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

Friday, April 29, 2016


Finally rode up to Casso.  Beautiful views of Lago Vajont and surrounding mountains.  The town is full of stone houses with narrow stone walkways instead of streets.  Ride up and check it out!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pala Barzana

A week of rain, appointments, and only one bike commute.  But the skies cleared this morning and I headed for the hills.  Pala Barzana to be exact, a favorite nearby climb from Maniago to Poffabro, through the gap between Monte Jouf and Monte Raut, then down through Bosplans and the tunnel to Montereale Valcellina.  Lots of folks out enjoying La Liberazione holiday.

Monte Raut got a dusting of snow yesterday

The rugged mountains above Andreis

View to northwest

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cadolten Malga Coro MTB

This is my third time up this climb and I think it's becoming a favorite.  You can access it from either Sonego or Osigo, but I think the latter begins out slightly more gradually.  That helps get you in the right frame of mind.  There are numerous concreted ramps on the steepest sections which also helps.

The scenery is lovely forested mountainside with views of foothills and plains in the distance.  Once you reach the alto piano of Cadolten you cross rolling grassland and then a conifer forest which is perpetually shady and still snowy in mid-April.  Here I tried a new road up to Malga Coro.  This was on a grassy hill with great views in all directions.  It was cold and windy up there though so I turned back.  

A short ride brings you to the Monte Pizzoc road (still snowed-in above Cadolten), then to the strada provinciale toward Caneva (only traffic: a young man walking a cow).  I turned off onto Strada dei Patriarchi and cruised all the way down to Villa di Villa and the car.  Need to explore this area more.

Snowy coniferous forest road at Cadolten

Monte Pizzoc from Malga Coro

Watering hole near Cadolten


The climb from Osigo

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Via Guitcillo da Montanara MTB

Beautiful April morning with hundreds of bike riders on Via Pedemontane.  At Rugulo I weaved through a crowd coming out of church and continued on to Montaner.  I turned right on Via Guitcillo da Montanara and started suffering up the precipice.  I made it all the way up without stopping but I was too tired to celebrate.  Soon the dirt road turns to a grass path, which ends by a stone house.  Here you push the bike up over boulders to a deer stand in a clearing and then scramble up an embankment onto a gravel road.  Unfortunately the Garmin screen was tapped by some of the tangled branches and paused the track.  I blithely continued on my way but no navigation data was being  collected.  Not to worry though, I have the track from this exact route from a couple of years.  If you need to plan your route it's here:  Via-Guitcillo-da-Montanara

After some sali/scendi I arrived at the highway from Vittorio Veneto to Cansiglio.  After a few hundred meters I turned off pavement again on the road to Col Oliver.  This eventually connects to Strada dei Patriarchi and then the highway from Cansiglio to Caneva/Sarone.  Great ride. 
Gotta get down from these cold clouds into the sunshine

Death Climb from Montaner to end of pavement

Today's partial track

Complete track from 2 years ago

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Monte Pala MTB

Monte Pala above Clauzetto is one of my favorite climbs.  It's conveniently located nearby but seems quite remote when you get up there.  Today was perfect early Spring weather so I decided to get some photos of wildflowers.  Will try to return here for some hiking this Summer or Fall.

The snow prevented much bikesploration today

Crocuses near south summit

Bouquet of wild premule

Rose di natale

Not sure what these are but they're pretty

These were everywhere along the dirt road.
My friend Wavell said they are in the onion family

The total climb from Molinars

The gravel road to the summit