Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Great fall ride - Monteoriolo, Tavernuzze, Luiano, Quattro Strade, ...

A bit of a late start today, as Emily and I went to the COOP to do our grocery shopping.  We use busses, and the "Nonna cart" is pretty heavy for Emily to lift on the bus, so I almost always go.  Anyway, what else do I have to do except ride, which I can do after the shopping.  I left around 11:50, and started via the viales, climbing to Piazza Michaelangleo, then over to the turn to Poggio Imperiale.  I went down to Galluzzo, then up to Pozzolatico, continued up through Mezzomonte and Monteoriolo, turning off for the great descent through Baruffi to Tavernuzze.  I was on the main road in Tavernuzze, and put in some distance easily to the turn off for Luiano.  As always, a great climb, but at the junction at the top, I went left through Mercatale to Quattro Strade.  I turned off here for the tiny back road over to the Montefiridolfi ridge.  This road is really up and down, sometimes rather steeply.  It is super beautiful, and was the area I took all my pictures today.

Right after climbing to the ridge, you turn right, then a quick left for a super fun downhill to the valley where you turn right then a relatively quick left to get the road to Romita.  I have looked for this road the last two times I was in the area, and found two different roads that take you either side by 6 kilometers or so of Romita.  Well, right road today, a good climb, then the really quite perfect ridge road from Romita through San Pancrazio, San Quirico to Montagnana.  Turn right for the super fast descent to Cerbia, then the nice, gradual climb to Chiesa Nuova.  I had a group of 15 or so motorinos pass me on the way up, they were all identical, and were numbered.  I passed the group at the top, and am assuming that someone is taking tours out this way.  From Chiesa Nuova, back over toward Galluzzo, then left for the fast descent into Scandicci, then back home through the centro.  Yee-haw.  Check the link if you wish, but a summary is:  53 miles, with 3950 vertical feet, average rolling speed of 13.1, in 4 hours or so.

Great fall ride - Monteoriolo, Tavernuzze, Luiano, Quattro Strade, ... by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I am totally into the vineyards changing colors, and like the shots down the rows.

Here, a church steeple is playing peek-a-boo above the vines.

More fall color in the vineyards.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chilly fall ride - L'Olmo, Doccia, Ruffina, Diacetto, Pelago, Pontesieve

The weather was finally clearing this morning, and after an errand, I was on the bike around 11.  It was cooler than I expected, but my errand involved the town bike, so I was reasonably prepared.  Last year we spent 3-1/2 months in Santa Brigida, and I rode most days, so I had a pretty good kit set up for cold riding. For me, if it is below 45 at the start, it is usually time to find something else to do.  I had a great ride today, though.  I rode out Via Faentina, and after doing the maze around Piazza della Cure, I was back on Via Faentina and climbed it all the way to L'Olmo.  I hooked up with the road that goes over to Sieci at the top of the hill, and cut off on the Santa Brigida, Fornello, Doccia road.  It is quite up and down, and with the new computer, it showed 250 meters of climbing across this road to the descent starting at the windmill.

From the windmill (molino de vento), you descend through many beautiful vineyards, and the leaves were changing everywhere.  Before the descent, I looked across the valley at some of the taller peaks / ridges, and a small amount of snow had fallen overnight.  Beautiful.  You descend to Ruffina, and then take a really great, almost perfect climb to Diacetto.  From the description, you can tell it is one of my favorite climbs - around 400 meters vertical, and never more than 10%, with little to no traffic in around 10 kilometers.  Just right.  From Diacetto, I like to descend into Pelago, then cut across to the main road back to Pontesieve, then ride by the Arno back into Firenze.  Click the link for all the information, but a quick summary is:  43.5 miles, 4400 vertical feet, rolling time of 3:45, average speed of 11.6.  Ciao.

Chilly fall ride - L'Olmo, Doccia, Ruffina, Diacetto, Pelago, Pontesieve by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Looking over the top of hill toward Santa Brigida.

A view of the vineyards and countryside from the ridge just past Fornello.

Yes, that is a snow line I would guess around 2500 vertical above Firenze.

These vineyards at the top of the climb before Diacetto were spectacular.

More vineyards with leaves changing, and the villa in the background.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rain or no rain - a quick ride

There was a team ride scheduled this morning, but when I got up to check the weather around 6, it was sprinkling and the roads were totally wet.  Back to bed.  Yesterday, it rained as well, but was actually less wet than today.  After a slow breakfast - my American breakfast morning - Emily and I went into the center in the rain and checked things out.  We had a fun 2 hour stroll, with weekend markets in Piazza Republica and Piazza Santissima Annucitata.  The rain came and went, and it was fun strolling the city with umbrellas everywhere.  After returning home, I was determined to get a ride in, but it was raining hard, and I decided to wait for a break.  I read on the terrace for an hour or two, with one start to get ready, just to look out and see pouring rain again.  The next chance I got, I was on it, and put in a short but fun ride.  I climbed Via Bolognese to Pian de San Bartolo, turned off toward Cercina, but it started pouring rain, so I took the shorter route through Canonica.  This road is quite steep at times, so I really kept the descent speed under control.  A cross wind of around 30kph started, so I was very cautious.  After returning to the city, I tried a different route to the apartment, which worked pretty well.  Fun ride - 11 miles, 1200 vertical, average rolling speed around 11 mph.  Check out the link for any additional information.  Ciao!

Rain or no rain - a quick ride by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Em at Piazza Republica with her new poncho and rain boots.

The Giostra in Piazza Republica with umbrella'd pedestrians everywhere.

A look toward Piazza Signoria with many groups and individuals under their umbrellas.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maiano, Vincigliata, Fiesole, back for lunch out with Emily

It is a truly beautiful day, temperature around 70, clear skies, perfect.  The weather is predicted to make a big change overnight, so today, I made hay while the sun shone.  I met Kate and Vittorio at the park right by our house around 9:30, and we spent a couple of hours playing in the park.  Vittorio is a riot right now, and is truly delighted to get into almost everything at once.  After returning home, the weather was calling, so I decided on a quick ride, as I have a commitment on Thursday's at 5:30, and I knew Emily might want to do something after her class.

I rode up the back way to San Domenico, then up to the Maiano turn-off, where I descended through Maiano to the San Martino church, and then did the climb through Vincigliata to the road over to the Fiesole / Olmo road.  My initial plan was to go up to road, and descend on the Monteloro ride, but a little ways into the road, Emily called, and we decided to have lunch in the centro.  We determined a meeting place by Santa Croce, and I went down through Fiesole, into the centro.  I got stuck behind a truck, and was not into passing it, as most of the time his pace was fine for me, but I did loose a few minutes to the follow.

Emily and I had a nice lunch and both had Pizzas at a place on the piazza Santa Croce.  We have been here for 1 year now, not including the two months we spent in Colorado in February / March getting everything ready for us to be here more permanently.  It seems to be going well so far, so we are planning on hanging in there for a while.  Check the link for more details, but the ride was 15.3 miles with 1690 vertical feet climbed in 1:19 rolling time.  Ciao.

Maiano, Vincigliata, Fiesole by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Kate holding Vittorio's hand as he circumnavigates a fountain.

Vittorio has learned to say cheese for pictures.

He is kind of fearless these days, but I was doing what I could to provide a safety net.

The climb through and above Vincigliata is one of my favorite roads.

The junction with the bigger road is just ahead.  What a beautiful day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The full traverse - Castelfranco to Pelago

The weather is predicted to change quite a bit on Friday, so today I had no commitments and decided on a long ride.  I have done all the portions of the up / down / up / down ...... traverse on the hillside from Castelfranco to the main road past Pelago before, but not in one ride.  That was my plan today, and I went with the plan.  I started out via the viales, then turned to Bagno a Ripoli, and kept going up the real first climb through Osteria Nuova to the top of the climb at San Donato in Collina.  From there you descend on one of my favorites all the way to Burchio.  It is a good road, a full two lanes (Italian lanes), and twisty, turny, and a long descent.  From Burchio, you go toward the outlet mall area, cross the Arno, then ride by the highway, although you are far enough away not to hear it, to Matassino, where you turn off and follow a drainage up to Faella, then do the real climb to Castelfranco.  It is a beautiful little town, and I stopped for some water, gorp, and a short rest.  From here, you do what is called the road of 7 bridges or setti ponti, which crosses 7 drainages, going in and out, climbing, descending to Pian de Sco.

The road continues in much the same fashion all the way over to Regello, although there is more climbing the closer you get to Regello.  I think there we no straight stretches of road more than 100 meters long on the whole piece of the ride.  From Regello, you climb to Donnini, again, going in and out of many drainage's as you traverse across and up the hillside.  From Donnini, you really climb to Tosi, but here the climbing for the day is mostly over.  From Tosi, you descend to Paterno, then continue your descent before a short climb to Pelago.  From Pelago, you continue on the traverse, up and down over to the main road, then do the very fast descent into Pontesieve.  From Pontesieve, it is a fast push home, around 30 to 40 minutes along the Arno back to Firenze and home.  Super fun ride.  I found myself quite tired when returning, but very happy with the ride.  63 miles, 4000 vertical, in around 4 and 1/2 hours of moving time.  Check out the link for more details.

The full traverse - Castelfranco to Pelago by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The gentle climb through Faella was super green, with blue skies.

I rode into the old part of Castlefranco today, and took these pictures - here is the gate.

From the bench where I took a break in Castlefranco, this church was across the square.

It's not my best picture, but if you look hard, you can see the road across the 
valley, and as it continues you can get a feel for the strada de sette ponti.

I loved the way this bell tower peaked above the ridge line on the ride toward Donnini.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Up, Down, Up, Down - Cercina area

I was planning on the day off today, but I may have to be at the apartment most of the day tomorrow, so with incredible weather I took off for a short ride.  I have found some new roads from the church above Cercina.  Today, I planned on taking a new descent, then climbing the normal descent, then descending on a road I have only ridden down once (I have ridden up it once as well).  It all worked out perfectly.  With temperatures around 75 and sunshine, no knee warmers or arm warmers were needed, just a little sunscreen.  I rode up Via Bolognese, cut over at Pian de San Bartolo through Cercina to the church which marks the high point in the ride.  From there, I took the branch to the right, then at the next option to the left, which was new for me.  Tiny road, beautiful, but a little rough surface in places.

At the bottom, it joins my normal descent from above, where I turned left and climbed this road for the first time.  It is amazing the different things you see and notice when climbing versus descending.  It is a wonderful climb, and I did not succumb to the % o meter, but I think it hits 15% for a couple of short stretches, but it is basically user friendly.  At the church again, I went back the other way through Cercina, and turned right to descend through Canonica, then the back way into Firenze above the Careggi complex.  Really fun, and it is hard to believe there is so much quality riding right out my door, and after all this riding, there is still new stuff to ride.  Check the link if you wish, but it ended up as 19.6 miles, with 2300 vertical of climbing in 1 hour 44 minutes of rolling time, or 11.3 mph.

Up, Down, Up, Down - Cercina area by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A look across the valley to the church and monastery above Fiesole.

A stretch of new floor and a perfect day on the road from Pian de San Bartolo to Cercina.

The new, tiny road from the top of the hill above Cercina.

This does not show as well as I hoped, but this descent is steep and fun. 
Danger, Will Robinson!

The church at the top of the hill from the climb up the road I normally descend on.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Con Squadra - Panzano, Greve, Luiano, San Casciano

Before I get to the ride, I wanted to talk about Friday afternoon with Emily.  Emily is taking a history course here on Thursday mornings, which she has done before, and the teacher is one of those professors that is incredibly good at sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge.  Since I put money into biking gear, I do not partake of the course, but on Friday afternoon, Emily took me on a tour and explained some of what they reviewed in the history course.  They talked about Florence as a Roman town to the early middle ages.  In the process of our tour, I saw an old column from the Roman times, Emily and I went by a church that has a series of Roman columns inside - taken from the same location I saw the one column at - but the church was not open.  We then saw a couple of the remaining towers that were common in Florence before the Guelfs took power and had all the towers reduced in size.  Very interesting.  The pictures below are from Friday afternoon, as when I ride with the team, I typically do not have time for pictures.

I met the team at Tavernuzze this morning, and was early, as the last time I tried to meet them there, I was 7 minutes late and they had gone.  So, I will always be early now, as that is the way I am.  We  had a good size group of around 10, with everyone kitted up in the team outfit - stylin!  I had ridden a number of times with 3 of the guys, but not with the other 6.  Well, to my surprise, I was faster than 5 of the other 6, and one of the 3 and I are very similar in speeds.  I probably would have had time to take some pictures.  We rode out to Greve, then 2 took a break with 8 of us climbed to Ponzano then returned to Greve.  It is a great climb, the weather is really perfect for riding now, and the descent was fast and fun.  It's a miracle - I was the 4th fastest up to Panzano, which includes pulling off for a bathroom break.

After returning to Greve, we rode back down on the same road, but turned off to Luiano, then climbed to the Mercatale road, then rode back through San Casciano, Spedellato, Chiesa, Nuova, and then we split up and part of the group rode down to Scandicci, while 3 of us rode the switchbacks down to Galluzzo.  Another dropped off in Galluzzo, then I bid farewell to the last person before the turn toward the viales.  I went down the fun, curvy road to Porta Romana, then returned home through the Centro.  As always, click the link for more information, but a summary is 58.5 miles in 3:47 rolling time or 15.4 mph, with 3196 vertical feet of climbing.  Ciao.

Con Squadra - Panzano, Greve, Luiano, San Casciano by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The old Roman column in Piazza Republica

One of the remaining towers from the pre-Guelf times in Florence.  
The top was lopped off when the Guelfs came to power.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Multi team start, solo finish, but fun!

I got an early start this morning, as I was meeting a group at Paolo's team shop location.  Paolo has been busy with work, family, etc., but he texted me last week and suggested I try riding with the team he rides with, and thought there was one person there from Colorado who would be a good partner for me.  So, I went there with this in mind.  As more and more people showed up, I introduced myself to a few people and said I was friends with Paolo.  These people were from other teams and did not know Paolo.  I did not realize it was a multi-team event until there were around 30 to 40 guys there with around 4 different team kits represented.  People started off, and I jumped in.  We rode to the viales and went past piazza michaelangelo, then headed toward Galluzzo.  On the way, we seemed to pick up another 20 or so riders, and we were quite a pack. At Galluzzo, some turned off to do the switchback climb toward Chiesa Nuova, but I followed two guys who had on Le Due Ruote kits, as this is Paolo's team.  We rode out through Tavernuzze, and the remaining group, around 15 by now was really booking.  We continued to drop people, and as I looked at my speedometer, we were doing 40 to 45 kph on a slight uphill.  It only took a couple of seconds of lack of concentration, and I was off the back as well.

This was fine, as I am riding with my team tomorrow, and we are meeting in Tavernuzze and heading out the same direction.  After loosing the group, I turned off for the climb through Luiano, then hooked up with the road to Montefiridolfi.  This road drops into a valley, then climbs back up to a beautiful ridge.  I stayed on the ridge through Montefiridolfi, through Collina, then descended to the main road in the valley.  I went up valley from there and turned off just past Bargino on a road that was marked for San Pancrazio, which is where I wanted to go.  I thought it was a different road, and looking at the maps now, the road I had wanted was another 4 kilometers up the valley.  This road was really beautiful, new, and went through a very small town called Pergolata.  The road was pretty steep here, and stayed that way until it hit the road between Romita and San Pancrazio.  I can't help myself , I checked the percent-o-meter, and this beautiful road was anywhere from 14 to 22% for most of the climb.  Wow.

Once on the Romita road, I rode to San Pancrazio where I took a break and got some additional water.  As I sat and had some gorp and water, probably for around 10 minutes, I saw around 15 cyclists ride through the area all going different directions, some in groups of 4 or 3 or 2, many, like myself, alone.  From San Pancrazio, I continued along the ridge to Montagana, then descended to Cerbia.  I then climbed to Chiesa Nuova, where 3 riders caught me who were among the people I started with in the morning.  I rode with them over to the Scandicci turn off, where I went straight and dropped down the switchbacks to Galluzzo.  From Galluzzo, I hit the Cinque Vie road, and ended up on the viales, taking me home.  Fun ride.  I did not take any pictures, as I was planning on just busting it to keep up.  Click the link for details, but the totals were 48 miles, average rolling speed of 13.4, and around 3500 vertical. Ciao!

Multi team start, solo finish, but fun! by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Friday, October 19, 2012

New route Cercina to Monte Morello

I am planning on two relatively long rides this weekend, so I did a shorter ride today.  After trying the new descent route from the church above Cercina yesterday, I decided to try the road that goes up to the Monte Morello road today.  Success!  The road is beautiful and best done as an ascent, as the surface is a little rough in places.  I put the computer on the % function, and most of the road was a quite reasonable climb a little above or a little below 10%.  There is a stretch of the climb, around 1/4 in total right at the top of the climb, that hit 18 to 23% - steep for me.  I had to stand in my easiest gear, but did not have to weave on the road.  Felt a little like the Acone climb but much shorter, which make a real difference.  I am not sure how often I will use this new route, probably only when I want to do some steep climbing, as the other route is fine.

The descent from Monte Morello remains one of my favorites.  The top portion is not steep at all and you can really crank the curves without concern.  It then hits a very steep section which I have learned to take quite slowly.  After this section, there are a series of 6 beautiful switchbacks that definitely keep your attention.  Then you are in Sesto Fiorentina, and ride town roads back to the apartment.  Details can be found at the site below.  Ciao!

New route Cercina to Monte Morello by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The new route to the Monte Morello road from the Cercina road.

The new route just keeps getting smaller on the way - almost no traffic.

Looking back down the new route just completed from the junction with the Monte Morello road.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cercina with new descent route

After a long ride yesterday, I was either going to take the day off or go for a short ride.  The weather is spectacular - clear skies, high predicted to be around 75, so I had to get out.  I did one of my standard short rides but checked out a new descent route.  I climbed Via Bolognese to Pian de San Bartolo, turned off and contoured / climbed to Cercina, and past to a church where there are 3 road options.  I had looked at maps this morning, and it looks like one option climbs steeply up to the Monte Morello road, which I will have to try in the future.  One is my normal route, and I took the third, which was a spectacular descent, that had one option on the way down, which appears to be another way to end up in very close to the same place.  I did not ride it very fast, as I am not going to go for it the first time on portions with 15% plus grades.  Next time, and there will be a next time - it was super fun - a little faster.  The route I took brings you in a couple of hundred meters to the west of the normal route, so the same return to the apartment  Super fun - I love new roads!

Cercina with new descent route by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

This is the church at the location for the three different road options.
I particularly like the bell tower with the rusticated stone.

The start of the new option - looks fun.

Around 1/3 the way down the new road, my hopes are confirmed - it is a great, fun route.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Big day, lots of climbing, 34% max - hard to believe

I planned a pretty big day today, and followed through.  Only 55.5 miles, but with 7315 feet of vertical, I call that a big day.  I have been tackling some of the climbs lately that I have in my mind as the hardest, and today I did one that I had not done in many years, but remembered it as super steep in places.  Well, I don't know if I can believe the computer reading, but it hit 34% at the steepest point, which definitely had me weaving and putting maximum effort into staying on the bike.  The first time I did this particular climb, it was the only one that had me off the bike pushing.  Since then I have ridden it a couple of times with Don and Kay, and I have compact gearing now, so I can make it but it still kicks me around.

I started up the back way to San Domenico, the continued up through Fiesole to the pass called Vetta la Croce, a good climb, but not steep and a relatively relaxed effort.  I descended toward Borgo San Lorenzo, turning off for Scarperia before reaching town.  I rode through Scarperia, picking up a water refill at the town park.  I rode up and down and up and down through San Agata to the turn off for Marcoiano, which has the climb I had in mind for the day.  The road is beautiful, and it is around 9 kilometers long with around 1 kilometer quite steep, averaging around 15%, then one little stretch where it hit 34%.  Wow!  After the steepest part, you have a little more climbing, then catch the road where I turned right to Panna.  I had not ridden this part before, and it was nice.  You actually descend to Panna, where there is a big bottling plant for water that is sold all over Italy under the Panna name.  From Panna, you climb to the road to Passo della Futa, where I had previously climbed with the team.  The junction is only a few hundred feet below the pass, and I did not do the out and back to get to the absolute top there.  I descended down a long ways, eventually crossing a beautiful bridge over a large reservoir, and was back on Via Bolognese.  I climbed through Vaglia, where I took a break to have a snack and re-coop some energy.  There is a pretty good climb from Vaglia to Pratolino, where you are almost finished climbing.  A great descent home.  Check out the details on the Garmin link.  Ciao!

Big day, lots of climbing, 34% max - hard to believe by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A shot of the beautiful landscape between Scarperia and Sant Agata.

A pretty piece of road between Sant Agata and the turn off to Marcoiano.

Riding into Marcoiano - the steep part awaits.

The landscape above Marcoiano.

An interesting statue on the hill above Santa Lucia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monteoriolo, Tavernuzze, Luiano, San Andrea, Firenze

I helped Kate with the two kids get to the airport this morning, as they are off for 5 days or so to see one of Kate's best friends Aimee in Biarritz, in France, close to the Spanish border.  I was not home from this excursion until 1 or so, and was able to get on the bike by 2:15.  I am planning a relatively big ride tomorrow, so I was thinking I would do something fairly short today.  It ended up longer than I thought, but I did stick with the route I had in mind.  I took the main route to Pozzolatico, the continued up hill to Monteoriolo, then turned off for the descent through Burrchio to Tavernuzze.  I am in the process of deciding that this may be one of my favorite downhills.  Fun, fast, curvy, what more could you ask?

I took the main road toward Greve from Tavernuzze, turning off for the climb through Luiano to the road by Mercatale, then over to San Casciano, then through Spedellato, turning off for the descent back to Tavernuzze through San Andrea.  I normally climb this road, and it is a spectacular descent.  From Tavernuzze, I took the main road back to Galluzzo, then turned off and climbed to Poggio Imperiale, then did the curvy road back to Porta Romana, then back through the city to the apartment.  Ended up being close to 3 hours, so much for the short ride.  Around 2750 vertical in 38 miles.  Check the link for more info.  Ciao.

Monteoriolo, Tavernuzze, Luiano, San Andrea, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

What a pretty road from Monteoriolo to Burrchio.

Climbing to Luiano.

A beautiful small vineyard just past Luiano.

The vines are changing colors with fall here.  This is just outside of Mercatale.

Almost back - the climb to Poggio Imperiale.  
The trees with the green field beyond said take this picture.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday ride - San Donato, Tosi, Pelago

I had a nice ride yesterday, although not what I had planned.  I had check out a meeting place for a multi-group ride on Saturday, but as I was getting ready on Sunday morning, I started to suit up, the last thing I do, I noticed it had started raining and it was pretty dark, and I did not want to start the day with a 1/2 hour ride in the rain to the meeting place, followed by a 4 to 5 hour ride from there.  We were up pretty late again the night before, so I went back to bed.  When I woke up, the rain had stopped, and the weather looked OK.  So, after a slow start, I was off for a ride around 10:30.

I rode out the Viale to the road to Bagno a Ripoli, then did the relatively long climb to San Donato in Collina.  From there, I took one of my favorite descents down through Troghi, Cellai, Pallazuolo, turning off in Burchio on the road on the west side of the river.  I rode to the bridge, crossed, then went on the river road to Sant'Ellero.  I had ridden this part of the road probably only once or twice in the last 12 years, so it felt new to me.  A nice ride.  From Sant'Ellero, I started the part of the ride which I had targeted for today.  I climbed to Donnini, which was steeper than I remembered, mostly around 10%, with some places at 5%, but some at 12%.  At Donnini, I took the road up to Tosi, which again was steeper than I recalled, the first half in particular, which averaged in the 9 to 10% range.  After the first half was the portion I recalled, which averaged around 3 to 4%, which is a sweet climb in a relatively fast gear.

At Tosi, I was basically at the top of the climb, then descended through Paterno, and had a short climb to Pelago.  At Pelago, you kind of contour (climbing and descending a little) for a while, then finish the real descent joining the main road about 3 kilometers before Pontesieve, descending to Pontesieve.  From Pontesieve, I took the regular road home, and was relatively tired when I returned.  I had done lots of climbing lately, some quite steep, but my body was feeling good about it.  Today, my body said it is time for a day off tomorrow, which I am now taking.  For some reason, the Garmin site is not wanting to share the link with the details, but the totals for the ride are:  46 miles in 3 hours 20 minutes of rolling time, with 3345 feet of elevation gain and descent.  Another great ride around Firenze.  Ciao!

Riding up into Pallazuolo, with the church steeple just showing.

This is the road on the west side of the river, two bridges are approaching,
the train tracks first, then the highway.

Approaching a small town on the east side of the river, with a beautiful villa on the right.

Here, the large villa on the hill struck me.  Sorry if you can barely see it.  

Another beautiful villa on the climb to Tosi from Donnini.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Exploration to find meeting place / Monte Morello

After a very late night, at least for me - 1:00 - last night, I decided that I would do the team ride tomorrow morning, which is a multi-team tour sponsored by another team.  I did some searching, and eventually found the location on google maps, printed out some instructions, then went to find the spot.  I have been wanting  a light vest, very packable, for a while now, and I stopped by the shop on the way and purchased one with the remainder of the money from my Mother for my birthday.  Yeah.  I found the meeting place, although I needed to consult the map a few times and do a small amount of re-tracing.  I am glad I found it today, as I probably would have missed the start tomorrow without checking it out ahead of time.  I timed myself on the way back, as I rode right by our apartment on my way to Monte Morello.  I will need around 1/2 hour tomorrow morning to make the start.

I rode up Via Bolognese, then turned off toward Monte Morello at Pratolino.  I continued up, although all the difficult climbing is behind you at Pratolino.  It is a very fun climb the rest of the way, then a very fast descent down to Sesto Fiorentino.  There is a spot where the descent gets quite steep, I would guess in excess of 20%, but I have the location down now and approach it slowly and with caution.  After that section, it stays steep, but not dangerously so, at around 10% and there are 6 really great 180 degree plus switch backs.  After dropping down into Sesto Fiorentino, you just hit the city roads, stay attentive, and crank it home.  Ciao.  As always, the link will have any information you would want about the ride.

Exploration to find meeting place / Monte Morello by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The road out of Pratolino toward Monte Morello.  OK, the climb isn't really over.

On the way out of Pratolino, there is a water supply, which I used, and noticed it has this 
great axial view down steps into town and the mountains around Fiesole in the background.

These delicate flowers were blooming in places along the final climbs to the top of Monte Morello.