Friday, February 15, 2013

Nice 3 hour ride and spring is coming!

Emily picked up some slack for me today, allowing me a more extended ride.  Soon, I hope to be back to 4 to 6 hour rides, but we shall see.  It was one of the first really warm days since early December, which was a total treat.  Checking the average temperatures here, it was only average, so hopefully it will stay this way and get warmer.  At a couple of points on the ride, I noticed a few trees with some new green growth, then a few hearty flowers poking up.  This totally made me smile.  I grew up in Colorado, the Denver area, and have lived most of my life there.  Emily and I have spent around 23 of our 35 years together in the mountains, and we certainly have a different definition of and timing for spring.  I am really looking forward to spring here, as it may be my first "normal" spring to live through.  

Well, now for the ride.  I left on Via Faentina, then through Piazza della Cure, and took a different road up to San Domenico.  I forgot the name, but I have descended it a couple of times and walked it as well.  A nice alternate route.  I rode up through Fiesole then continued on the road toward Croce de Vetta, but turned off just before the pass to descend through Monteloro.  What fun.  I have been mostly climbing this road lately, and the descent is a blast.  The road above Fiesole is also one of the most user friendly roads around here, and it was fun as well.  After the descent, I caught the road to Molin de Piano in Sieci, and rode up through there then climbed the tiny road to Doccia.  I had ridden it a couple of times last year when we were living close by, but not since.  It is pretty darn steep.  I checked on the percent-o-meter, and it said 20% in a couple of spots.  Yowser!  From Doccia, I continued up then over to the windmill (molino de vento), then descended toward Monte Bonello, and took the "popes road" (Don's name, but I love it) back to Pontesieve.  From Pontesieve, I took the main road back home and made pretty darn good time, maxing out around 42 kph on a relatively flat road, which is good for me.  Even riding fast, I had one young Italian rider pass me like I was standing still.  You go guy!  

Fun ride, and I am excited for spring.  Summary is:  39.11 miles in 2:58 rolling time, for an average speed of 13.2 mph, with 3240 vertical feet of climbing at a wonderful average temperature around 54.  Sweet!  Ciao.

The monastery at Madonna del Sasso across the valley before the Monteloro descent.

Here are a couple of shots from the climb to Doccia. Che Bella!

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