Friday, April 19, 2013

Great day 5 with Jodi and Keith.

Keith, Jodi, and I had our last day out cycling for their trip.  We had another great day.  I decided we could all use an easier start and warm up, and the route for this also presented a completely different route out of the city.  We started out going West on the Viales, and turned off into the Casine park.  We rode to the end of the park where you cross a small bridge, pick up another little road, and navigate to a busy road.  The stretch of the busy road is only a kilometer or so, then we turned off and followed back roads with little traffic on the north side of Parco Renai to Signa.  There was a huge market in Signa, and we had to walk our bikes for 4 or 5 blocks, before re-mounting, and riding through the remainder of the town and over the bridge to Lastra a Signa.

Here we left the traffic and busyness of this town behind and climbed a small pass, then descended through La Luna to Ginestra Fiorentina.  We went east toward Cerbia, and turned off to climb the tiny back ridge road to Montagnana.  It was apparent to me that they enjoy the small roads and climbs much more than the route we had ridden thus far.  At Montagnana, the direction I wanted us to go was closed, so we went to another plan.  We took a little break, and descended to Baccaiano, where we looked without success for water.  I ended up asking a couple of people, the first of which said no, but the second, an older man, said no at first, then said follow me.  All of this is in Italian, and my skills are not that great, but we followed, and he took us to his house, where his wife welcomed us and let us use the tap water.  I thanked them profusely, and the wife insisted that when I came through riding again that I stop for water at their house.  A really nice gesture, and a great story of the welcoming nature of the Italians in the countryside.

We hit the valley, then rode east and took the steep hill to Poppiano.  I had warned both Keith and Jodi that this was super steep, and it did not disappoint.  It is a very beautiful climb, though, and we stopped for pictures at times.  Just above Poppiano, we accessed the road I originally wanted to ride, and rode this ridge road over to San Pancrazio, where we took a break and I had a cafe and Keith and Jodi shared some marinated veggies.  We descended to the next valley floor, then climbed up to San Casciano, following the road through Spedalletto and Chiesa Nuova to the hill above Scandicci.  I took them down the steep funky route to every one's delight.  From Scandicci we took the main roads home and called it a day.

The summary is:  48 miles in 4:12 rolling time (6 hours elapsed time) for an average speed of 11.4 mph with 2960 vertical feet of climbing at a perfect average temperature of 76.  Great week of riding with both Keith and Jodi.  Thanks for "riding with Cosimo".

Day 5 with Jodi and Keith - Signa, Ginestra, Poppiano, Pancrazio, return. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Keith on the climb to the small pass from Lastra a Signa
to Ginestra Fiorentina.

Keith and Jodi on the ridge to the west of Montagnana.
I liked both the pictures, one is simply a close up.

The castello de Poppiano.  Beautiful.

Jodi starting the climb to San Casciano.

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