could ride!  I rode to Maniago, up through Fora Colvera, Poffabro ( where a festival was drawing crowds), and then over Pala Barzana.  More festivals by Andreis till I reached the main road to Barcis.  Over the dam and behind the lake to the climb for Piancavallo.  This back route is underrated:  14km of 6.6% is no joke.  At the top I opted for the main road because of my late start, but it wasn't too crowded.  Maybe the cool temps moderated the touristic hoard.  

Good workout on some trusty old companions. 

Monte Raut with Pala Barzana antennas cropped out 

Monte Resettum from top of Barcis- Piancavallo climb

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Clauzetto to Monte Valinis

I rode from home to Travesio and then up Via Val Cosa to Clauzetto.  From there down to Pradis di Sotto, then up to Piani di Clauzetto and down to Campone (bass ackwards from Sunday's ride.  Shortly after Campone a steep turnoff to your left carries you up to Forchia Piccola then onward to Monte Valinis and the parapendi takeoff ramp.  From here descend to Meduno then home.  

Monte Ciauerlac from Pradis di Sotto

View north from Pradis di Sotto


Parapendio above Monte Valinis

View northeast from Monte Valinis

Monday, August 28, 2017

Di2 one year review

One year on I heartily recommend Shimano Di2.  Really can't imagine ever buying another bike without it.  Perfect shifts every time, with auto front derailleur trim to keep it quiet and smooth.

The only features I  personally don't care for are synchro shifting and multi shifting.  Tried them a few rides and had to turn them off.  Another rider might love them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

4 Hills

A lovely Sunday so I tried to stay under the radar and avoid the August crowds.  First I rode to Fanna and then up the steep road to San Lorenzo.  This is only rideable on Sundays and holidays.  At the top I turned steeply downward to Val Colvera and then cruised up to the junction near Poffabro and Frisanco for Val Muie.  Great fun riding this curvy saliscendi.  At Navarons I headed across the Meduna and up the main road to the turn off for Campone.  Lovely curvy road, slightly uphill.   

At Campone starts the second climb of the day up to Piani di Clauzetto.  Another descent brings you to    Pradis di Sotto where you start the third climb, this one up to Pradis di Sopra.  Immediately you head down the shady valley along Rio Forno, climb up another contrapendenza, then down to Pielungo and Torrente Arzino.  Lots of bathers trying to beat the heat dipping in the cold river.

Now the final big climb of the day, the back road up to Val Tochel, above Monte Prat.  Absolutely deserted, miles of gorgeous forested mountains, and the spectacle of Monte Flagjel and Monte Cuar.  From here the fun descent from Monte Prat to Forgaria.  The ride home was quite warm, with slightly cooler air on the breeze.  Great workout.

Monte Rest from near Monte San Lorenzo

Reclaimed cement quarry of northwest Monte San Lorenzo

Pretty house along the plummet to Torrente Arzino

Monte Cuar above Val Tochel meadows

Monte Flagjel connected by a ridge to the west

Friday, August 25, 2017

Via Guitcillo da Montanara

This is an all-time favorite climb.  From Montaner take Via Guitcillo da Montanara up to a barrier before the last house at 830 meters.  Now you must portage through the blackberry thorn tangle to the next dirt road at 865 meters.   Follow the dirt and concrete roads until you reach the main highway coming up from Vittorio Veneto.  Turn right on the highway and soon you see turn off on your right for Col Oliver Picnic Area.  This is a fun dirt road eventually connecting to Strada Patriarche from Villa di Villa.  Shortly you reach the main highway coming up from Sarone/Caneva.  I headed to Sarone then home.  Had a flat at Gorgazo spring, so had a nice view while I changing the tube.  

This ride is also good for MTBing  but the portage is lighter with Fedaia.  And she made it all the way up non-stop.  Amazing.

Long winding road to Col Oliver

The climb up Via Guitcillo da Montanra

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Col Alt - Monte Candaglia

A cool August morning, perfect for a climb up to Col Alt.  I went nice and easy up to the Alpini chapel above Montaner, the first time nonstop on Fedaia.  Continued up toward Col Alt, but I deviated to the alpine wetland then descended to Carbonaria park on Strada dei Patriarche.  Next I climbed up past La Crosseta then turned onto the gravel road for Candaglia.  Great fun on this road, deserted except for a few hikers.

After Casa Forestale I climbed up past 1500 meters to junction with Panoramica Cansiglio-Piancavallo. Again nearly deserted.  Descended to Bornass, Madonna della Monte and home.  Very tired- think I need to eat more before riding.  

Alpine wetland below Col Alt; usually noisy with frogs
but quiet in this cool August spell 

Livestock watering hole and bird bath near Col de Scios

Casera Campo landscape

Croda di San Tome above Budoia

Sarmede Col Alt climb

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Panoramica Cansiglio-Piancavallo

A wonderful thunderstorm came through last night and blew all the haze away.  So this morning I rode to Mezzomonte and then up past the cemetery to the new paved road from il Cansiglia to Piancavallo.  I rode west to the turn off for Casera Code di Bosco.  Here I headed back east the way I'd come, then continued to Rifugio Valle Friz, Casera Campo and Piancavallo.  At first I took the main road down to Rifugio Bornass, then the deserted back road to Madonna della Monte and home.  Wonderful ride with nice cool temps in August!  

Clear air revealed Mare Adriatico, Istria Penisola,
the islands near Grado and the Laguna di Venezia

Horses grazing at 1400 meters

This dappled horse was particularly curious

Slovenian mountains from near i Fanghi (highpoint)

The climb