Friday, August 2, 2013

Wonderful Sette Ponte ride with clear, beautiful skies.

I decided on a longer ride today, and even with my determination to embrace the heat, for me, with the highs around 100, I need to get out by 10 to do a comfortable 4 hour ride.  I was out by 9:30 this morning, and had a wonderful ride.  It was hot, but the skies are crystal clear and the views are outstanding.  I rode a favorite route that I had not ridden in a while.  Out of town through Bagno a Ripoli, the up to San Donato in Collina where I ran water over my head, soaked the helmet, and refilled the water bottle.  I am adding salt to my water in the morning to keep my legs from developing cramps in this weather.

Loved the descent from San Donato to the turn off by the fashion outlets, then over the Arno to hook up with the main road on the other side.  A pretty reasonable climb then descent to catch the road to Mattissino.  I kept following the road to Castelfranco, which eventually ramps up to 7% or so.  It does climb up a river valley at a nearly perfect 2% for quite a while, though.  A market day in Castelfranco, which I had never seen there before.  I still road into the center, ran water over my head, soaked the helmet, drank all my water, filled it, drank more, and filled it again.

Right after Castelfranco you start the Sette Ponte road, which is simply a wonderful ride.  It winds in and out of small valleys too numerous to count, but there are 7 main bridges, hence the name.  It basically contours over to Reggello, with both up and down equally represented.  I stopped in Reggello, and what is becoming a favorite spot, had a cafe machiato and a slice of pizza, then did the whole water routine at a great fountain there.  You descend from Reggello a little, then climb a fair amount, then descend into Donnini where the climb to Tosi really starts.  There is a couple of kilometers around 7%, but above that it is a nice 4 % or so, anyway gentle enough so you can gear down and push it.

From Tosi, it is a super descent to Paterno, where I did the water routine again - drink, soak the head, soak the helmet, drink more, pout a bottle over my head, drink more, then head out.  You continue descending from Paterno and then do a short climb into Pelago.  From Pelago, it is a contour / descent over to the Consuma road, then a fun descent to Pontesieve.  For some reason, the bike just felt great on the descents today and I saw it register around 70 kph a few times.  I have been pretty cautious since falling in February, and maybe I have finally gotten over that.  I hope so.  From Pontesieve, it is a power ride home, with a stop in Sieci to do the water routine for the last time.  Ride summary is:  62.2 miles in 4:02 rolling time for an average speed of 15.4 mph with 3960 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 94.  Still loving it!

Sette Ponte via San Donato in Collina by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A view to the South from the Sette Ponte road.

The view with vineyards from a different point along 
the Strada Sette Ponte.

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