Friuli Spring 2017 – Monday May 8th

Moggio — Gemona del Friuli — Attimis — Malghe di Porzus — Madonnina del Domm — Cividale — Carnia (by train) — Moggio (81.44 km, 1181m)


On the little road from Moggio to Ovedasso they even have two alternative asphalted roads! The old nicer-looking one was replaced by a new steeper one. Explored it in the morning after taking off for the day.

Today it was time for exploring the lower pass roads below Gemona del Friuli and Tarcento. I have been once before down here when I went up the Monte Mataiur/Matajur (1326m) and the highest asphalted road that far southeast in the Alps and I also went to the famous Kolovrat mountain and passes. I noticed that I had missed some other roads in the area though and those were the first I planned for when deciding to get down to Friuli.

Malghe di Porzus

The weather forecast was not the best today, but I had hoped to escape rain as it would be better the further to the south I went. I first went down again to the bicycle shop on the main road in Gemona del Friuli as there were some noise from the rear wheel not being straight and he managed to make it better. Maybe too much tensions on it last day. Well, notice from my notes that the real problem was that the chain was skipping despite that I had a new chain put on before leaving, but bicycle repair man could not quite figure it out, nor could I or two local repairmen at home, but it turned out later when I studied the cassette closer that the Shimano Dura Ace cassette had been broken! Then I went down to Tarcento, then to Nimis and over the Passo di Monte Croce (258m) that one almost always have to pass by down here. I stopped in Attimis (195m) for a coca-cola and croissant.

I saw no problem with the weather and went ahead on the very nice road to Malghe di Porzus, which was probably the best road I had seen in Friuli as it seemed all paved with new asphalt and maybe it had been part of the Giro d’Italia recently or would be later. This is a perfect road for road cyclists, twisting, narrow, steep and with ever better views as you climb up. Here at the top and you can now sense some bad weather up to the north/right in the photo, but I thought I would escape it.

Malghe di Porzus

Now ahead the road was really narrow and not as obviously well-maintained. There is a descent from here at 911m to the turn-off for another steep final stretch to the actual monument called Malghe di Porzus, but as I came there I noticed the weather was getting quickly worse on the Slovenian side too, so decided to skip that and continue down to the crossroads at the obvious Bocchetta di S. Antonio (788m). Heard a helicopter coming looking around and noticing the bad weather closing in on me made me a little worried. I was not going back and I was not going down the barren road to Slovenia where the bad weather came from now.

Bocchetta di S. Antonio

The only way to go was to continue south and go to the Madonnina del Domm (958m) that is also a popular climb of the area, or so I thought. However, the road goes up here and there was a sign saying ‘strada interotta’. The distance to the Madonnina del Domm was also longer than the time the bad weather let me have in trying to escape. When I got there I was almost very wet, but not totally.

Madonnina del Domm

I took a photo and saw a shelter where I quickly went to take cover until the worst rain was over.

Madonnina del Domm

At the shelter I had to wait out thunder and lightening and increasing rain at first. Eventually the rain ended and I continued on down though I hate long descents on wet roads where I always go slowly to save myself from being as wet as in rain and as dirty.

Madonnina del Domm

First another photo watching the bad weather move on out over the open fields down toward the sea. The road down was at first very washed out and even wondered if it was closed, but as I met another road continuing on the ridge and went down again, the road was fine again.

Madonnina del Domm

A last photo for the day (while there was lightening not so far away) on the cold descent to Torreano (195m), where I went into the bar to have a coffee and the nice lady noticed I was shivering and told me to warm the hands with the cup (as I would have anyway). Had not expected to sit and shiver down on the flatlands in Italy in May (ok, near the mountains). At one point on the way down I had braked slightly panicked because of the lightening striking close to me, but not quite that close ;-).

I had expected the rain was over for the day, but moved on to Cividale to see if I could perhaps take the train back or some of the way as the time was now also moving on and I had lost interest in trying any more nearby climbs on this day. As I arrived in Cividale it again started to rain and now I just decided to take the train back to Carnia (via Udine). It was a nice old train to Udine. It rained the whole time back to Carnia.

Not happy with the results this day, but not sure anything better would have come out of it if I had been going in another direction. I hade wanted to go up to Monte Zoncolan, Piani di Vâs and Pani di Raveo and more and now when I got back it looked like the weather was better up in that direction, but doubt it had been so during the day. I was back again for the next to last night at the B&B. Maybe it was this evening I was eating pizza again (like on the first night) in Moggio (it was not the best pizzeria, but it was fine). The next day I had decided to try and really do a proper day of cycling no matter what the weather would be like.