Great ride this morning. I got up a little earlier than normal, and was more efficient with breakfast than usual, so I was on my bike by 9 am. The predicted high temperature today is 96, so getting out early was important. I had a planned route that I thought was longer than it was and thought would take me longer, but was back earlier, so much the better. I left town by the Viales over to Piazza Ferrucci, then took the roads out to Bagno a Ripoli. This is one of the better routes to warm up, as you have around 10 kilometers before the roads kick up. After Bagno a Ripoli, I climbed up through Osteria Nuova, the crested the approximately 1500 vertical feet climb at San Donato in Collina. From there, there is a great descent through Troghi, Cellai (where I got more water, a good water station), Palozzuolo, Incisa, into Figline Valdarno. At Figline, I found the road to a pass at Poggio alla Croci, which is part of the Giro d'Italia route this year and a rated climb of around 1800 vertical feet. At Poggio alla Croci, I took a short break, got more water, then descended down the beautiful curvy road through San Polo in Chianti, then the gradual descent to the turn off toward Castello Ruggero, which is a steep but short climb or around 500 vertical, then a great descent to Cappanuccia, then into Grassina. At Grassina, with one short detour, I found the road to Cinque Vie, which is my preferred way into the city from that direction, which takes one on small back roads with little or no traffic right to Piazza Ferrucci, where I picked up the viales, and rode home. 72 kilometers in a little over 3 hours, so again, a good pace for me. I will hide from the heat for most of the remainder of the day, and check in on the Tour de France later today. Keep riding everyone!
View of an old castle from the road between Palozzuolo and Incisa.
Verdant olive orchard on the climb to Poggio all Croci.
The road is kicking up on the climb to Poggio all Croci. Nice villa through the trees.