Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nice Monte Morello ride on a sunny, but windy and cold afternoon.

With it being a little cold for riding and with Italian classes every morning, I am thinking my rides will be limited for 3 hours or so.  I have to pick up Viola today, so I took a nice 1-1/2 hour plus ride to Monte Morello.  I have the clothing down pretty well, but when it is 45 and you are going 50 or 60 kph, it is still chilly.  I am pretty sure I am using additional energy to keep warm while riding, and it seems to me I am tiring easier.  Also, my legs appear to be sluggish when I start.  I am figuring all this has to do with the cold and not my age, although it could easily be both.

I used my standard Monte Morello route today which is totally fun.  I ride up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, getting the hardest part of the ride out of the way before Pratolino.  This also allows me to warm up quickly, at least heat wise.  At Pratolino, I turn to take the little cut off to the Monte Morello road.  Soon after you turn is the really nice water fountain.  I sat today to have some water and a banana, as it was a little too cold for me to grab and peel the banana as I rode.  It is a super nice spot anyway with a wonderful view.  In a kilometer or so you are on the Monte Morello road which is a steady climb to the Piazzale DaVinci.  Most of the climb is quite gentle and you can move pretty good. In fact it is fast enough that I stopped on the way up to put on the shell for more heat and take a couple of pictures.  The descent into Sesto is really fun.  The top is gentle and you can really let it go and push it.  There is a transition that is steep - around 15% at least, and for me I keep the brakes held hard here and keep the speed under control.

After the super steep piece there is a warning sign for 10% grade, and after a short piece of this grade you hit 8 super fun, totally tight switchbacks.  This dumps you out into the open where you have another 2 kilometers of slight downhill that is very fast.  From here it is a power ride through the outskirts of the city and through the city to the apartment.  21.8 miles in 1:38 rolling time for an average speed of 13.3 mph with 2129 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 48.

Via Bolognese, Pratolino, Monte Morello, Sesto, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

This is the road above the water fountain on the way
out of Pratolino toward Monte Morello.

A couple of views from the climb to Monte Morello.

A view toward Abetone showing the recent snows there
from the Piazzale DaVinci on Monte Morello.

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