Saturday, June 30, 2012

Senza Squadra - Panzano, etc.

The email said to meet at Tavernuzze at 7:30, the same as last week.  Well, I was there, early of course, but no one else showed up.  This wasn't that big a surprise, as the numbers have been dwindling and it is getting quite hot, and many people are at the sea or in the mountains.  I just checked a facebook post and two of the riders from last week are at a race in the Dolomiti this weekend.  Well, the temperature was still cool, and I just did a tour alone, which was great.  I went from Tavernuzze to Greve on the valley roads, then climbed to Panzano.  This is a very nice, gradual climb with great views of the heart of the Chianti wine region.  I descended from Panzano and turned off to climb to La Piazza, the continue climbing to San Donato a Poggio.  I got water in Greve, then Panzano, and turned into the old centro of San Donato to find water there.  I found two sources, but the best part was seeing the beautiful old town center.  I had ridden by here many times in the past and had never turned in.  Turns out it is a very nice old town.

From San Donato i contoured over to Tavernelle, where I picked up the road toward San Casciano, then turned off on one of my favorites which runs along a ridge through Romita, San Pancrazio, San Quirico, then Montagna.  Between Romita and San Pancrazio, I pulled over to take a picture and must have hit a thorn or something, as the rear tire was quickly flat.  I walked a little ways to some shade and a reasonable  place to pull off the road to fix the flat.  The road itself is basically one lane, but used for both directions.  With the tire repaired, the ride from San Pancrazio to Montagnana is mostly downhill, and a really fun screamer.  After Montagnana, you join the road which descends steeply to Cerbia.  More water in Cerbia, then climb to Chiesa Nuova, where I checked the water and it was ice cold.  Nice!  I ran my head under the water and refilled the bottle.  Back to Firenze from Chiesa Nuova through Galluzzo, then Cascine del Rocco, Cinque Vie, then back to the Viale at Piazza Ferrucci.  The route from Galluzzo is really quiet, relatively scenic, and right on the edge of town.  It is a relatively new connection for me, as I had ridden all the parts before, but not connected it in this way.  110 kilometers in around 4 and 3/4 hours of riding time.

Vineyards on the climb from Greve to Panzano.

The start of the climb to La Piazza.  I realize these roads start 
to look similar, but I think they are just so beautiful and fun to ride.

The old town of San Donato a Poggio.

Vineyards and villa on the road from Romita to San Pancrazio.
This is where the rear tire flatted.

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