Thursday, March 21, 2013

Great group ride and spring was definitely here today!

I met a few folks this morning at the Le Due Ruote shop, and 4 of us ended up riding together on a perfect day to ride here.  Spring was actually here, it was pretty warm, it was totally sunny, and the countryside was super green with some flowers bravely showing themselves in many places.  We started with a larger group, but around 1/2 turned off to do the Giro de Mugello, which we had done on Tuesday.  We planned on going over to Incisa, then Figline, and climbing Passo de Sugame to Dudda, etc.  We stopped for cafe machiati in Incisa and changed the plan for the wonderful road called sette ponte, or seven bridges.  It weaves in and out of drainages for a long way, is south facing, yeah sun, and just a spectacular ride.

We started toward Castlefranco, but at one turn, the road was blocked, and the workers highly recommended we not try to walk through.  We took some new roads for me and ended up going to Loro Ciuffenna, which is really the start of the sette ponte road.  A spectacular, gentle climb, and it always excites me to ride a new road here.  Eventually the climb gets real to get to Ciuffenna, but 3/4 of it was a nice big ring crank.  From Ciuffenna, we rode the sette ponte all the way to Regello, then over to Donnini.  The new portion from Ciuffenna to Castlefranco was super, at least as nice as the other parts I had already ridden.

In Regello, we stopped for a second cafe of the ride, as it was looking like a pretty long ride, and Dominick was getting a little beat up.  He is not as used to the longer distances like we rode today.  A second cafe is a first for me, and it definitely gave me lots of energy.  Leif led us from Regello to Donnini, where there is more climbing than I had thought.  He took a super nice, slow pace in deference to Dominick, which was a perfect thing to do.  Just before Donnini, you start a really great descent to San Ellero, then you go back on the same road we came out on to Pontesieve, then back to Firenze.  Dominick peeled off after Pontesieve to take the road on the other side of the Arno, but we were cranking and just kept it going, yelling Ciao, Buon Giratta.  We kept a great pace all the way back into town, where Chris peeled off, then Leif peeled off, all taking the best way to each of their apartments.

Just a super fun day.  I finally am feeling like the cold I have had is basically gone, the weather was perfect, and I had lots of energy.  Check the link for all the information, but the summary is:  77.1 miles in a rolling time of 4:44 for an average speed of 16.3 mph with 3725 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 62 or so.  Wonderful!

Wonderful spring ride with small group, some new roads, sette ponte by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

From the left, Chris, Dominick, and Leif at our first coffee stop, around Incisa.

The roads were beautiful, as was the weather riding from Figline toward 
Loro Ciueffenna, a new road for me.  Fun!

Here are a couple of pictures of the group on the Sette Ponte
road, working together on a slight descent.  I peeled off the 
back to take the pictures while riding around 30 kph.  Not bad 
if I do say so myself.  

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