Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New route to Vallambrossa - perfect day!

Emily was up early this morning to check the election results.  I was up at my normal time, but checked in, and to my relief, Obama had won the election.  I felt strangely disconnected and not as happy as I should have been due to I think a number of factors.  I was very disappointed in Obama's first term, and think he basically works as a moderate republican.  However, the republican party has gone so far to the right, that I think Mitt Romney would have been very bad for the country, so I guess what I felt was relief.  I watched Obama's acceptance speech, and it made me feel a little more positive.

Anyway, I was off riding by a little after 11, and the weather was pretty perfect.  Temperatures were in the high 50's to low 60's for most of the ride, with the exception of the very top part, when it was quite chilly.  Perfect blue skies, leaves on most of the trees changing, and a great ride on beautiful roads.  What more could I ask for.  I left town via the viales, then through Bagno a Ripoli, then climbing up to San Donato in Collina.  From there, one of my favorite descents to Burchio, then a turn to ride by, then over the Arno, looking for a turn off in Leccio, which was easily found.  The climb from Leccio to Pietrapiana was basically magic.  The grade was relatively gentle, every turn gave me more color on the forest leaves changing color, with temperatures in the low 60's so the vest came off.  I think I had ridden part of this road with Don and Kay a number of years ago, but the last half to Pietrapiana was new.

From Pietrapiana, the road got much more challenging to Saltino, basically staying around 10% for 6 or 7 kilometers.  Still beautiful, but it started to wear me out a little.  Just before Saltino, the temperature dropped what felt like 15 degrees in a few minutes, and I stopped there to put on warm gloves, a skull cap, and my vest.  I had never done this climb, and I did not know what was after Saltino.  Well, it climbed a little to top out around 1050 meters, then descended slightly to Vallambrossa.  It was a little chilly, but just spectacularly beautiful.  I descended on the route I had climbed with the team in early summer.  Great descent - curves linking together one after another for what seemed like 15 k to Paterno. In Paterno, I turned off and descended on a very tiny, fun road that I had ridden a few times before to Carbonile.  From Carbonile, it was back to Pontesieve, then truck it on in on the main road.  I did catch an American couple who were going reasonably fast, and was happy to draft them until they turned off at Compiobbi.

Simply a great ride.  I am just so lucky to have the opportunity to do this.  I thank my lucky stars to be here and riding.  Check the link for all the information, but the summary is:  52 miles in 4 hours 3 minutes rolling time in a total of 4 hours and 21 minutes, and average rolling speed of 12.8 mph with an elevation gain of 5030 feet.  Yabba dabba doo!

New route to Vallambrossa - perfect day! by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

These trees between San Donato and Burchio just caught my eye.

The colors were outstanding on the ride up to Pietrapiana.

Chiesa San Agata, just before Pietrapiana.

At a 10% grade, I climbed through corridors of trees in fall colors for 6 kilometers.

A very cool villa on the right as you enter Saltino.

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