Sunday, April 14, 2013

Florence by Bike Raduno

This morning I was up early and at the shop around 7:30 to get registered and help as needed with the raduno, which our team was hosting today.  We took off around 8, and a few of us were quickly with the lead group.  I would guess that somewhere between 200 to 300 people were riding, with around 150 starting around 8.  A couple of fast riders I know passed me on the first hill, after Porta Romana, and I thought, give it a try, and pretty much stayed with them.  We passed other groups that had started earlier, and a group of 10 to 20 stayed together for around 30 kilometers, when the first real climb started.  Climbing to Carbonile, after Pontesieve, everyone was in the big ring, and I decided to give up and dropped to the little ring.  The real climb was starting in a few kilometers anyway, and I needed to conserve some energy.  We had ridden out of town on the South side of the Arno, to Rosano, then crossing the bridge to Pontesieve.  At San Ellero, we turned off the main road and started the first real climb.

It is a beautiful road, and the weather was simply spectacular today.  I even pulled down my arm warmers on the way up, exposing the arms for the first time in 4 months.  You climb up and through Donnini, then to Tosi, where the descent starts.  Arm warmers back up, then a great descent through Paterno to Pelago (a little climb into Pelago).  One of the guys from our team, Leonardo, was with me part of the way up to Tosi, but I eventually dropped him, but he caught up on the descent, and we rode together until the climb to Fiesole, where I dropped him again.  When we hooked up with the main road into Pontesieve, we caught a team from Casellina, and drafted them into town.  They turned off just before Florence, so we rode together through town.

We started the climb to Fiesole, and without really knowing it, I dropped Leonardo.  He is a big guy, but I think around 33 years old, so it still felt good to drop a young stud.  When I say big guy, he is certainly not overweight, just tall, and as my Mom would have said, big boned.  From Fiesole, I dropped down to Pian de Mugnone, then went toward town on Via Faentina.  The course turned off on Via Salviati, and being one who follows directions and the course, off course I took the turn.  I found out later most decided not to do this, which certainly makes sense.  It is not a long climb, but after a pretty hard 3 plus hours of riding, 300 vertical feet at 20 plus % is tough.  After that, I descended down Via Bolognese, then over to the Cascine to the velodrome, which we rented for the finish.  I took a couple of laps on the velodrome, which was a blast.  The sides are really quite steep, but once you get going fast, it is easy to stay higher.

The food was all home made and excellent.  Great job by the whole team in putting together the best (my opinion, which is biased) of the year.  The summary is:  56.7 miles in 3:38 rolling time for an average speed of 15.6 mph with 3660 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 60.  What a fun spring ride.

Raduno - hosted by our team - excellent ride and day. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The sign in desk at the shop at 7:30 am.

The scene outside the shop just before the official start.

A few pictures of the velodrome after the finish.  Really
fun to ride if you go fast enough.

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