Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wonderful giro de Mugello con Panna climb.

I planned a long ride today, and it worked out.  I awoke this morning with a pretty stiff arm, as I had a tetanus shot yesterday as part of my health requirements to renew my membership with the team and this year qualify to be timed in different events.  I had no idea my arm would be so stiff, but I gather from both Emily and the Internet that this is quite normal.  The stress test they gave me for the certificate was interesting - multiple wires and a 20 minute, gradually increasing stationary bike ride.  I guess this is normal, but I have not done anything like this in a long time.  I also had to bring some pee from first thing in the morning for a drug test, interesting.  It would not be hard to substitute pee, but it would also be pretty sad if someone was using performance enhancing drugs at my level and age.

So, I started my ride unsure of how long I would feel comfortable with the stiff shoulder, but some aspirin, and working out made the stiffness and pain basically go away.  I did the whole, relatively long ride with quite a bit of vertical that I had planned.  We have a gran fondo this weekend, the Giro della Toscana, and 21 members of the team are signed up, so we will have a good group.  I think around 10 of us will do the long course, which is 150 kilometers, plus getting to and from the start location, so probably around 165 k on the day with around 2000 meters of climbing.  Some training is in order.  I think I am pretty much as fit as I will get, just with my normal riding, but the long rides last week, one in Chianti, and one to the sea, and the sette ponte with Tony were my version of training.  Today, I did not do as much distance, but a fair amount of vertical.

I started out by climbing one of the back ways from Piazza della Cure to San Domenico, the up / down / and the big climb through Vincigliata to the Fiesole road.  I continued climbing at the super mellow grade up to Croce alle Vetta, then enjoyed descenting down through Faltona to the road to Scarperia.  I often climb this piece, but rarely descend, and it was quite fun.  I got into Scarperia, found some water and enjoyed a nice break.  I rode over to San Agata and stopped at my favorite bar for a cafe - the owner is very nice and welcoming and always strikes up a conversation and is happy to work with my very limited Italian.  I was feeling really great, so I decided on my longer ride, and rode over up / down to Galliano, then turned right to climb to Panna, then descend / climb to Santa Lucia, just below the Passo della Futa.  I did not climb to the top of the pass, as this would be another 300 meters of climbing, but descended from Santa Lucia.

The views to the East were spectacular from the ridge on the descent.  Over the big bridge at the Lago, then I began the last climb of the day, or at least the last climb of any distance.  It is really a nice climb and grade, through Vaglia (water break) to Pratolino.  The last kilometer and one half gets steep, but you know you are basically almost done, so the effort comes easily.  A great descent down Via Bolognese and back home.  A spectacular and very fun ride.  I am so lucky to be here and ride this area.  Summary:  59 miles in 4:10 rolling time for an average speed of 14.2 mph with 5735 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 88.  Ciao

Giro de Mugello con Panna, Santa Lucia by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A couple of pictures of the descent from Croce alle Vetta toward Scarperia.

While taking a break in Scarperia, I noticed this small hotel and the beautiful flowers.

The town square in Scarperia, looking down a line of trees to the Edicola.

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