Friday, January 18, 2013

Today, I got a relatively early start and had a great 3-1/2 hour ride in the countryside relatively close to home.  I left town via Piazza della Cure, then took the back road to San Domenico, the climbed the Fiesole road to the turn off for Maiano, where I went right and descended through Maiano to the Chiesa San Martino, where I pick up the road that climbs through Vincigliata to a road that goes either to Compiobbi or to the road above Fiesole.  I rode over to the Fiesole road, then climbed almost to L'Olmo, and turned off to the right on the Monteloro road.  Toward the top of this part of the ride, yesterday's snow asserted itself, and in the shady pieces, the road was even icy.  After cresting the hill, I descended through the woods on a south facing side, and after leaving the woods, the road was basically dry.  Nice.  

The Monteloro road descends to just west of Sieve.  I took the left there and rode through Sieve, turning off at the roundabout for the climb to the windmill (Molino de Vento).  This is a great climb with truly wonderful views.  The vineyards which abound here were bare and showing their winter persona.  Not a single car on the 1/2 hour climb of around 1400 vertical feet.  It is only really steep in a couple of short stretches, which is nice.  At the windmill, I changed plan, as I told Emily I would return in time for us to renew our "Friends of the Uffici" cards, which gets us into most of the museums in Firenze and the Boboli gardens.  So, I took the descent through Grignano to Pontesieve.  I have only ridden this once or twice since the permanent move, and it is just a perfect descent.  A back road, but in pretty darn good shape, lots of switchbacks, views, and around 1300 feet of descending.  At Pontesieve, I joined the road returning to Firenze, which parallels the Arno, which is roaring these days.  A slight tailwind made the return of around 18k relatively painless and quite fun.  

The garmin link is below, but the summary is:  41 miles, with 4460 vertical feet of climbing in 3:19 Rolling time for an average speed of 12.3 mph, with an average temperature of 41.  Almost perfect.  Loved it.  Ciao!

This is from the climb to Vincigliata, one of my favorites.

Pretty villa with slightly snowy vineyards on the way to Monteloro.

The view across the valley to Santa Brigida and the mountains beyond.

I love these views on the way up to the Molino de Vento. (Windmill)

Same location, slightly different view, winter time for the vineyards.

The road is staying clear, but the snow is starting to show itself as I climb to the Monteloro turn-off.

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