Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vallambrosa on a beautiful spring day.

I have a client coming for 4 days of riding starting Friday, who is a friend of one of my best friends, Don Cook.  Don, to me, is strong, super strong.  Don can and on occasion has dropped me like I was standing still.  The client was described to me by Don, as strong, super strong, which has me both psyched and wondering if he will wear me out.  I explained my abilities in emails, and I am sure things will work fine.  I ride with Don alot, or at least I used to when we lived in CB together, and it always worked out.  Anyway, I have been thinking of great rides to take Roger, the client, on, and this one was on my list.  I also have some clients who have hired me to take them for a ride and to view the Giro when it comes through Florence in May, and this route is my plan for that as well.

So, I thought today would be a good day to test the ride and check some timing so I can plan for the Giro accordingly.  I started out on the Viales, then out to Bagno a Ripoli, where the first climb starts.  From Bagno a Ripoli, you climb through Osteria Nuova, and up to San Donato in Collina.  It is a nice climb, not too steep, and the weather was perfect today.  Then you get one of my favorite descents toward Incisa, but I turn off on the road to the outlet stores (yes, they have them here too), then over the Arno, and then head to Leccio, where the climb starts to Vallambrosa.  I climb to Regello, then over to Pietrapiana, then the climb gets serious for the final 4 to 500 vertical meters to Saltino.  I checked it with the %-o-meter on the Garmin, and it seems to average around 10%, but ramps up to 15% often.  The weather got much cooler as I climbed, the climb from the Arno valley is around 900 vertical meters, which is a fair amount.  The weather also threatened rain, and it sprinkled on me, as I hit the top of the climb in Vallambrosa.

In Saltino, just before Vallambrosa, there is a great view spot with benches, and the climb is basically over.  I had a snack there and put some extra clothing on for the descent.  I checked out a couple of Bars that will be great for a cafe with clients.  At Vallambrosa, the real descent begins.  You go down a super windy road to Tosi, then down a more normal road, that I have ridden many times to Paterno, then Pelago.  There is another great bar in Pelago that is perfect for clients.  I removed the extra clothing in Pelago, then rode over and descended down to Pontasieve.  From here, you follow the Arno into Florence, and can keep a pretty good pace.  Often, you can hook up with someone, but no one was going the same speed as I today.  Super fun ride, and I hope it will be great to use for both groups.

The summary is:  53.2 miles in 3:54 rolling time for an average speed of 13.7 mph with 4670 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 63.  What fun!

Vallambrosa test ride - will use this weekend and for Giro. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Flowering trees, a stone wall, and the road to San Donato in Collina.

On the climb to Vallambrosa, these trees were exploding
with "spring green" leaves, just starting.

A panoramic view from the bench at the 
entry to Saltino.  The climb is basically complete!

I love this villa just above the road, almost
at the top of the climb, coming into Saltino.

No comments:

Post a Comment