Well, today was an interesting day. We woke up to cloudy skies, with a bit of humidity in the air. Katrina decided to sleep in today - she's bet fighting a cold or allergies, she's not sure which.
I got Brandon ready and we rode to school. My plan for today was to ride to Como and climb up the mountain to Brunate. The last time I attempted Brunate I only made it up two switchbacks. I was determined to make it today. My legs are in better shape than they were last time...in July or early August.
I took off for Como and realized that I forgot the directions that I had printed out for climbing Brunate the back way. This was to try and avoid the huge drop into the valley that Como sits in. Oh well, when I arrived at the top of the hill overlooking Como I decided to just suck it up and ride down into town.
The first part of the Brunate climb is VERY steep. I think its even steeper than the Appalachian roads I rode on in 2006. I'm not sure what the grade is, but most cars are going up the road in a lower gear. I will admit that I had to stop and rest my legs a few times, but I made it to the top!! It is about a 6km climb (3.6 miles), but very steep. Brunate sits at 750 meters (2346ft). Como sits at 199 meters (653ft). That is a climb of 551 meters (1693ft) in 3.6 miles.
View of the top...I'm almost there.
I made it...well, this sign is a trick. I still had about 1.5km to the top.
At the top I enjoyed the view, took a couple of pictures and had lunch - a hamburger and a coke.
View from the panorama point...a cloudy day in northern Italy.
I decided to take the 'other' way back down the mountain. I made it down ok, but had quite a bit of trouble finding my way back to my original route home. I finally did it and arrived back in Vedano with enough time to stop and buy a snack and drink, then enjoy it at the back gate of Brandon's school while I waited for him.
I'm very happy that I accomplished my first two riding goals: 1) ride to Como, and 2)ride up Brunate. Now I will work on goal #3) Ride to Chiasso, on the oppossite side of Como from Brunate. Chiasso is the first town as you climb over the mountain and enter Switzerland. I've now added a new goal, goal #4) Ride to Bergamo.
This evening after dinner I went to see my first movie in Italy - Angels and Demons. Yes, I know it came out months ago, but it was shown in English at the Monza theater tonight. Errol, it wasn't the same without ya.