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.

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