Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vallombrosa, Consuma on a perfect September day!

I had a nice solo ride today.  I almost went with the team this morning, but with so many tours to take out and a number already completed, I thought a day alone would be nice.  Also, I could choose whatever route I wanted, which was nice.  I have a large group tomorrow, through a friend's company, and I needed to know how to get us all out of town with the road closures for the Mondiale.  It was actually pretty easy.  I found a spot where you can walk through occasionally when an official allows quite close to where the map said it would be.  The bonus was being able to watch four of the pro men's teams fly by on a practice run.  It really is amazing how fast the go.  The time trial bikes with the rear wheels being solid also make a distinctive sound as they pass by.  It was so cool.  I will watch as much as possible this week, which I have no idea what that means, as I will need to keep the clients happy first.  Still there should be some opportunities, like today.

I rode out the new way to Osteria Nuova, then up through San Donato in Collina, then down through Le Valle and Pallazuolo to the turn to cross the Arno.  After crossing, I turned left to go toward Vallombrosa, starting in Lecchio.  It is a nice climb, and I took the short cut to Pietrapiana, and mistakenly turned left, when if I had turned right, the road to Saltino and Vallombrosa would have been within a couple hundred meters.  I pretty much knew this, but the left turn beckoned.  I went left, and for a while kept expecting to see the turn for Saltino, but soon I knew I had turned the wrong way.  Thinking about it, I decided to just stay with it and climb from Doninni through Tosi to Vallombrosa, which is a much better climb (if you like a couple thousand feet at 10 to 15%) and very pretty.  I filled the water in Vallombrosa and took off on the road to Consuma.

I had only ridden this road once before, and it surprised me today by being way more fun and beautiful than I recalled.  I think the last time I was pretty beat, and it was more uphill than I expected, which must have colored my perceptions.  Anyway, I loved it today.  The descent to Pontesieve was super fast and long, which was also fun.  From Pontesieve, it was the normal power ride home.  What a fun ride - 58.4 miles in 4:14 rolling time for an average speed of 13.8 mph with 5250 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 79.  Great ride!

Vallombrosa, Consuma on a perfect September day. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Practice day for the team time trial.  Here are a couple of the teams
I saw go by when figuring out how to navigate my way out of town. 
They are soooooo fast.  Really cool to see.

What a perfect day - on the way to Pietrapiana.

Ah ... the beautiful tree lined end of the climb approaching Vallombrosa.

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