Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween ride.

What a nice day today in Florence.  Temperatures around 65, sunny, with a little wind.  I joined Emily's art history class this morning for a tour of the Bargello, then Orsanmichele.  It was really fun, and Elaine, the teacher / tour guide is just super.  One of those college professors that not only has a total passion for her subject, but is great at sharing both the knowledge and enthusiasm.  A real treat for me.  I don't think it will work again, as I start more Italian lessons on the 19th of November, and the art history class is off next week.  I was home from the class around 1:30, and decided to suit up for a quick ride.

I went North, and was determined not to repeat any recent ride, which worked well.  I rode up Via Faentina, which I had not climbed in a while, and enjoyed the climb.  I felt relatively slow on the climb, but somehow had a personal best on Strava.  I guess I haven't climbed it in a while.  From above Olmo, I cut over to Bivigliano, which I ride quite a bit, but is always nice.  Just a great, climbing, contouring road with excellent scenery.  After Bivigliano, I cut off on this tiny road that cuts over to Polcanto.  I had not ridden this road in quite a while and really enjoyed it.  Tiny, a little rough in places, great views, both steep climbs and descents (more descending than climbing) make it a fun 9 kilometers.  From Polcanto, you get the final 150 vertical meters of the climb to Croce alle Vetta, always a good climb.  I had a head wind on the way out Via Faentina, and riding back to Fiesole from Croce alle Vetta, the tailwind was sweet.  Fast descent from Fiesole on the World Championship course, then back through Le Cure to Home sweet Home.

Super fun Halloween ride!  29.5 miles in 2:14 rolling time for an average speed of 13.1 mph with 2766 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 66.

Halloween ride to the North. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

What a stunning day and beautiful piece of road, between
Olmo and Bivigliano.

One of the views to the Northwest on the road between Olmo and Bivigliano.

Here are a couple of pictures of the fun, tiny road between
just West of Bivigliano and Polcanto.  Definitely looks
like fall is happening here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Great long ride to Pinone, Montelupo, then Ortimino.

I planned a relatively long day today, and basically stayed with the plan.  I started later than I thought, but my afternoon commitment was cancelled, so it was fine.  I did a couple of errands for Emily, as she needed some different supplies, as Viola was home sick adding to her babysitting load.  I did a nice ride combining a couple of favorites - one relatively new and one a standard to the southwest.  I rode out through the Cascine again, then over to Signa.  I branched off in Signa to climb to Comeana, Serra, then Carmignano.  These are very nice, quiet, gently climbing roads and are a pleasure to ride.

After Carmignano, the road gradually gets steeper until it is around 8% to Pinone.  A nice, kind of challenging climb.  I stopped for a cafe and crostata at the little bar / restaurant at the top, then headed down.  The last time I was up here was with the team and we climbed from Vitolini, but descended on this nice little road to Limite.  I did this descent again today and it is a blast.  There are a few places where 3 or 4 switchbacks combine to almost make it feel like powder skiing.  Back on the flats in Limite, then powering over to Montelupo where I refreshed my water.  Then off on the tiny roads through Samontanna and Villanuova to the main road to Ortimino.  Fun riding, and the Ortimino climb is nice in that it is quite gradual in a river valley, then eventually breaks off from the valley and climbs to a ridge.  So, the grade sneaks up on you until it is around 6%.  The ridge ride to Montespertoli continues the climb, although with a couple of exceptions it is a totally mellow grade.

A nice descent from Montespertoli, followed by the climb to Montagnana.  Another descent to Cerbia, then the standard climb to Chiesa Nuova.  I almost always get water here, as it is really tasty, cool, and fresh.  Then today it was over to the Galluzzo switchbacks, always fun, although today I caught up with some slow traffic around 2/3 of the way down and had to mellow out my pace.  From Galluzzo, the nice cool down to Cinque Vie, the two little climbs then descent to the Viale, then the power cruise home.  Super fun ride.  61.0 miles in 4:06 rolling time for an average speed of 14.8 mph with 3537 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 75.  Sweet!

Nice long ride to the West and Southwest. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I thought the road was so pretty climbing to Pinone, that
I had to take a couple of pictures.

What a pretty, fun climb to Pinone.

if you look hard, you can see a tree lined approach to a villa 
on the ridge in the background.  

The vineyards West of Samontanna in full fall color.  Che bella!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nice fall recovery ride in unseasonably warm weather.

I had a number of errands this morning, which went well.  I am signed up for more Italian lessons and will start on November 18 repeating level 3, then will take level 4.  Eventually I should be able to speak the language reasonably, but at any rate, I will keep trying.  Probably, I will not speak it very well until Emily and I speak it at home one day a week or something like that.  Perhaps, I will add excursions in the neighborhood where I will only speak Italian.   That would certainly help.  One constant theme on my errands was every Italian that I spoke with mentioned how unseasonably warm it was.  I was thinking perhaps a day off, but with this amazing weather, I took an easy recovery ride instead.  It really is warm, and I was basically dressed like summer with a light short sleeved jersey and shorts.  Nice for late October.

I headed out through the Cascine, then out the back roads to Lastra a Signa.  I did the climb to the little pass around Malmantine, and turned off to ride up to Marliano.  I had not ridden this in quite a while, and it is just a wonderful ride and road.  From Marliano, it only gets better, and you are descending for a while before starting the only real climb of the day, from Vigliano to Santa Maria a Marciola.  Another really fun, excellent road.  From the top it is a very fast descent to Scandicci, then a power ride back home in Firenze.  Excellent ride, I am so happy I got out.  28.9 miles in 2:00 rolling time for an average speed of 14.4 mph with 1663 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 79.

Wonderful 2 hour recovery ride. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Riding out of town through the Cascine the road was covered
with yellow leaves as fall asserts itself.

A couple of photos showing vineyards and olive trees on the
climb toward Roveta.  Che bella! 

The vines are definitely changing colors.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Late October Raduno con Squadra.

A very fun Sunday morning ride with the team.  It has been great to be busy lately, but with nothing on the horizon, it was very fun to ride with the team again.  It had been a few weeks.  We did a raduno this morning - which is a group ride with a number of teams participating.  We had a good showing of 10 or so, and I think 8 did the long course.  Overcast skies, but no real threat of rain, keeping temperatures cool, although it was quite humid.  It was a fun course, starting in Scandicci, then over to the Tavernuzze road, then out to Falciani.  It was fun riding with the lead group here, as we were really moving and had a good sized group of around 50.

This totally broke up on the first real climb to Tavernuzze, and I managed to come in second at the top of our group, and Davide and I waited for the remainder of the group to catch us.  The big group ride was pretty much over now, and we rode the remainder of the course as a team, regrouping as needed.  From Impruneta, we rode over to Strada, then up the great road to La Panca.  I had not climbed this in quite a while, as I am using it for descents mostly these days.  From La Panca, we climbed Passo de Sugame, and it was spectacular riding.  The vineyards were in full color change, and it is just a beautiful road.  A quick regroup at the pass, then the descent into Greve.  From Greve, we hooked up with another couple of groups and really powered over to the climb by Gabbiano to Quattro Strade.  We regrouped again in Quattro Strade, and the vast majority, I think only one or two of us wanted to stay with the prescribed course, wanted to take a slightly different route to San Casciano.

Good speed to San Casciano, and the fast pace continued all the way through Chiesa Nuova to Scandicci.  We eventually all got back together at the Sortiva San Quirico, and had a nice pasta feast and received our bottles of wine.  We received a trophy, I think for placing 3rd, which is based on participation and distance ridden.  Fun day and great to be part of the riding culture here which includes these big radunos.

Fun Raduno in Chianti with the team by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The lead gruppo, which we all pretty much stayed with on the
way to the turn off for Impruneta before Falciani.

Alessandro on the way to Falciano.

The colors were awesome on the final part of the climb
to Passo de Sugame.

Lorenzo and Alessandro with the trophy for the day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sweet fall ride - Sette Ponte and Vallombrosa.

I did a nice ride yesterday, but the camera battery was dead, so I did not blog about the ride.  It was a 40 kilometer ride sort of close in to the north with a fair amount of climbing.  The weather today was super, and I decided to do a fairly long, difficult ride.  I have ridden this route a number of times, and it is just a great ride.  I am loving the new way between Ponte a Ema and Osteria Nuova and use it all the time now.  Good climb to San Donato in Collina, and an even better descent to the crossing of the Arno by the outlet malls.  Then the least nice part of the ride, over to Faella, then it gets quite nice on the final climb to Castelfranco.  More water there and I am ready to enjoy the Sette Ponte route into Regello.  What a fun ride.  Just one of the best roads ever for a road bike.  Loved it today.

Had a break in Regello with a cafe and a slice of pizza.  Then, the big climb awaits.  From Regello to Saltino it is about 600 vertical meters in around 7 kilometers, so you can figure out the slope.  It averages out to be pretty steep, and with a day that includes 5200 vertical feet, it was hard for this old man.  I did manage Personal Bests on the climb according to Strava, which is a little surprising as I was not really working it.  My typical pace must be accelerating as I ride more and more.  I enjoy all the Strava comparisons and always post and check Strava after a ride.  It was a little cool in Saltino and Vallombrosa, which is maybe a kilometer away and around 40 meters higher.  A really nice descent, although I kept the speed under control, as the roads up there were wet with lots of fallen leaves, which can translate to slippery.

The road was totally dry by Tosi, and I let it go then.  Lots of fun into Pelago, then over to the main road and the end of the descent into Pontesieve.  Probably around 3200 vertical on a pretty continuous descent - sweet.  From Pontesieve, it is the normal power ride into town and home.  I was feeling tired, but very happy with an excellent ride.  Love it.  66.5 miles in 4:40 rolling time for an average speed of 14.2 mph with 5203 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 74.  Ciao.

Sette Ponte and Vallombrosa on a perfect Fall day by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The vines are definitely changing colors.  This is on the road
between Ponte a Ema and Osteria Nuova.

One of the big views from the pull out at Saltino.

This palazzo is just above the pull out in Saltino.

The final push into Saltino after a 900 vertical meter climb.

Fall colors close to Vallombrosa in a nature area.

More fall colors approaching Vallombrosa.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fun ride to Monte Morello.

Quick solo ride after catching up.  I love taking out clients and sharing the cycling here, but it always surprises me how much I enjoy getting out by myself after a busy stretch.  I can push it, don't look behind me much and just go.  Super fun today.  Another storm is predicted to arrive tonight, and it certainly looked like it on the ride.  Up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, then over on the cut off to the Monte Morello road, then up to the top there, then the super fun descent to Sesto.  I love the section with 8 super tight switchbacks one after the other.  Great ride this afternoon.  I think it's cocktail time.  Ciao.  21.9 miles in 1:37 rolling time for an average speed of 13.5 mph with 1985 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 69.

Monte Morello - solo by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

 A couple of pictures from the road between Pratolino and Monte Morello.
One view to the east with Fiesole in the saddle, and one to the north
showing the next storm coming in.  

A ride in the Chianti hills on day 2 with Jen and David.

We awoke to better weather this morning and met again at Pasticerria Liberta.  After a nice dinner together last night and some of the comments Jen made yesterday, I was starting to understand that she has a real problem with traffic - both vehicular and human.  She is just a person who needs space.  I had thought about this in terms of today's ride, and I wanted to go south to show them some of the Chianti area, but there is not way to do this without some time in the city.  We ended up walking the bikes from the apartment to the bike path next to the Viales, as there is no way to ride to the path without lots of traffic.  We made our way around the path to Viale Michaelangelo and up to the Piazzale.  If anything, I underestimated how uncomfortable Jen was with this type of riding.  It appeared to me she was just doing everything she could to hang in there.  No complaints, but it was pretty obvious she was not happy.

This all gradually dissipated and disappeared by the time we started climbing to Vacciano, and was pretty much gone by the time we were in San Gersole.  I think it was good to get them out there, as it is very different scenery and very beautiful.  We even had super nice weather for the ride.  I think all three of us collectively took some deep breaths and relaxed.  We had a nice break with some food in Impruneta then headed down toward Ferrone.  From there, we climbed up past Luaino to the road by Mercatale, then descended to the valley below Montefiridolfi.  I think this is a super beautiful background for pictures and we stopped and took some.  There is a fairly difficult climb to Montefiridolfi, where we took another short break and got some water.

We then enjoyed the ridge ride over to Bibbione and it was beautiful and everyone was super happy just to be there and to be riding.  I have found this ridge often brings out the best in clients.  It is very quiet with excellent views in all directions.  We descended to the valley and decided to head back so we rode down the valley a little way then up to San Casciano.  An excellent gelato break in San Casciano - great gelato - then back to Chiesa Nuova for a last water fill up before our return to the city. We rode back through Galluzzo, and the only really difficult spot was where you cut over and hook up to the main road from Tavernuzze into Galluzzo.  We were off that soon on my cut off road to the park, then back on the road to Cinque Vie.  Up and over to Piazza Ferucci, then back on the bike path to complete the return.  Jen was obviously not enjoying the return piece here, but was significantly happier than on the way out.  Overall, the return in the city was much easier than I thought it would be.  David worked really well with her in this situation, which was super helpful.

Again, I think overall, a good route and a great day.  I learned how to get someone out of town and back in who is an excellent rider, but is close to phobic about traffic.  Jen never complained, and totally hung in there in a situation that was difficult for her.  I am not sure what I would do differently in the future, but I will think about it.  43.2 miles in 4:09 rolling time for an average speed of 10.4 mph with 3504 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 78.  Great ride and great two days together David and Jen.  Thanks for the business.

A ride in the Chianti hills - Day 2 with Jen and David by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The vineyards are definitely changing colors now.  
This is in the Vacciano area.

David finishing the climb above Vacciano.

Dave and Jen riding toward Luiano.

On their honeymoon / anniversary trip, the happy
couple in the valley between Mercatale and Montefiridolfi.

On the ridge between Montefiridolfi and Bibbione.  
Anyone know what those raised clay pots are for?

Jen finishing the descent below Bibbione.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nice afternoon ride with new clients, Jen and David.

Today was my first day riding with two clients from North Carolina, Jen and David.  They planned their trip for a year, and booked the time with me 10 months ago.  When I awoke this morning, the weather forecast had played out correctly, and it was pouring rain in a thunderstorm.  David called, and we decided to hold off on our meeting time for a little bit.  Emily took them on a city tour yesterday, and we both met them for dinner the day they arrived.  At that dinner, we suggested switching the city tour and the first day of biking, based on the forecast, but they wanted to stay with the plan.  When David and I spoke first thing, he was saying we should have listened, etc., and I responded that we should wait and see.  I called back in an hour, as we have a really nice view from the apartment and can see the weather coming and going.  Anyway, it looked like it might cooperate, so we rescheduled.

We met at Pasticerria Liberta and had cafe and pastries, then went to the apartment and got the bikes fitted and ready.  The weather was indeed better, and the rain had stopped.  We started out on wet roads, but did not hit any additional rain on the day.  I picked a route that would keep us close, but allow for expansion if the weather was ok.  We did almost all the possible expansions, and they loved the route and the roads.  Jen runs a touring company in North Carolina, Velogirls, which I have followed on facebook.  It looks like a great operation, and they are doing well.  Anyway, we had a great ride, with lots of climbing, a stop for cafe and pastries / panini on the road - even on a Monday in the country - and the sun was even shining on the way in.

Jen is not comfortable in city traffic, as where they live and ride there is virtually no city traffic, so that was one of the only real difficulties of the day.  She just hung in there when we had to ride in the city, and it was fine.  We returned to the apartment and left the bikes here for tomorrows ride, as she definitely did not want to face riding through the Centro at the end of the day.  40.7 miles in 3:42 rolling time for an average speed of 11.1 mph with 4557 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 63.

Nice day to the North with Jen and David by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here are Jen and David at the new monument created for the 
recent Mondiale (World Championships) here.

Here is David on the Vincigliata climb, working it.  

Jen and David at the turn below the Castello Vincigliata.

Jen is powering up the climb to the turn off for Molin de Piano, around Doccia.

Welcome to Monteloro, David.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Excellent last ride with Dave and Colorado - Thanks for Riding with Cosimo!

A number of things were changed today.  Yesterday, there was a general strike in Italy, which meant that no air travel happened until after 5pm.  Dave and Colorado, who I had taken out a couple of times last week were scheduled to leave early in the morning, but did not get away.  Jen and David Billstrom, who were scheduled to arrive did not get in to town.  So, Dave called in the later afternoon to see if he and Colorado could get out for a ride today.  Jen and David were planning on a walking tour with Emily, which I was planning on attending.  Luckily, I decided to take Dave and Colorado out and simply meet David and Jen later in the day, as they are riding with me on Monday and Tuesday.  As it turned out, Jen and David did not get into town until late in the day, and the walking tour with Emily was postponed until Sunday morning.

So, I met Dave and Colorado at the shop Saturday at 11, and we set out for a ride in the Mugello.  We had been a couple of other directions from town and I wanted to give them a completely different tour.  We headed out through Le Cure then up option number 2 to San Domenico, the continued up to the turn toward Maiano, then down to the start of the Vincigliata climb.  I warned them both that it was steep in places, and we started off.  Around 1/2 way up the steep part of the climb, Dave started pushing the pace, so I responded and pushed as well.  By the time I really looked back, I had dropped him and then I waited at the pretty spot just below Vincigliata.  Dave arrived after a couple of minutes and was as blown out as he was all three days.  He said he felt really good when he started pushing the pace, but did not expect the grade to continue as steep as it was for as long as it did.  The advantages of knowing the terrain are important.

Anyway, he recovered pretty fast and Colorado joined us and we continued up past Vincigliata to the road over toward the Fiesole road.  The climbs from after Vincigliata on are all pretty mellow, which was perfect.  We  enjoyed all the new pavement and the super mellow climb to the crossroads at croce alle vetta, then headed over to Bivigliano.  We all really enjoyed the descent to Vaglia, where we stopped for a cafe and pastry.  Really good place with excellent pastries which I had not used before.  We powered at a pretty fast pace down to San Piero then up to Scarperia turning off for the next fun piece of the ride through San Agata and Galliano.  A stop in San Agata for water was good and both Dave and Colorado liked the look of the cafe I usually go to there, but did not want anything additional to eat.  We rode down the main road to the turn off to Bosco Ai Frati, and really enjoyed that super fun piece of the ride.

We rode over to the connection to The Via Faentina climb to Croce alle Vetta, and they were getting a little tired.  I resolved at the start to ride a pace where we could all stay together, as typically Dave and I were dropping her on climbs.  It worked well, and I just had to stifle the urge to push harder at the start of a more difficult section and kept the pace nice and comfortable.  It is a pretty long climb but is pretty gentle most of the way.  We stopped at the top, then descended down through Olmo, Caldine, Pian de Mugnone, back to Le Cure then to the shop.  Overall another great ride.  Dave and Colorado were really great to take out as they were very competent riders and were very enthusiastic about the roads and routes, which makes me feel good.  60.6 miles in 4:37 rolling time for an average speed of 13.1 mph with 4718 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 71.

Another great ride with Dave and Colorado - Giro de Mugello by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Dave, above, and Colorado, below climbing above Vincigliata toward
the road from Fiesole to Olmo.

Here we are in Bivigliano, at the water source at the beginning of town.

Here are Dave and Colorado framed in a little arch at the beginning
of a tiny street in San Agata, across from one of my favorite cafes / bars
and a nice, fresh, cool water source.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Workout climb to Montesenario on another perfect day.

I was planning a day tomorrow doing a walking tour with Emily and clients that I will take riding on Monday and Tuesday.  After returning from the ride, Dave called and they were delayed two days on their departure due to a strike here, and I am taking Dave and Colorado out tomorrow.  Anyway, when deciding on the ride, I wanted a good workout, but nothing too long, as I have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday planned for longer rides.  Now, I can add Saturday to the mix, but it is great to have the business and after Tuesday's tour, nothing else is booked for the remainder of the year.  Got to make hay while the sun shines.

I rode up Via Bolognese through San Bartolo, Montorsoli, to Pratolino.  I turned off in Pratolino to climb toward Bivigliano, then turned off again for the road to Montesenario.  Great climb - around 800 vertical meters in around 16 kilometers.  I enjoyed it and took a little time at the Sanctuario to mellow out and enjoy the quiet and the views.  I descended through Bivigliano then over toward Olmo, then down the main road to Fiesole.  Lots of new pavement make it super fun.  I decided to take the main route down from Fiesole, and again enjoyed the smooth, new pavement descending on the climb of the world championship course.  Back into Piazza della Cure, then home.  26 miles in 1:54 for an average rolling speed of 13.7 mph with 2766 vertical feet climbed at a nice average temperature of 72.

Beautiful Montesenario climb today. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I loved how green the fields were and the hills in the background
on this view from the climb to Montesenario, around 200 vertical
meters from the top.

View to the Southwest from Montesenario.

View to the East from Montesenario.

A view to the North from the Sanctuario at Montesenario.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Super client tour through La Panca.

Today was one of those days you dream about.  The weather was simply perfect.  We have had rain recently and the skies were clean and crystal clear.  It started a little cool, but as the day progressed it warmed up and was just spectacular.  I had a second day out with Dave and Colorado, who called Tuesday to ask I we could do another day.  We met at the shop, and started out toward Bagno a Ripoli, but turned off to go to Ponte a Ema, then climb to Osteria Nuova on via Carota.  This is just a super route on a beautiful tiny road (see the picture below).  At Osteria Nuova we got on the main road and climbed to San Donato in Collina.

Descent time and a great descent it was to Incisa.  We stopped around 3/4 of the way down for pastries and cafe in Le Valle at a great little shop.  A couple of climbs interrupt the remainder of the descent, but we were in Figline turning off for the climb toward Passo de Sugame before you knew it.  On the climb, one of my favorites, Colorado had a flat tire.  We repaired, but for some reason we / I could not get the tire to set evenly in the rim.  I pumped it up and did it over again 4 times, Dave tried, but it just would not sit right.  It was not too bad, and after we continued the slight imperfection on her rear tire was forgotten.

We climbed through Dudda and turned off for the descent then climb to La Panca.  We stopped in La Panca and had lunch.  I had never eaten here before, but we checked out the osteria and it looked fine and the owner / chef set us up a table outside and we enjoyed a plate of pasta each.  The super fun descent toward Strada was next and everyone enjoyed.  We turned off to ride to San Polo, expanding the ride a little, the climbed up to the little pass, then descended to Capanuccia then Grassina.  Back into town via Cinque Vie, then through the centro to the shop.  Really great day with super fun clients.  52.3 miles in 4:03 rolling time for an average speed of 12.9 mph with 3885 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 70.  What an excellent day at the office!

Beautiful day, beautiful ride with clients by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Even if it is crooked, I really like this picture on the super nice
road from Ponte a Ema to Osteria Nuova.
Kind of a pretty day!

Colorado and Dave on the way to San Donato with Firenze in the background.

Dave and Colorado at the cafe / pastry stop in Le Valle on the way to Incisa.

We stopped for some pictures here and I really loved this shot of the countryside.  This is
between San Polo and Capanuccia on the way home.  What a spectacular day.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mellow afternoon cruise with Leif.

My friend and fellow cycling guide Leif had called to set up a ride today at 10.  This morning it was still quite cloudy, so he called to see if we could postpone until 2.  Good call, Leif.  The weather was on and off cloudy this morning but by 2 it was pretty spectacular.  After a few cloudy days, the clearing is pretty fun to experience.  As a Colorado boy, I am used to sunshine and miss it if it is gone for a few days.  Leif has been quite busy doing some food and wine tours, which involve a week with a group on a bus.  Certainly he is enjoying good food and wine, but some of the cycling fitness is sacrificed.  Leif set the course today, and it was a nice warm up ride for him to get back in the saddle.

For here, today's ride was about as flat as you can get.  We rode out the Cascine, hooked up with the back roads to Signa, then the river road to Montelupo.  From Montelupo, up the valley to Cerbia, then the only real climb of the day up to Chiesa Nuova.  We rode out to San Casciano, as he wanted to have a cafe at a certain bar and show it to me.  It is a great place, I met the owner, and I will certainly keep it in mind for client stops in the future.  Leif is great at sharing things like this, which really helps me give my clients the best possible experience.  From San Casciano, we rode down to Falciani, then home through Tavernuzze, Galluzzo, Cinque Vie, to Firenze.  Great afternoon ride.  50.7 miles in 3:12 rolling time for an average speed of 15.8 mph with 1490 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 75.

Montelupo afternoon ride with Leif by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here is Leif just ahead of me on the way to Cerbia from Montelupo.  
We worked together quite well the whole ride.  

And, I thought I would just throw this one in.  Emily made this incredible cake
for my birthday on Monday when we celebrated with the grandchildren.
The cake is very good, but the artistry was mostly for the kids.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Nice ride with Bob Pringle in the hills north of Firenze.

I had a nice ride this morning with Bob Pringle, a fellow alum of CC who found my business through the CC Bulletin, their alumni magazine.  We met at the apartment, got the bike set up for Bob, and set out for a 3 hour ride.  (A 3 hour tour - sounds like Gilligan's Island)  I changed my mind on course at the last minute as Bob had done a tour with Ciclismo Classics in the vineyards around Chianti.  I decided we would ride in the Mugello, and expand or contract the ride for the desired 3 hours as we went.  Bob is a very strong rider, and basically kept up to what was a little slower than my normal pace.  We ended up doing a fair amount of climbing and riding, although it was a little slow due to the rain that started around 1/2 way through the ride.

We rode out through Le Cure then San Domenico, the turned off to descend through Maiano before the climb through Vincigliata.  We hooked up with the road above Fiesole there, and climbed to the crossroads around L'Olmo.  We rode over toward Bivigliano, and the rain started around 1/2 way there.  The prediction was for showers after 4, but we both had shells so we were fine.  Bob is from the Seattle area, so he was totally fine with continuing in the rain.  It was not too cold, so it turned out to be pretty pleasant riding.  Just before Bivigliano, we turned to cut over to Pratolino through Viliani and Caselline.  We cut off toward Monte Morello at Pratolino, but cut back over to Via Bolognese and descended to San Bartolo.  We cut over through Cercina, to the church above the town, then took descent option #3, which is my favorite.

We returned to town with a couple of cut offs to avoid traffic which involves a little additional climbing.  Bob was happy to do the extra climbing and remarked many times that he loved the little roads we were riding on.  Good day and thanks for the business, Bob.  32.5 miles in 3:01 for an average speed of 10.8 mph (we took it slow on the wet descents) with 3510 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 59.  Ciao.

Great client ride in the hills to the North by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Bob riding up the climb through Vincigliata.  The weather 
was cooperating at this point.  

Here is Bob just after putting on the rain shell.  It is a
good thing we stopped, because the rain came and stayed with us.
This is on the road to Bivigliano, one of my favorites.