I always build this climb up in my mind, and mostly it does not dissapoint. With my Garmin computer I can check % grade on the way up, and watched it as I climbed to Acone. The first real part of the climb I call the switchback section, which averaged around 11% sometimes as low as 8%, but sometimes as high as 15% - pretty steep. You get a little break for around 1/4 kilometer, then the hardest part of the climb hits you. It is around 400 vertical with an unrelenting grade that varies from 18% to 22% - Ouch. Another short break ensues, then it is another couple of 16% climbs. This climb alone gains around 1300 vertical. Well, I always build up the descent in my mind as well, and it does not dissapoint either. I counted once 56 turns of 90 degrees or more, and it is simply a blast.
Back into Monte Bonello, then hook up on the Pope's road (named by Don due to the perfect new floor the first time I took him on it) over to Pontesieve - simply a brilliant ride. From Pontesieve, it is on the main road by the Arno back to Firenze, around 20 kilometers, fast and slightly downhill. Overall a fun day, and either I am getting stronger or I am just more used to the climbing, as it did not seem too bad. Maybe a second visit this fall - who knows? Check out the Garmin site for all the details. 46 miles with almost 4300 vertical in 3 hours 48 minutes rolling time.
The ledgend of Acone revisited by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details
What a beautiful way to start the ride - the back way to San Domenico.
Looking back to Doccia, a beautiful stretch of road either direction.
An example of the switchback section of the Acone climb.
What a treat - vineyard changing colors on the way up to Acone.
I don't know if it shows in the picture, but my computer says this is around 22%
Looking back down toward the start of the serious part of the climb.
Such a beautiful road - there is a reason we call it the Pope's road.