Sunday, July 14, 2013

Great morning group ride with Leif, Mark, and Derek.

Through emails from a couple of team members, I was set to meet with Leif and a couple of people I had not met for a ride this morning.  I set up my old bike and set off for Settignano for the meeting and start of the group ride.  Mark and Derek were having a cafe in the town square and I joined in.  Leif was along soon, and we all started on our ride.  The climb from Settignano is quite steep, but everyone handled it with no problems.  We joined the road over toward Fiesole at Montebeni, and picked up the pace and got to know each other a little.  I found out Derek had ridden professionally at the highest level, competing in one day classics such as Paris / Roubaix.  I enjoyed talking with him and we discussed what it was like to race at that level, the talent level of the athletes, and inevitably the doping issue.  He had not done any of the doping, which limited his results and the type of races he could do.  It appears that Tyler Hamilton's book is pretty representative of the scene.

Anyway, Mark and Leif set a fast pace up to Vetta alla Croce, where we turned off toward Bivigliano, then turned again for the Montescenario climb.  Again, a pretty darn fast pace on the climb, but we all stayed together pretty well.  At the top, we discussed some options, and all decided on my suggestion.  We descended from Montescenario through Bivigliano, then did the wonderful descent to Vaglia.  Sweet.  We rode down from Vaglia toward San Piero a Sieve at a super fast pace, around 50k, and took the tunnel and the road over to the start of the Vetta alla Croce climb from the Borgo San Lorenzo side.  Again, a very fast pace, which allowed me to get a personal best.  We all stayed together until Polcanto and Mark and Derek left Leif and I and continued hard up the hill.  Leif and I continued pretty darn hard as well, just not as fast as the other two.

We regrouped at the top of the pass and decided to go over to Alberaccio, then descend to Sieci through Molin de Piano.  Again, a fast but fun pace.  From Sieci, we rode back into Firenze on the main road.  We branched off toward Settignano, and Leif found a wonderful place he knows for a pastry and cafe.  Super good pastries, still hot, perfect.  Great cafe as well.  After some nice conversation we split up and I returned home.  I may hook up with Mark and Derek again, we shall see.  Either way, it was very fun to ride with them.  One of the fun things about riding is the "brotherhood" that forms riding with new friends.  Summary is:  52.5 miles in 3:27 rolling time for and average speed of 15.2 mph with 4170 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 81.  Great morning.

Great group ride with Mark, Derek, and Leif by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Leif, Derek, and Mark at Montescenario.  Great climb, ragazzi!

A view of the final piece of the ride to Montescenario.

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