Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nice Thanksgiving ride on a crystal clear day!

Super busy day yesterday which unfortunately did not include a ride.  Italian class in the morning followed by 3 plus hours of babysitting, then meeting Emily for a film event, followed by dinner.  The film event was fun and I was basically attending to be with Emily and support her passion.  We watched 8-1/2 by Federico Fellini, which is pretty amazing, but also way, way out there.  This was followed by wine, snacks, then a lecture about the film and a discussion.  It is at a beautiful palazzo, Palazzo Tournaboni, a 4 Seasons Residence club, and sponsored by Stanford University here.  These type of events happen quite often, are free, and one of the great things about being a retired old guy here.

This morning I had class, but afterwards only one errand, which had me ready to ride by 12:30.  Yesterday at the film event, we met a friend of Kate's who lives above Molin de Piano, which gave me the idea for my ride today.  I wanted to find exactly where she said they lived, as I have ridden this road probably 10 times in the last few years.  I did it climbing so I could look around better.  With that in mind, along with the cold weather, I wanted to start with a climb, so I took off up Via Faentina to Olmo, which I do not climb often.  From Olmo, up a little, a turn or two, then the top of the first climb at Alberaccio.  Next is a smokin descent to Molin de Piano.

Molin de Piano is very close to the town we lived in for 4 months a couple of years ago, so we know it pretty well.  I turned off there and got on the climb to Doccia and identified the location of Kate's friend's place.  It looks nice.  Most of her friends are pretty well off, so no surprise there.  People her age making the choice to live here and have their kids in private schools, sort of means they have some financial solidity.  It had been a while since I climbed this, and it is pretty hard.  It really seems harder climbing in the cold, so I am just accepting it at this point.  From Doccia, you continue climbing almost to the windmill, then I took the direct route to Pontesieve, which is a super nice descent, also one I do not ride that often.  From Pontesieve, it is the normal power crank home.

So, great ride on a nice, albeit cold day.  On the way back to Firenze I was passed by someone in a full body skin suit, so I am thinking some variety of professional.  He did not pass me too quickly, although my attempt to stay with him was short lived.  Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there.  It is a little weird being here on a big US holiday, but you can be thankful for what life presents you wherever you are.  I love it here and am sooooo thankful that life has allowed me this opportunity.  Anyway, 32.9 miles in 2:29 rolling time for an average speed of 13.2 mph with 3012 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 50 (sun affected).

Caldine, Olmo, Molin de Piano, Doccia, Molino de Vento, Pontesieve, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Beautiful road, beautiful sky on the Via Faentina climb.

Looking toward Pratolino on the Via Faentina climb.

This nice view awaits after completing the difficult switchbacks
on the climb to Doccia from Molin de Piano.

Looking back to the West with Doccia on the hillside from
just past the windmill.

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