I started riding directly up Via Faentina to Vetta alle Croce, then down to the valley of the Sieve river by Borgo San Lorenzo. I headed up to Scarperia, then started the new portion of the ride. It is quite a good and scenic climb from Scarperia to Passo del Giogo, but was not steeper than 8% or so, so it was fine to ride. At the top, I already had around 1200 meters of climbing in, and realized that the course had lots of climbing. I really enjoyed the descent to Firenzuola. What a fun, twisting road with a pretty good surface, and with the exception of one part where there was a 50 meter vertical climb, it was a sweet cruise. All the way to Firenzuola, I fought a pretty strong headwind, but realized that it would help me on the way home when I really needed it.
Firenzuola is a beautiful little town, and I forgot to get a picture, as I was pretty focused on eating, drinking and keeping myself moving. A nice slightly uphill cruise through a valley for 5 kilometers or so awaits, then the road gets quite steep for around 3 to 4 kilometers. Various signs warn you 14%, 12%, 15%, 10%, 13%, 15%, and it felt accurate. After this part of the climb, you connect with another road, and most of the climbing to Passo della Futa is done. Around 100 vertical meters is left in around 3 kilometers. I stopped at the bar / restaurant at the top and had a much needed cafe. Back on the bike and a fast descent down to the Sieve valley again, before starting the climb to Vaglia. I was concerned about cramping on the Vaglia climb and drank lots of water and fed myself a few times, which was needed. No cramps, and then the descent into the barn from Pratolino.
Fun day, hard, with a fair amount of new roads for me, lots of climbing, and good weather. What more could you ask for. This puppy is pretty beat now, but I wanted to finish this before the eventual crash. 67.9 miles in 4:55 rolling time for an average speed of 13.8 mph with 7,277 vertical feet of climbing (I said there was lots of climbing) at an average temperature of 59. Great fall day.
Vetta alle Croce, Scarperia, Passo del Giogo, Firenzuola, Passo Futa,Vaglia by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details
This view is to the East from the top of the Passo del Giogo.
The view to the North and the start of the road toward
Firenzuola from the top of the Passo del Giogo.
The first of two big passes today and the sun came out as I arrived
on top, although it was a little chilly up there.
After a difficult climb, the last big pass of the day.