Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Giro de Chianti - Firenze, Radda, Casellina, Firenze

I had a day greeting students on my townie bike yesterday, helping them get into their apartments, carrying suitcases, etc. for an organization here that sets up study abroad programs for different schools.  I do this a few times a year, and it is a tiring day, but it is always fun to be around the students when they arrive and share in their excitement of being here.  So, with greeting students from 9am to 6:30pm, no ride yesterday.  I had an errand this morning, so I did not get out until 12:00, but the weather was clearing, and I had plenty of time for a long ride that just came into my mind and I wanted to do it.

I left town by the Viale, past Piazzale Michaelangelo, then down to Galluzzo and out through Tavernuzze to Greve, where I took my first break.  This is almost the fastest way there for me, and with the tour planned, I did not have time for extra hills close in.  I have to work to settle in and spin fast alone for an hour and one quarter, which is what it took me to get there from Piazzale Michaelangelo.  For whatever reason, this is harder for me than climbing.  After Greve, there is a nice, gentle climb to Panzano, then a great descent down to the turn off to Lucarelli, then continuing the descent into Lucarelli.  From Lucarelli, it is a very gentle climb for around 7 kilometers, then it kicks up a little into Radda.  Actually, after you get to the ridge that Radda is on, it gets to around 10% in a couple of places, so that is pretty hard.

From Radda, it is around 200 meters of climbing to Casellina, along a ridge with great views to both the  east and west.  There are many descents to interrupt the climb, so it is really a pleasant ride.  It is also around 65 kilometers from home, so I don't ride it all the time, which makes it nice when I do get out there.  There is a really nice little park in Casellina where I get water and enjoy a little snack.  The picture below is from the little park there.  From Casellina, there is a nasty little climb that I would guess hits 15% to get out of town, but it is quite short, probably only around 50 meters of climbing.  After the little climb, you have an almost direct descent all the way down to Sambuca, probably around 20 kilometers worth.  I checked the Garmin and for one 5 kilometer piece I was averaging around 45 kph, which is a fast average for me.  I usually get the speed up to 55 to 65 kph, but that is only in small stretches.

After Sambuca, you climb very gradually up the valley of the Pesa, then you have a real climb to San Casciano.  This is the last real climb for this ride, and there is a nice little park in San Casciano with water where I took another break for water and a snack.  After that it was simply finding the energy to power on home, through Spedellato, Chiesa Nuova, and Scandicci.  I was tired in San Casciano, but easily found the energy and even felt stronger as I put in the last 45 minutes or so of the ride.  We have an event September 8 where I am planning on a 150 kilometer course, so I need to get some of these longer rides in.  Ride summary:  74.5 miles in 4:41 rolling time for an average speed of 15.9 (not bad solo) with 4216 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 82.  Love it!

Giro de Chianti - Radda, Casellina, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I have been noticing this view as I cross the Arno to start many of
my rides to the South.  Typically I am going fast and not taking
pictures, but today, I slowed down enough to take this shot.
The city of Florence to the west on a beautiful August afternoon.

One of the views of Chianti from the road between Greve and Panzano.

Coming into the beautiful old town of Radda in Chianti.

The view to the south from Casellina in Chianti, around 15 kilometers from Radda.

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