Monday, February 25, 2013

Fun relatively easy ride, weather improving, I hope.

After posting my ride from yesterday, I was ready for a ride today.  Forecast for only 60% chance of rain, and it had already rained, so I thought, maybe it would be perfect.  Well, it rained on me on the way out of town, but that was it.  So, all in all, relatively nice weather for riding.  A little humid, and an average temperature of 49, but really fine.  I started out on the Viales and turned off at the Cascine, the biggest park on the edge of the old part of Florence.  At the west end of the park, you can jog over and with a small amount of busy road, get back to little used roads all the way to Lastra a Signa.  Thanks Leif for showing me this route a while ago.  I now use it for an easy ride that is not too short.  

From Lastra a Signa, you climb to a small pass around Malmantine, then descend into Ginestra Fiorentina.  At Ginestra, you turn left a follow a valley road to Cerbia.  On the way, I stopped for a caffe, which is new for me.  I have been experimenting with coffee occasionally in the last month, and am starting to develop a taste for it.  I think most clients who come to Italy want a caffe when they ride, and I wanted to be able to join in.  It is also a big part of the culture here, and it is good to try to be a part of things.  Well, this is the first time I have done this mid-way through a ride, and at least for this rookie, that is a performance enhancing drug.  Boy, did I have some energy for the second half of the ride.  It was fun, and I will probably do it more as time passes.  

From Cerbia, you climb one of my favorite climbs up through a beautiful valley to connect with another road at Chiesa Nuova.  From Chiesa Nuova, you descend / traverse over to a great descent with many switchbacks and relatively new pavement to Galluzzo.  At Galluzzo I turned off on the road to Pozzolatico, and turned again to take the Cinque Vie route around to Piazza Ferruci.  From there, an easy crank home.  35.1 miles in 2:29 rolling time for an average speed of 14.1 mph, with 1570 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 49.  A dopo.  (Later)  Ciao! 

A couple of views from around the top of the climb around
Malmantine.  It looks a little cloudy, but the weather
really is improving.  I had some sun while riding!

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