Monday, March 4, 2013

The weather today lived up to it's prediction.  I only wore a short sleeved base layer t-shirt with a long sleeved riding jersey.  I went by the shop on the way out, as they have a 50% off sale, and I bought a new helmet and some very light weight booties.  I wore my light tights for the first time in 3 months, and the light weight booties were great.  I bought the helmet because I have a few people who want to use / rent my old bikes while on a tour, and I need to have helmets.  The sale was on soft goods only, but they gave me a 50% on the helmet as well - thanks.  I left from the shop and rode the Viale out to Piazza Ferrucci then proceeded to Bagno a Ripoli.

I then climbed up through Osteria Nuova to San Donato in Collina, then descended down to the turn off for the back road on the west side of the Arno river.  On the way, I stopped for a cafe machiatto at a place I have ridden past many times and it is almost always busy.  It was great - this is a fun, new habit and it makes me explore more bars in the countryside.  I crossed the river and went toward Lecchio, then climbed up toward Regello, turning off for Pietrapiana then over to Donnini where I took the road to Tosi.  This is a great, fun climb, and today with such perfect weather, it was great.  The descent from Tosi is wonderful.  You cruise quickly through a few towns with a couple of short climbs before coming to Pelago where there is a slightly longer climb.  You descend / climb from Pelago to the main road to Pontesieve which is a longer descent.  From Pontesieve, it is basically downhill in the Arno river valley pedalling pretty hard (the flats and speed seem to be my weakest point) back to town, but averaging around 30 kph.  

Just a wonderful ride today - peaceful, enjoying the emergence of spring, birds singing, flowers just starting to come out, perfect.  The summary is 47.5 miles in 3:23 rolling time for an average speed of 14.0 mph with 3650 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 65, which includes the effects of the sun.  Sweet.  Check the link below for more information if you wish.  Ciao.

Almost a "Colorado" blue sky - in an olive grove just 
outside of San Donato in Collina.

The beautiful road between Osteria Nuova and San Donato.

The first wild Irises I have seen this spring.
I took this picture mostly for my friends Don and Kay who love 
the spring Irises here, but are skipping this spring for a trip here next fall.

On the way to Pietrapiana these old buildings framed the snow capped 
mountains (hills) perfectly.

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