Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beautiful day, a couple of climbs, perfect day.

I finished my first week of Italian classes with a test this morning, and I believe I did well.  The test was a little strange, as it covered material that we are supposed to learn during the next 4 to 5 weeks.  Maybe it is a benchmark for them, but it was relatively difficult.  I covered around 2/3 of the material we will cover last year, so most of what I had done came back for me in the test.  It will be great for me to review all this, and it will be a chance to really set it in my mind so I can use it without thinking too much.  After class, I returned home and did some house chores, changing summer and winter stuff in my amoire with a storage box below the bed.  After that, I decided what I would wear and set off for a ride.

It is a little difficult deciding what to wear these days, as it is quite warm sitting in the sun, but the ambient temperature is in the mid 50's and when moving on a bike, it feels cooler.  I started with long fingered gloves and a skull cap, but changed out of them in the middle of my first climb.  I put them back on for the final descent, so I guess it worked well.  No need for the thermal booties or puffball vest or coat yet.  I rode out of town on the viales, and took the route through Bagno a Ripoli, climbing through Osteria Nuova and topping out at San Donato in Collina.  I love that climb, it is relatively friendly grade-wise, and it continues for a long way with pretty beautiful views.  The descent through Troghi, Cellai, Pallazzuolo, into Incisa is another favorite and it did not disappoint today.  Yippee!   At Figline, I turned on the road to Greve and made the climb up around 90% to the passo de sugame, where I turn of toward La Panca, and continue climbing to the little town.

This climb is really sweet, nothing puts you in need of the easiest gear, and much can be done 4 or 5 gears up.  Amazing weather, and mid 50's is perfect for climbing.  The descent from La Panca to Strada is really quite special, and I think I only touched my brakes around 4 times in 11 kilometers.  You have a short climb into Strada, and then continue along a ridge the drop into Grassina.  At Grassina, you take the tiny road to Cinque Vie, and then you are almost back to the Viales.  I went home a slightly different way today, over Ponte alla Grazie, then around the Duomo, and home.  I had received two calls after Strada, one asking for help with some babysitting from Kate, and another when I was almost there saying she did not need help.  As always, click the link for specifics, but the summary is:  45 miles in 3:16 rolling time for an average of 13.6 mph with 3400 vertical feet of climbing.

Beautiful day, a couple of climbs, perfect day. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The beautiful view from the climb to Dudda from Figline.

Part of the amazing climb to Dudda.  Magnificent.

Almost to the end of the climbing with La Panca just around the corner.

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