Monday, October 8, 2012

The ledgend of Acone revisited

After a morning of cleaning up some problems I created on my computer - don't mistakenly replace a newer file with an older one - I headed out for a ride I generally do a couple of times a year.  One time is in the spring with Don and Kay, who introduced me to the crazy hill at Acone, and one time in the fall.  I guess this was my fall ride here as I felt strong for climbing after some strenuous climbing yesterday.  So I headed out my new standard route to San Domenico, then up through Fiesole, continuing up to the Alberaccio area.  From here there is a very fast descent down to the turn off for Santa Brigida.  I let it go pretty good here, and must have hit my maximum speed for the day here - around 38 mph.  I went up and down, up and down, up and down through Santa Brigida, Fornello, Doccia, to the Molin de Vento where I turned left for the descent to Monte Bonello and the climb to Acone.

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.

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