Saturday, June 8, 2013

Great Saturday morning ride on new terrain with the team

I was up early this morning, and met the squadra at the cascine to start the day's ride.  Only 4 of us were there on a perfect morning, but all were good, strong riders, and I would be either the slowest or second slowest.  We started by winding our way through the outskirts of Florence to Pistoia, then Prato, where we hooked up with the road we would basically climb up to Montepiano.  For quite a way, the road followed a river bed at a quite gentle grade, and we were able to ride as a group, keeping a good pace in the big ring.  After Vaiano, the road started to get a little steeper.  It continued to get steeper, and it turned into a good climb to Montepiano.  I had never ridden here before, so everything was a surprise for me.  A beautiful, relatively abandoned road winding up some good sized hills.  What more could you ask for.  It is a fairly popular road with cyclists and we passed many on the way up.

We stopped in Montepiano, having climbed around 800 vertical meters so far.  We refilled our water bottles, waited for Lorenzo - I was pretty close to Luca on the climb, a surprise for me, and dropped Lorenzo pretty easily, also a surprise.  We all have days when we ride stronger or less strong, and Lorenzo has dropped me far more times than the reverse, although the trend for now is changing.  We took a turn in Montepiano to go to Barberino in the Mugello, and I thought this would be a descent.  After a short descent, we had another little pass to climb, quite small, but still a surprise.  The real descent into Barberino then started.  Fun, not too fast, as I did not know the road, and it was a little bumpy in places.

In Barberino, we navigated through town, then started toward Calenzano, but turned off to ride the road to the South side of a large lake there.  Great decision, as this took us over to Via Bolognese, and eliminated a pretty good slog into Florence from Calenzano.  A beautiful ride by the lake, then the climb through Vaglia to Pratolino.  A stop at the top to regroup, get more water, then the descent home.  Super fun ride with great guys.  I may get up tomorrow to ride a raduno with the team, but I have a party tonight, so we shall see.  Summary for today is:  66.5 miles in 4:08 for an average speed of 16.1 mph with 4150 vertical feet of climbing at an average sun affected temperature of 77.  Love it!

Monte Piano, Barberino de Mugello, Vaglia con squadra. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The piazza in the center of Montepiano

Looking toward the road we will take out of Montepiano,
with Luca waiting to get started.  

A couple of pictures of the guys starting the descent from 
Montepiano in front of me.  Little did I know then that we had more 
climbing coming almost immediately.

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