Thursday, December 27, 2012

Some quick climbing to level out the emotions.

I have had a difficult couple of days with more to come.  My Mother in Colorado seems to actually be at the end of her life, and I am now booked to return to Colorado to help and be with her this Sunday.  She has seemed pretty good since I returned a month or so ago, and I was thinking it would be at least a few more months before we came to this point.  But here we are, and anyway we have had a couple of bad days with lots of phone calls, etc., with of course an 8 hour time difference factored in.  I very much relieve stress and deal with emotions by working out.  I always have and it works well for me.  The last two days included Christmas with my Daughter and her family here, which was great with the incredible exuberance for life that a 2 and 4 year old bring to the table.  It was also cloudy and rainy for both the last two days, so riding was pretty much out.  Yesterday, I took a longish - 2 hour - walk, but the skies really opened up about 1/2 hour into the walk, and I mostly walked quickly under the umbrella.

But today, I had decided to return to Colorado, and the weather was supposed to be improving, so I decided I would take a good sized ride.  I made my decision last night, but did not want to deal with getting the tickets until this morning.  Well, although purchasing the tickets went pretty well, and was surprisingly reasonable, getting seats for all the flights was not quick.  I was literally on the phone for 2 hours, but in the end I have seats for all the flights.  So, the long ride turned into a short ride, but it was great just the same.  I decided to go for climbing, and started up Via Bolognese, and on the way up decided to continue on Via Bolognese to Pratolino then take the road above and do a little loop through Casellina and Valliani to Bivigliano.  Last time I tried this, there was a fair amount of snow by the turn off to Casellina, and went with a different plan.  It has been warmer, and with a lot of rain, the snow has pretty much disappeared.  The roads through Casellina to Bivigliano and from there toward L'Olmo are particularly wonderful, and today it was great.

Just after Bivigliano, I entered some pretty dense fog, which I enjoy, but makes for some pretty intense riding - making sure I am totally aware of any cars in the vicinity.  The fog only lasted for a couple of kilometers, then it was just relatively cold and dark.  A little graupel, but no rain.  From the L'Olmo road, I went over to the Fiesole road, then descended to Fiesole.  From Fiesole, I took the main road down to San Domenico, but tried a new route that I had walked before back down to Le Cure, which worked quite well.  Great work out, good climbing, and fun.  Man, did I need that.  The link is below, but the summary is:  23 miles in 1:50 rolling time for an average speed of 12.5 mph, with 2350 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 48.  Sweet!!!!!

A couple of difficult days made this ride a must, just what the Dr ordered. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Boy, the sky got dark and was threatening as I started the hardest part of the climb.

Pretty road and dark skies on the way to Casellina.

Another view from the road to Casellina.

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