I first heard of Monte Tomatico in Jack's blog jackciclista.blogspot.it , and I've spent the last 7 years cooking up excuses to avoid it. Today was the day of reckoning, so I approached, trembling. The first hurdle arrived in the form of an unmarked junction. Surely the one marked "Private" and "Forbidden: shepherds and woodsmen only"couldn't be it. 72 vertical meters out of the saddle later the obviously correct fork dead ended.
I rolled back down and took the other fork. I alternated mashing Maxxima's 34 X 32 gear seated, and standing, pulling the bars up with each half-stroke. I survived this torture up to 965 meters and then could pedal no more. For awhile I struck various "Goodbye, cruel world" poses. Then I started pushing the bike up the hill. Finally at 1109 meters I deemed it climbable again and remounted.
The road eventually turns to gravel, but is still rideable. Finally at 1400 meters is a junction. I decided to turn around here, as ominous dark clouds were amassing and there were thunderstorms in the forecast. A couple of Italian MTB'ers arrived from the other side (another route) and asked where I was from. One said I should go up the hill to the cross which is the highest spot but I decided to turn back. The descent was much more fun. I will try this again with MTB (which is atrophying in the shed this summer). It will be perfect for this road.
|Pretty piazzetta in Porcen, start of climb|
|Very well-marked at the start|
|Hmmm, left or right?|
|Left is forbidden, can't be the one (no?)|
|A little rifugio at 1400 meters|
|I was advised to go up to the cross on top,|
but I'll MTB up there next time
|Windy, fast moving dark clouds |
coming over the top of Monte Grappa
|The bike pushing|