Back from a couple of days in Forte de Marmi with Kate and the kids, so there are a number of errands to be done, so I start a little late and need to be back by 2:00. I start out with the idea of finding the meeting place for the group ride tomorrow or Sunday, and I find the road I believe is correct, but do not make one turn, and do not find the place on the way out. I am sure I have done everything right and re-trace my route with no success. I head out on my ride and plan on going by on the way back. I have been on group rides where we have gone by the location on our return, so I believe I will find it that way. I return to Porta Romana, and take the winding road up to Poggio Imperiale, then over to Galuzzo. At Galuzzo, I find Via Vecchio Pozzolatico, and take it to Pozzolatico. From here, I am on the main road to Impruneta, then ride through Bagnolo to Tavernuzze. I take the real main road to the turn-off for San Andrea, and climb to Spedellato. From there, it is across to Chiesa Nuova where I fill up water and douse my head, as it is predicted to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit today. I go back toward Firenze, and take the turn-off to Scandicci, as this is the way we have found the meeting place (Iliopesca) previously. With some wandering around, I eventually find the road I have ridden before, and there is Iliopesca. I was quite close before on my way out, but did not see or take a turn that would have taken me there. From Iliopesca, I ride back toward the centro, and take the Viales home. A total of 58 kilometers in 2 and 1/2 hours of riding time.
Via Pozzolatico Vecchio - I just love this road, tiny, walled in places and almost no traffic. A great example of what I love about riding in the Florence area.
A shot of the road just ridden from the same location as above.
Villa Mangicane, a luxury resort and working winery framed by cypress trees
from the San Andrea road.
I met with the club this morning at 7:30 at Iliopesca. Only three of us showed up, but I met one new person, and rode with another from 2 weeks ago. From Firenze, we went an interesting way to Montelupo, basically using back roads to Signa a Lastra, then connecting with the river road into Montelupo. From there, we rode to Empoli, then up to Vinci. We connected with some other clubs first on the river road, then in Empoli, and all road together until Vinci, where the real climb started and the group splintered. We climbed up past Lamporecchio to San Baronto, where we stopped for a cafe and pastry. On the entire climb, another rider rode with Leif and I and at the bar, he bought us pastries. The camaraderie of the cyclists here is really great. As I have said many times, it is an integral part of the culture, and fun to be a part of. The climb is relatively long but quite gentle, the steepest part at around 7%, and I would guess an average of 3 to 4%. Most of the climbs around here do not fit that description, so it was a very nice change. It also wound around with mostly bicycle traffic on a Saturday morning, which was also quite nice. From San Baronto, we descended toward Pistoia, and turned off when we reached the flats toward Quarrata, eventually picking up an old road back into Firenze. A really fun ride on a number of new roads for me. I had been to Vinci a number of times, but had turned off on different climbs to Vitolini and Carmignano before. Right at 100 kilometers in around 3 and 1/2 hours or an average of 28.6 kph. Keep on Riding!
The scene inside the bar in San Bartono. The fellow in the yellow kit was
the nice person who joined us on the climb and bought cafe and pastries.
Looking back at the road in from the bar in San Bartono.
The scene outside the bar at San Bartono. The place is full of cyclists, and has a great vibe, making for a very fun scene.
Another hot day today, but I started slow, as I had the desire for a real "American" breakfast with eggs, toast, pancetta, and tea. I was off around 10:30, and ended up riding 67 kilometers in around 2 hours and 55 minutes, with a guesstimate of 3500 vertical. I went up Via Bolognese to Pratolino where I did my first water re-charge and head dousing. I rode up from Pratolino to the cut off to Casellina, Valiani, and Bivigliano. I took the road down to Vaglia, which was really great. This used to be one of my standard climbs, and I have only descended on the road a couple of times, both when the road was wet. Today, it was dry and most of it was newly paved. A really fun, twisty descent. From Vaglia, I went down the main road to the turn to stay on Via Bolognese, which I took. I was thinking of doing the Frati de Bosco route, but took one turn too early and ended up coming into San Piero a Sieve the back way, which was fine. I found a water source on this road and re-charged and doused again. From there, I went over to the turn to Faentina, and took that road up through Faltona, Polcanto, to the pass. This road was about 90% newly paved, which is always nice. It is a good relatively gentle uphill, although not as gentle as yesterday's. From the pass, I went down to Fiesole, again re-charged water and doused, and returned home. Another super fun ride.
The road between Valiani and Bivigliano. Che bella.
One of the 8 or so tight, relatively steep switchbacks on the
descent into Vaglia. Super fun!
Yeah, baby. New floor from Faltona up to the pass above Polcanto.