Saturday, August 4, 2012

8-4 ride con squadra

I had a great ride this morning with the remnants of the team still in Florence in August.  Well, that is an exaggeration, but there were 3 of us, and the other two are regulars and very strong.  One is the club president, and the other's grandfather was a very famous cyclist here, winning a number of Giros.  Anyway, we climbed away from Florence on Via Faentina, up past L'Olmo to the pass there, then descended on the new pavement through Polcanto and Faltona, then taking the turn to San Piero a Sieve.  That turn eventually, with a few other turns, connected with SS65 or Via Bolognese.  We took this road over and around Lago di Bilancino, then started the 15 kilometer climb to Passo del Futo.  It was a beautiful climb, topping out at 910 meters, which is a good climb of I would guess around 2750 vertical.  We stopped on the way at small village called Montecarelli, where I happily found some water.  At the top, there was a very cool little bar / cafe, which has been run by the same family for over 100 years.  Inside there are pictures of cyclists from I would guess the 1940's to the present.  Only real racers had pictures up, some of them signed.  We did not see that many cyclists on the way up, but while checking out the bar at the top, around 15 cyclists came up from the other side.

A fun bike scene at the top, and as seems normal, a few of the cyclists knew either Lorenzo or Ricardo, my riding partners.  Although both of them are definitely stronger than I, and quite a bit younger, they did not have to wait much for me, which made me feel good.  We descended down the road we had just climbed, and decided to return pretty directly to Firenze, as the temperatures were getting quite hot. We had originally planned on turning off to Panna, then going through Galliano, but re-traced the climb instead.  It was a blast.  From the base of the climb, we stayed on Via Bolognese through Vaglia, where Lorenzo knew of a great spring for water.  Up to Pratolino, then down home through Montorsoli and Pian de Bartolo.  Right at 100 kilometers in 4 hours 8 minutes of riding time.  I would guess that we climbed a total of 5500 to 6000 vertical, so a good hard effort for me.

The Bar / Cafe at the top of the Passo dela Futa.

The sign by the front entry saying owned and operated by 
the same family since 1892.

One of the guys wanted to take a picture of me in front of the cafe.

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