Monday, September 10, 2012

Gruppo AMBN - Fiesole, Bivigliano, Monteloro 9-10-12

We had a great group ride today with Art, Mindy, Billy, and Nancy, all from the Denver / Boulder area.  Billy and Nancy arrived yesterday after an extra day travelling due to the way travel can be sometimes.  Today, I met the group at the residenza, where everyone is staying, around 10:00 and we were off for a ride.  We went North of town today versus going South yesterday.  We started with a hopefully reasonable journey through the old center of Florence.  It is a sometimes difficult route, with small cobbled streets, at times more tourists than you want to believe, and traffic, motorinos, etc.  You get the picture.  Anyway, we made our way successfully through the gauntlet, and then started up the back road to San Domenico.

Nancy was a little concerned about the hills, etc, but totally hung in there and hopefully enjoyed it.  She and Mindy both walked some sections, but some sections are relatively steep (over 10%) and it is totally reasonable to walk in places.  So, from San Domenico, we rode up to Fiesole and stopped at a cafe on the main piazza for a cafe and pastries.  The pastries were terrific, although from my point of view a little expensive.  After a nice break, we climbed out of Fiesole, and were then on the totally enjoyable road to the Alberaccio area - a very nice, curvy, contouring, gently ascending (around 3%) route to the junction of the four roads by Alberaccio.  I was planning on the possibility of having two have lunch at a restaurant at the junction, but it being Monday, it was closed.  There is a food cart / truck there with tables and umbrellas where it worked for the ladies to stay while the guys added a little 1/2 hour loop.  We rode over toward Bivigliano, then turned down toward Pratolino, then went right through Casseline, then Viliano, finally doing the steep climb to Bivigliano.  With my new computer, I can give everyone the % grade, and the steepest portion of the short final climb by the church said 22%.  Pretty steep.

Anyway, we made it, then did the great ride back to the Alberaccio area.  We joined the ladies at the food truck, had a panini, then discussed the options for our return to Florence.  I laid out the 4 reasonable options, and everyone chose my favorite, going through Monteloro.  It is one of my favorite descents, and I believe everyone enjoyed.  After Monteloro, we continued the descent to the main road, then rode a reasonably slow rate to keep the group together on the busy road back into town.  By the time we returned to the residenza, most of the group looked tired, but hopefully satisfied.  Good job everyone.  Art, Billy, and I will ride again tomorrow, while Emily will take the ladies through town.  Ciao!

Gruppo AMBN - Fiesole, Bivigliano, Monteloro by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The gruppo at the Cafe in Fiesole.

In front of a gate on the ride from Fiesole to Alberaccio.

Billy and Art on the climb from Viliano toward Bivigliano. 
I am getting better at taking pictures while riding.

Billy and Art at the Piazza on the East end of Bivigliano.

The gruppo at the food truck at the Alberaccio area.

Mindy rolling in toward Monteloro.

Nancy rolling in toward Monteloro.

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