Stage 2: Udine to Pordenone

Distance: 56.34 km

Time: 2 hours 46 minutes

Speed: 20.4 km/h

Ascent: 96 metres

Total distance: 133.78 km

Total time: 6 hours 46 minutes

Wordle scores: Captain 6 Stoker 4

Word of the day: “paesino” (pie-eh-zee-no) – a small village

The Stoker writes:

Having seen how big it looked on the map, I don’t think I was expecting much from Udine. We chose well, though, I think, a lovely suite in the old centre, in an old palazzo but recently refurbished – it looked like it had had quite some money spent on it! Our suite was Africa-themed, with giraffes on the wall. It even had a bath, bliss! We enjoyed dinner at ‘Al Gelso’, and learned a new word: gelso is a mulberry tree. Not fantastically useful unless we acquire a colony of silk worms, but who knows.

After sleeping really well in the quiet, dark room, we were out to breakfast at 9:30 at a bar by the duomo. The cornetti were filled with more chocolate than was really necessary, but good fuel for our proposed 50km.

Yes, I am wearing my cycling helmet to have breakfast… I did eventually realise, and take it off!

After breakfast we spent about half an hour getting grumpier and grumpier, as the new Garmin (which we have christened Gilbert) refused to load the route we would be following. It probably wasn’t actually Gilbert’s fault – we’ve been using Komoot to plan our routes, which is great for the planning, but a bit glitchy on the Garmin. Which may of course be because Garmin want you to use Garmin to plan your route, but it’s really not as good. Anyway, after a tetchy half an hour of making these faces…

… we got it sorted out and pushed off. We were quickly into a lovely series of small villages, each with a little church, a square and so on.

It was very serene, and very slightly downhill, so we made good progress. There was a lot of fruit growing in fields by the roads, and many vines. Definitely getting closer to prosecco-land.

Just before lunch we were routed onto the SS13, which was unpleasantly large and quite busy. It seemed an odd choice for Komoot to have made – one of its strengths is to find you nice quiet roads to ride. An SS road in Italy is a Strada Statale – only one step down from a motorway, so usually best avoided. Then I remembered – there was only one place you could cross the Tagliamento river for miles in either direction, and it was on the SS13. Nothing for it then, but to push on. There was a margin to the right and we rode in that, everything gave us plenty of space, but it was undeniably uncomfortable.

When we got to the river it was utterly dry, it looked like this:

A few kilometres later we stopped at Casarsa della Delizia for lunch in a little cafe – toasties and loads of water, delicious. We left for our final leg, knowing we needed to get back on the dreaded SS13, but making a complete hash of achieving it. We did a circuit of a car park, refused Gilbert’s suggestion that we walk the tandem across two railway tracks (what?!), went back past the lunch cafe twice, and finally found the right road. Thanks, Gilbert, that one’s definitely on you!

We only had 16km to go, but the road got bigger and bigger, and started to offer underpasses, huge roundabouts and the like, and so when we saw a sign for a longer but less traffic-ridden route into Pordenone, we took it. A good call, in no time we were in the countryside again, and although it was longer and further, it was definitely preferable. We rolled up at our lodgings, which are in a house right on the edge of a vineyard.

And joy of joys, another bath!

Here’s today’s route and a short video

Leave a Reply