Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Good ride today.  It finally cooled off a little, and the high temperature while I was riding was around 87, which is a big improvement.  I rode up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, down through Vaglia and San Piero a Sieve, where I turned off to find the very small road to Bosco Ai Frati, which I had ridden many times before from the other direction.  I found the road easily, and basically followed a route I had done many times before, but from the opposite direction for the first time.  It is surprisingly different what you see riding the other direction, as you are climbing slowly where you would be on a screaming descent.  Anyway, from Bosco Ai Frati, I joined a more main road and turned off at Galliano, where I climbed / contoured over to Sant' Agata.  From there, I descended to Scarperia where I recharged my water for the second time today and took a little break.  It was here that I really realized how much the heat has been taking out of me.  I was 2 plus hours into the ride and was feeling relatively fresh.

After Scarperia, I descended to San Piero a Sieve where I turned off toward Borgo San Lorenzo, then turning off that road after 4 kilometers or so to the new connector to the old road which connects to the climb I was after.  I climbed up through Faltona, Polcanto, and Mulinaccio to the pass.  Three Italian riders very gradually caught me on the way up before Polcanto, and I stayed in their draft the remaining way up the hill.  It is a climb of 1500 or so vertical feet, but quite gradual, and I never even considered my easiest gears.  The Italians were climbing from their work in Borgo San Lorenzo and at the top just turned around and descended back down the same road.  I was able to communicate reasonably with them on the climb but not really well.  They did not speak slowly enough for me, and I am sure they realized with my grammar at a 5 year old level, that I was not understanding everything.  But I was able to communicate, which is a victory of sorts for me.  After the pass, I rode down through L'Olmo, Caldine, and Pian de Mugnone to Firenze.  Total distance of 82 kilometers in around 3 hours 35 minutes of riding time.  Really fun, nice ride.

The tiny road to Bosco Ai Frati from San Piero a Sieve.

View of the farmland off the same road.

Once, my friend Don Cook called this small road "the 401 of road biking".
The road from San Piero to Bosco Ai Frati really is special.

View of the farmland with a small lake on the road from Galliano to Sant' Agata.

A beautiful old villa / church just outside of Faltona.

Did I mention the pavement from the turn-off toward Faltona to the top of the pass was brand new?  Sweet!!

Don't forget, for your own custom tour, check out the website at www.ridingwithcosimo.com to book a time.

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