Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday morning San Baronto with the team.

I was up quite early, and met the team at Illiopesca at 7 to start a ride.  We had a nice group of 8, which is pretty good for this time of year.  We rode to San Baronto, but from a new direction for me.  It was quite fun, and on the descent from San Baronto, we saw a few top pros training for the World Championships, which are here in late September.

We started out the normal route to Lastra, then went back across the Arno, and North toward Prato.  We hooked up with the road west, toward Quarrata and enjoyed booking along pretty good as a group. The group fell apart in places as the pace was stepped up.  We regrouped in Quarrata (I just checked the spelling, and yes I was spelling it wrong), then headed toward the hills, eventually coming to the climb to San Baronto.  This is a very popular cycling route, and we saw and passed many riders on the way up.  It is more popular from the other side, and we certainly saw more riders climbing the other side as we descended.  Climbing from Quarrata was great.  There was new pavement, as it is part of the World Championship course.  I started feeling good, and by the top of the climb I feeling the strongest I felt all day.  I have been trying to feel my best at the top of climbs, and it is a struggle at times.

We enjoyed a long, leisurely descent to Vinci, then to the valley floor.  We mostly stayed together as a group on the long flat to Empoli, then Montelupo, but also broke apart many times.  Guys will be guys, and sometimes the pedal just goes to the metal.  Moreno set a perfect pace after Montelupo, as Rebecca was a little spent and we needed to moderate the effort.  It was really very nice to go at a reasonable rate and simply enjoy the ride.  We retraced our route from Lastra to Scandicci, and basically broke apart at some stop lights, and people left to return to their individual homes.  Back home around 11 with a really nice morning ride completed.  I love being a part of the team and cycling scene.  Ride summary:  65.4 miles in 3:55 rolling time for an average speed of 16.7 mph with 1760 vertical feet of climbing at a nice average temperature of 82.  Ciao.

San Baronto from Quarranta con Squadra by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A few of the squadra just before the start of the climb.

A little farther on, the whole team just before the start of the 
San Baronto climb.

In the valley riding toward Empoli, there were fields of sunflowers.  Although
they are facing the opposite direction, I still thought they were spectacular from the bike.

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