Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monte Morello - enjoy the heat!

Emily was at the beach yesterday with Kate and the kids, and drove Kate's car back to Firenze as a favor.  She gave a ride to Jenny, who had helped the two families with cooking and cleaning for their month in Forte dei Marmi.  As Emily was driving her home, they talked about August and the heat, which most Florentines dread.  Jenny said, "I don't understand why everyone complains, it is supposed to be hot in August".  I love the sentiment, and will try not to complain, even to myself these next 4 weeks as the hot summer seems to drag on.  My new motto based on Jenny's sentiment is, "Embrace the heat", which worked pretty well today.

I had thought about only doing early morning rides, but when I tried that, I was kind of a prisoner in the apartment, not wanting to go out in the afternoon.  I would rather ride, which creates it's own breeze, and enjoy the afternoon exercise.  I will probably limit the time for these hot rides, but when you gain altitude, it also cools off.  Today, I did a fun ride that I have not done in a while, as part of the road fell away with the heavy spring rains.  It is  now repaired enough to have one lane open, which works for me.  I climbed up Via Bolognese through San Bartolo, Montorsoli, to Pratolino, where I turned off to get to the Monte Morello road.  I had noticed a water fountain on this road before, and today I tried it.  A sweet water source, it is cold, good, and in a nice shady spot with good views, along with little or no traffic.

I rode over to the Monte Morello road, then up the nice, relatively gentle climb to the top, stopping to take the pictures you see below.  It is a nice down hill from there.  For a while pretty gentle, then dropping pretty steeply for a good stretch which includes a series of 6 super tight switchbacks at a 10 to 15% grade.  Exciting!  You eventually drop into Sesto Fiorentino, then take some relatively busy roads back through the city and home.  Nice ride, and remember, embrace the heat.  Ride summary is:  22.4 miles in 1:37 rolling time for an average speed of 13.9 mph with 1950 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 96.  Ciao.

Monte Morello - embrace the heat! by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The bike at a new water fountain find in Pratolino, just
starting the connector road to the Monte Morello road.  
Shade, views, cold water.  What more could you ask for?

Put these next 3 photos together to get a panorama
of the view at Monte Morello.  I took them to show
how the heat was making the sky seem to shimmer.


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