Friday, November 2, 2012

Social ride - Lastra, Ginestra, Cerbia, Chiesa Nuova, Scandicci

I met Leif and his wife Michelle for a ride this morning, in one of my first attempts here at a social ride.  Leif is part of the team I ride with and is a strong rider and great guide.  He has been a fund of good information for me regarding spreading the word for me to guide for others here.  We met at Piazza Liberta, and left town on the viales, turning off to go around the outskirts of the Cascine.  From here, Leif took us on a new route out of town for me, going by the Mignone, past the airport, hooking up with a busy street for a little, but mostly we had country roads all the way to Lastra.  I have to do this route again, as it will come in handy when people do not want to climb.  Can you imagine?  At Lastra a Signa, we climbed up then descended down to Ginestra Fiorentina, and stopped for a cafe and pastries.  I had a good pastry, and once again, I thought about trying to do the coffee thing, as it is such a part of the culture here.  From Ginestra, we rode the flat road to Cerbia, then climbed to Chiesa Nuova.  When we started the real part of the climb, Leif stayed back to ride with Michelle, and I kept a good pace.  I passed a person who had passed us, then he stayed with me until the final "standing" part of the climb, when I dropped him.  It was a good interval.  From Chiesa Nuova, we rode over, then down to Scandicci, continuing back to the viales and home.  After we were back in Firenze, it started to pour, and we put on jackets.  It was over in 10 minutes, so no one got very wet.  Check the link for specifics, but the summary is:  35 miles with 1330 vertical of climbing, 2 hours 38 minutes rolling time for a net of 13.2 mph average, with an overall time of 3 hours 17 minutes.

Social ride - Lastra, Ginestra, Cerbia, Chiesa Nuova, Scandicci by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here are a couple of shots of the countryside on the flat between Lastra and Ginestra.

After returning home, I had some lunch, then Emily told me about her excursion this morning to see the installations for Florens 2012 going up in 2 parts of town.  I had a look at her pictures, and decided to go into town to see for myself.  Florens 2012 is a cultural biennial that Nicco, Kate's husband, organizes and runs, in addition to his regular job with the family company.  It is really fun to see his work translated into reality, and to see the reactions of both tourists and locals to the transformations.  Congratulations, Nicco.

An installation of 70 olive trees all at least 100 years old is in place around the 
Baptistry in the Piazza de Duomo.

I love pictures that show perspective - the Baptistry is on the left.

In Piazza Santa Croce, there is an installation of large marble blocks that are placed 
in a cross, and will be surrounded by white marble gravel.  Here, the work is in progress.

Piazza Santa Croce.

The piazza from the steps of Santa Croce.

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