Thursday, September 12, 2013

Excellent day for a ride in the Chianti hills.

As seems to be the case often now, I had one particular stretch in mind when I figured out today's ride.  The weather forecast was for showers / rain, letting up in the afternoon, so I did not have much in mind.  Forecast aside, the weather was really beautiful by 10, and I decided on a long-ish ride.  The piece that determined the ride today was from Quattro Strade over to Sambuca, a portion of road I had not ridden in a while, but it is really pretty, and steeply up and down.  So, off to the South, which means Chianti, and trying to choose a route that was did not have much repeat from the Sunday Gran Fondo.

I started out on the Viale, then up to Poggio Imperiale, then down to Galluzzo.  From Galluzzo, I took Pozzolatico Vecchio, which I had not ridden in a while to Pozzolatico, then went up the main road to Impruneta.  I found the road down toward Ferrone, then got on the main road for a couple of hundred meters, then turned off to climb through Luiano to Mercatale.  The vineyards on the first 2/3 of this climb were simply stunning, full of grapes that appear ripe to me, and super green.  I finally got a picture of the heavy, ripe grapes, which is my first success in a few attempts for this.

Once I got to the Mercatale road, I turned left, rode through Mercatale to Quattro Strade, where I turned left on the road that was the objective today.  Super fun, and it is more down than up in the Southern direction.  I think the last time I rode it was in a raduno last spring with the team in the other direction, and it was pretty tough with some very steep uphill pieces.  Today, the other direction, it was just fun, with some effort involved.  When you reach the ridge, you almost immediately turn left on a sweet downhill to the valley road very close to Sambuca.  I turned right and went along the valley to the turn off for Pontederra, where I stopped for a cafe.  It is a super popular place, and the coffee (espresso) is quite good.  From Pontederra, up to San Pancrazio, a really nice climb, then along / down the ridge to the turn off to La Ripa.

This road is super steep on the descent, and with the ridge road closed just past the turn off, it is getting a lot of traffic these days.  Fun ride down, then on the main road to Cerbia, then the climb to Chiesa Nuova where I did the water thing.  Down the ridge to the switchbacks, then into Galluzzo.  I went toward Pozzolatico, but turned off to take the Cinque Vie road back to the viale, then on home.  A wonderful ride on a simply spectacular day.  Ride summary:  48.4 miles in 3:36 rolling time for an average speed of 13.4 mph with 4006 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 80.

Ride in the Chianti hills on a perfect day. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A beautiful view to the east on the climb to Luiano.

A shot of the grapes - they look ready for harvest to me.

Looking through the vineyards, ready for harvest to the hills beyond.

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