Thursday, August 15, 2013

FerrAgosto team ride to Vallombrosa.

Up quite early this morning - 5:30 - and on the road to the meeting point by 6:45.  I do have to stretch this aging body to keep it working well every day.  Davide again joined in for the ride to San Ellero, when he returned to Firenze.  He is getting stronger, and should be back to climbing with us soon.  Ritchie, from London, joined us and was fun to have along.  He rented a bike from the shop yesterday, said he rode with a team in London, and Lia suggested he ride with us today.  The hills were a little much for him and he was really spent by the time we returned, but he rode and climbed well, in particular with tennis shoes.  Also, today's ride and the climb to Vallombrosa is not easy.  The climb from San Ellero to Vallombrosa is rated HC, so it is not easy.

We started out and went at a reasonable pace to Sieci, when Davide ramped up the pace a little.  I stayed with him, but we dropped the remaining 3 but regrouped in Pontesieve and they were less than a minute behind.  We rode together to San Ellero, where Davide returned to Firenze.  The rest of us started the big climb.  It was a perfect morning, nice cool temperatures, for August, and an almost deserted road.  We took a short break in Donnini and got some water, then headed up to Tosi, where the hard part of the climb really kicks in.  Both Lorenzo and Alessandro stayed behind to encourage Ritchie, but I went ahead, knowing that sticking with my own pace works well for me.  I waited for them just below the top, and we rode into Vallombrosa together.

Water and a break there, and a discussion of the return route.  Ritchie was all for the easiest way, but we explained the route with less additional climbing was longer.  We took that route anyway, as both Alessandro and I wanted to go that way.  A great descent through Saltino to Regello.  Vallombrosa is very busy this time of year, and I had never been here in August.  Lots of traffic, people parked kilometers away and walking to the nice park for a picnic.  We had a cafe in Regello, then finished the descent to Leccio.  Back on the main road, we had a little climbing to do, but mostly flat over to hook up with the Pontesieve road.  Lorenzo and I were dropping Ritchie at this point, and his energy was getting low.  We dropped him more on the ride from Pontesieve to Firenze, but Alessandro stayed with him and we waited to regroup a number of times.  Back in town around 11 with a wonderful ride in.

Ride summary is:  56.0 miles in 3:47 rolling time for an average speed of 14.8 mph with 3895 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 74.5.  What a nice morning.  Ciao.

Vallambrosa con Squadra - FerrAgosto by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The road to Vallombrosa around 2/3 the way up the climb.

Lorenzo, Richie, Alessandro, and Me in Vallombrosa.

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