Saturday, July 7, 2012

New roads by Lago di Bilancino, return to Calenzano

This morning I was on the road around 10:15 (you would think I could get going earlier when it is this hot outside, but alas, I enjoy a relaxing breakfast).  I rode up Via Bolognese and recharged water at the top of the climb in Pratolino.  Yesterday, when looking for water I found a new source in Pratolino, with a bench and shade, which will become by standby now, as the water is good.  From Pratolino, I descended through Vaglia, Tagliaferro, and turned just before San Piero a Sieve.  Actually, the turn keeps you on Via Bolognese, and this is where the new roads started for me.  A little ways past the turn off, there was a road to Trebbio and San Giovanni, which helped me now where I was on the map.  My plan took me lower, by the lake, Lago di Bilancino, but the road to Trebbio is simply a detour through some hills, which might be a good future exploration.  I found the road by the lake and rode it around, up, down, curving in and out, along the length of the lake, approximately 7 kilometers.  The road was a little wide for me and the surface was closer to large chip and seal than the normal Italian surface.  If I try this area again, I will try the detour through Trebbio.

This road ends in a junction with a relatively main road to Calenzano or Prato.  It is a very gradual climb with a few spots that close in on 10%, but mostly very civilized climbing.  It tops out at Croci di Calenzano, then descends through Carraia to Calenzano, and eventually to the road I was on yesterday.  When you are almost down, there is a turn off for Legri, which appears to hook into a road that would go all the way back to Via Bolognese, which will be a future exploration.  From Calenzano back to Firenze, it was easier today, but it is basically a relatively flat 12 to 15 kilometers in cities / suburbs, but reasonable riding.  All in all, a good ride, and it opened up some ideas for future explorations.  I mostly like the tiny back roads around here, which are quite plentiful, and none of these roads were of that variety.  That said, it was a very nice route, up and over one pass, by a beautiful lake, then up and over another pass.  Around 68 kilometers in a relatively quick 2 hours 51 minutes of riding time.

I stopped to let a slow moving truck with traffic behind it get well ahead of me on the descent to Vaglia, and took this shot of the countryside on the hills above, toward Bivigliano.

View of Lago di Bilancino towards the east side or the beginning of my ride along the lake.

View of Lago di Bilancino from the west side or the end of my ride along the lake.

A view of the back side of Monte Morello and the countryside around Carraia.

Looking toward Calenzano and Prato from Carraia.

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