After a couple of weeks in the US, a week plus detailed in my last post, I am back in Italy. I actually now feel like this is home, which does feel good. With some help from my crack mechanic and good friend Don Cook, I have my road bike from the US here with a new crank set up with a compact set of chain rings - 50 / 34. I had a shop in Denver pack the bike, which was very well done, and I had little trouble re-assembling the bike here. I would not recommend this for people visiting to ride with me, unless you are totally wedded to your bike. The fee for packing was a reasonable $50, but the airlines charge $200 each way, and a rental will cost less. But, it is great to have the bike here. A few years ago, I upgraded it with a new campy wheel set, ritchie carbon bars and seat post, and a new carbon front fork. The frame is titanium, so the ride overall is much more comfortable for and aging cyclist like me. The frame also fits me better than the DeRosa I have been riding here for the last 11 years. Hey, anyone who comes to ride with Cosimo can use the DeRosa free of charge if it fits well - It would be perfect for someone 5'9 or so with an inseam of 29".
I purchased a Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer and had it delivered in the States, and have been working out the use of it on these two rides. The link to the details of my last ride are:
9-1 Santa Brigida, Rufina, Diacetto, Pelago by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details
It is really cool, as you get a profile of the ride, a map, speed graph, distance splits, and temperature recorded during the ride. I need to really read the owner's manual, as I am sure I can customize the display and change some of the recording options. I think client's will really appreciate to have a record of the rides we take, which is why I purchased it. I also ordered a new camera after I lost mine in the Dolomites. So, I am now set with some new equipment and ready to roll. Check out my website to set up a custom ride or many days of rides with me here at www.ridingwithcosimo.com.
On Friday, I put the bike together, tried to figure out the Garmin computer, and finally set off on a ride around 4:00. I rode one of my standard short rides, up to San Domenico, over to Maiano, down to the base of the hill to Vincigliata, then up past Vincigliata to the road over to Fiesole, then down via the world championship course to Pian de Mugnone, then back to town. Super ride, and as the Garmin connect displays in miles, although I have the on bike display in kilometers, it was around 14 miles with a elevation gain of 1600 vertical feet in 1 hour 11 minutes of moving time. I will not confuse the reader with the link to that analysis, but will post the link in the future as I have here for the 9-1 ride.
On Saturday, I went on a longer ride which included some of my favorites. I rode again to San Domenico, but continued up to Fiesole, then just before the pass around L'Olmo, turned off toward Monteloro. Around 2 k down that road, I turned off toward one of the many Il Trebbio's, on a very tiny road that hooks up with the main road where I turn right and then left to Santa Brigida. I got more water in Santa Brigida, then rode the up and down road to Fornello, Doccia, and the molin de vento. I turned off the road there to descend through the vineyards to the Pope's road, then over to Montebonello, then into Rufina, where I took a short break. I then rode up one of my favorite climbs to Diacetto. It is a great climb for me, as it is never too steep (it probably peaks around 10%), and it is rarely used - I saw a total of 2 cars on the 6 kilometer climb - and winds through some beautiful country with some really great views back toward the area you descend from molin de vento to Montebonello.
From Diacetto, I descended to Pelago, then turned off to join the main road to Pontesieve, then returned to Firenze on the Arno river road. A great ride. The bike felt perfect, and while it threatened rain most of the time I was riding, all I got was a few sprinkles. As I returned to Firenze, it was apparent that it had rained rather hard in the city. I will return to posting most days now that I am back. Ciao!
The view at the turn toward Monteloro at the top of the small pass. The
town in the distance is Santa Brigida.
The road down toward Monteloro.
Flowers in bloom in Santa Brigida.
The church just outside of Fornello.
A gate with a view in the background on the climb
from Rufina to Diacetto.