Sunday, June 17, 2012

Anniversary ride.

Happy Anniversary Emily!!  34 years of marriage and we are still happy together.  It is a gift to have Emily to share this continuing adventure that our life is.  We had a lovely, slow pastry, cappucino, and tea at Rivoire, an amazing place on Piazza Signoria.  Afterwards, we returned home, and I took off for a ride.  I did not get going until 12 or so, and it was already hot and getting hotter.  My plan was for a 4 hour or so ride, but I shortened it to 3 hours as it was easily 95 F and I want to ride tomorrow.  I took off up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, where there was a nature fair that Kate and the kids were at.  I tried to call Kate when I got to the sign for parking, but the call did not go through.  I turned off, thinking I could see her car and see how they were doing, but, this was a big deal.  At least 300 cars were in various parking areas where I turned off, and there were more parking areas.  I turned around a continued on my ride.  From Pratolino, I climbed to Casseline, the down the wonderful road over to Alberacciao, then descending to the turn off to Santa Brigida.

Franco and Kalliope, who we rented from last winter were at our apartment for aperativi on Monday night, and they mentioned that when I was riding through there, I should stop in.  Well, I did, and they were in the middle of a rather large party.  Around 50 people with food, drink, and grills ready to bar-be-que.  The road into the house is rather steep and downhill, so by the time I saw the party, there was no turning around.  People were looking at me and pointing, so I just continued until I saw Franco.  They were as nice as they could be and genuinely seemed to welcome me.  Francesco and Elisa were there and they also welcomed me warmly.  They were strongly suggesting that I stay, party, and eat, but I had around 35 k minimum after Santa Brigida, so I told them, thank you, but I had to keep moving.  From Santa Brigida I continued on the at times rather steep ups and downs over through Fornello, through Doccia, then turned down at the Molin de Vento toward Ruffino.  I came to what we call the Pope's road, and took it back to Pontesieve, then back on the main road to Firenze.  I had discovered the "Pope's road" years ago, and it is a beautiful, very small road that goes up and down along the Sieve river.  When I first took Don and Kay on the road, Don said, "it was nice of the Pope to put in this road for us with new, perfect pavement".  From then on, it has been the Pope's road for us.  When riding with Don and Kay of this road now, Don always mentions, if we see a car, do they have the decal for the special permit from the Pope to be on our road?

Anyway, great ride, and I did cut off a planned loop through Ruffina and Diacetto, so I returned in a little over 3 hours riding around 68k.

Here is the view from Santa Brigida toward Fornello.
Note the road, which is where I ride in the middle foreground.

This is the view of the convent at Monte Scenario on the way to Santa Brigida.

Beautiful country side with the mountains above Vallambroso in the background.

A small section of the "Pope's road"

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