Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's spring - finally! A wonderful ride in the Mugello

The weather was supposed to be good today, and it lived up to the forecast.  Finally.  It seems like we have had rain for 10 weeks or so.  I know there have been a couple days a week with sun, but I did live almost my whole life in Colorado.  I planned on a medium / long ride, and ended up doing exactly what I planned.  I started up Via Faentina through Piazza della Cure, the up a relatively long climb on Via Faentina through L'Olmo to Croce alla Vetta, the pass around 1650 vertical above our place.  It is a nice climb and it felt good today.  I stopped at the top and put on a shell, as it was a little chilly, and a big descent toward Borgo San Lorenzo is next.  Another rider was across the road at the top of the pass also putting on more clothing.  Another rider passed me as I was taking out my shell.  I started from the top, enjoying the descent and quickly was closing in on the person who passed me.  The other rider at the top who was putting on more clothing passed me, I hopped on, and we both quickly caught the other person.  We hung behind him for a few kilometers, at a relatively casual pace, then the person in front of me put the pedal to the metal.  I hung on, just barely, and we stayed together for another 8 kilometers.  The third person caught us after a kilometer or so.  At the bottom of the descent, we all took different options of the three available, so the gruppo riding was over.

I took the turns to Scarperia, stopping as the climbing started and putting my shell back in the tailgater for the remainder of the ride.  I rode through Scarperia, then over to San Agata, and went into the tiny Centro there to look for a bar, as I am now into the cafe mid-way through a ride.  Tiny bar, but full of people and a couple of Carabinieri walked in just before me.  The person behind the bar knew them and lined up a couple of saucers for their orders, then got mine and I had my machiato with them.  One of them admired my new bike and I actually had a reasonable conversation with him about the bike.  My Italian does not often allow this and it felt good.  Just another reason to enjoy a cafe on a ride.  From San Agata, I rode over to Galliano, then down to the turn to San Piero a Sieve going through Bosco ai Frati.  This is a super beautiful part of the ride - the countryside was glowing green, and the Bosco Ai Frati portion is really cool.  A friend, Don Cook, says it is the 401 of road biking.  401 is a very famous singletrack trail outside of Crested Butte.

From San Piero a Sieve, I climbed through Vaglia to the pass at Pratolino.  From there, mostly a descent with a couple of hills (small) back to the apartment.  I just felt great out there riding today.  What a blessing to be here and enjoy this happiness.  I love it!  The summary is;  46.5 miles in 3:25 rolling time for an average speed of 13.6 mph with 3800 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature around 58.  Ciao.

An alternate giro de Mugello and it's spring! by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Looking toward the Centro in Scarperia,  a beautiful tower ahead.

A couple of pictures of the incredibly green countryside on the way into San Agata.
(both above and below the description)

Across from the bar where I stopped for a cafe and had a conversation about
my bike with a Carabinieri this passageway opened up to a street scape above.  
Water source to the right.

The campanile in San Agata.

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