The solo ride to visit Dario Pegoretti in Caldonazzo was approximated 230-240 km (150 miles). On my part I think it was a bit over ambitious but it was a perfect day and I had a purpose. Ms. E. was totally pissed, when I returned, that I went by myself ("you could have crashed", "no one would know where your were", etc.).
In order to avoid any of the main roads going from Verona to Trento I decided to ride the "Pista Ciclabili Della Valle Dell' Adige". This is a paved bike path that begins about an hour's ride north of Verona, and continues north past Trento, Bolzano, and into Austria. Finding the start is a bit tricky but having ridden it one time previously I was sure I could find it again. There are sections of the path where you must jog onto small country roads but those are very short.
In general, the path hugs the Adige River or is the middle of vineyards. Mountains surround you on both side as you ride in the valley. The views are awesome.
My goal was to arrive in Mattarello, just south of Trento. From here I had to go east to Caldonazzo via Vigolo Vattaro. Fortunately, the bike path came within 100 yards of Mattarello. In asking for directions I was disappointed to hear, "Sempre su." "Always up". What my map at home didn't tell me was that the road from Mattarello to Vigolo Vattaro was 6.8 km of climbing, with two sections of 17%. I know this because in Italy ascents and descents are often marked with road signs indicating the grade. I had a couple of outer body experiences for a few moments in my lowest gearing of 39/23; I was using my old Malagnini which I wanted to show to Dario. Arriving at Vigolo Vattaro it was a nice descent (10%; and I noted I'd have to climb it later) to Caldonazzo. As I descended I was treated to views of the beautiful Lake Caldonazzo, nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains on all sides.
After visiting Dario (see previous blog entry) I grabbed a quick lunch of risotto and started the journey back to Verona. 3 km at 10%, plus a few more KMs at a more reasonable grade got me out of Caldonazzo and back to Vigolo Vattaro. From there is was downhill back to the pista ciclable. With the sun now in the west and heading South I found that the views were even more spectacular.
I usually do a Century (100 mile) ride on my birthday which is only a few days away. For this year, this is going to be my birthday ride.
Photos: the star of the pista ciclabile, my Malagnini, riding among vineyards, typical sign indicating grade, Lago Caldonazzo where Dario Pegoretti has his facility