Friday, November 22, 2013

Great fall ride - winter clothing for this first time this year!

Man, did it rain yesterday.  Last night it really poured.  I had thoughts of riding yesterday, but wisely decided on a walk instead.  The walk was nice, but I am pretty passionate about riding, and would much rather ride than walk.  This morning, the skies were mostly clear and the forecast was for pretty nice weather until around 5 or 6 when the rain is supposed to return.  After breakfast and a few required tasks, I suited up to ride.  The outside temperature at the start was around 47, so for the first time this year, I broke out the winter tights and the winter booties, along with the light wool balaclava.  It all proved to be a good decision, as I was pretty comfortable on the ride.

I am trying to work in rides that I do not do lots, and today, I was planning on the climb to Poggio alle Croce as the ride that I wanted to fit in.  I took off toward Ponte a Ema, and hooked up easily with the climb to San Gersole through Vacciano.   Nice climb, and when I was riding through San Gersole, an older woman in front of her apartment smiled and greeted me with a Buona Giornata!  It was really nice, and I told her to have a nice day.  It seemed obvious that having me ride by on a cold day made her smile.  Her reaction certainly made me smile.  I have been reading a book that an old ski buddy has written about skiing and the life of a mountain town skier.  I have enjoyed it, and part of what he talks about is the community of skiers that back country skiing makes you a part of.  I have been thinking that the same is definitely true of the cycling community here.  One of the differences is the length of history of cycling here, but it is definitely a community and the events with teams, etc. always make me feel special to be here and enjoy being a part of the scene.  Anyway, the woman's delight reminded me of the cycling community here and how it is an old and integral part of the culture.

I rode over through Impruneta and Strada, and decided to climb to La Panca, as I usually descend this piece.  The climb was really nice, and the descent through Dudda to the little road over to Brollo was special.  I very rarely descend this piece of road, but climb it at least once a month.  The little road over to Brollo is just plain special.  It is really beautiful, great views, tiny road, almost no traffic, and a pretty good surface.  The hardest climb of the day is from Brollo to the pass at Poggio alle Croce, but it felt good.  I descended to San Polo, which I don't do much, then climbed to the little pass to descend through Cappanuccia to Grassina.  Home through Cinque Vie and the Viales, and I enjoyed a wonderful 3 plus hours of riding.  44.2 miles in 3:12 rolling time for an average speed of 13.8 mph with 3658 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 52, which includes the effects of the sun.  Dolce!

Vacciano, Impruneta, La Panca, Brollo, San Polo, Cappanuccia, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Almost back.  I love this view on the way to Cappanuccia from San Polo.
The skies cleared and it got warmer as I returned to Firenze.

A couple of views of the vineyards and cypress lined drives
on the road that cuts across to Brollo from the Passo de Sugame road.

A pretty road on the first real climb of the day on the way to Vacciano.

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