Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ride of Monte Grappa, Part II

Nineteen members of Gruppo 1 made the trip to climb Monte Grappa. It was a very sunny, hot, day and the mountain offered very little shade. Twenty-seven KMs is a long climb so I decided to adopt my Maratona strategy of finding a comfortable gear and staying in it, only shifting to take an occassional stretch out of the saddle. The stretches between switchbacks were interminable.

As often happens, by the time you nearly reach 6,000 feet the weather has changed. Although sunny everywhere else the peak was enveloped in clouds and it was chilly. We had espresso at the small bar and visited the memorial before descending. About 20 KM down the mountain we stopped for lunch at a small park. Being a gorgeous afternoon we lingered for a long time, eating risotto, fruit, dolce, and drinking wine (not too much!). Espresso was brewed after which it was time to get back on our bikes and cruise 10 final 10 KM back Bassano.

Bassano is a lovely town, certainly worth a visit in itself in the future.

Photos: the memorial atop Monte Grappa shrouded in clouds, the barracks, a view of Bassano from its famous bridge (note how sunny it is in town vs. the mountain top)

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