Thursday, June 6, 2013

Radda, Castellina. Fun in Chianti.

The weather was pretty darn perfect, as was forecast.  For the first time in I don't remember how long, I did not even bring anything for rain.  As I returned to Florence, dark clouds were looming, and I questioned this decision, but no rain for the day.  I even rode what I had planned the day before, putting in for me a pretty big day.

I started out on the Viales past Piazzale Michaelangelo, then down to Galluzzo before hooking up with the main road to Tavernuzze.  I took the main road, SP 2 all the way out to Greve, then Panzano.  It is a very gradual climb to Greve, and I usually do this stretch with others, normally the team.  It is a little different solo, with no one to pull the crew along.  Still, it is a pretty nice valley ride, and I made pretty good time.  From Greve, the climb to Panzano was just fine, and I refilled my water in Panzano.  A great descent on the other side of Panzano, then continuing the descent after a turn off to Lucarelli where I had my cafe machiato for the ride.  From here you start the climb to Radda in a beautiful river valley, with a very nice, gradual climb, until you are close to Radda, when it ramps up, and I need to go to the small ring in front.

You hook up to the ridge road just before Radda, then do some climbing to the actual town.  Here we really are in the heart of Chianti, and there are vineyards everywhere.  From Radda, you climb / descend, but mostly climb to Castellina, where I took another little break and refilled the water again.  Another pretty steep, but short climb takes you out of Castellina, and onto the ridge where you start a very long descent, interrupted by a few climbs through San Donato, then through Sambuca where you join the valley road.  I followed the valley road all the way to the San Casciano climb, and climbed to San Casciano.  I wasn't at my most energetic at this point, this being the last real climb, but I still hit # 3 for me on Strava.

From San Casciano, the regular route through Spedaletto, Chiesa Nuova (more water), then turn off to descend on the back way to Scandicci.  From Scandicci, home on the main roads.  Really a great tour, I am feeling very good and pretty strong right now and am enjoying it.  Summary is:  73.7 miles in 4:40 rolling time for an average speed of 15.8 mph with 4390 vertical feet of climbing at an average sun affected temperature of 81.  Ciao.

Panzano, Radda, Castellina, San Casciano, Scandicci. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A couple of pictures on the climb from Greve to Panzano.
For taking the pictures while riding, I think they are my best for toady.

The picture doesn't do it justice, but the ride up to Radda
is simply beautiful, following a river valley most of the way.

The view to the South from Castellina.  Big view.

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