Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two rides in one post, but sorry, no pictures.

I will catch up for two days of rides, one short and one long, but alas, I forgot the camera this morning on the long ride and did not take it on the short ride so no pictures.  Yesterday, I had lunch with Emily and a friend which is not something I do often.  It was really good and fun for a change.  Before lunch, Emily and I checked out a couple of markets and had a nice cafe at a favorite place in the Centro.  After lunch, Emily and her friend went to another "craft" market while I returned home and as it cleared a little and had not rained since early morning, the roads were mostly dried out.  Well, if you read this often, you know me, I love to get out.  It was 3 before I left, and I did a nice ride on one of my basic short rides, the ride through Cercina.  I really enjoyed it today.  It is really nice not having the noise in my free wheel hub anymore.  Not only was the noise quite annoying, I think it made me slightly anxious while riding, and anxiety is a waste of energy.  I tried a different way to ride around the Carreggi area, which involved more climbing than I thought, but was really quite nice.  I had walked in the area when it was raining last week and it worked well on the bike.

This morning, I was up early to meet the team and ride a preview of the medium length course for this spring's granfondo Firenze.  We started with 10, which is a good turnout as it was only around 47 degrees when we started, although it was sunny.  We rode up through Fiesole to the junction just below the Croce alle Vetta.  3 people returned from here, one to work and two that did not want to keep going.  The remaining 7 continued down through Polcanto then up to Scarperia.  I was talking with a new person on the team during this time who speaks English quite well.  He is a pastry chef at a very fancy restaurant here, and had lived in many places in Europe to get experience and refine his craft.  He suggested I check out San Sebastian in Spain as a wonderful place to visit.  He is scheduled to visit a friend in the States next summer, in Telluride, where I lived from 78 to 83.  I told him some things about the town, and it was interesting.

As we rolled into Scarperia, it started sprinkling which soon turned to real rain.  So, out of the sunshine into the rain all at around 48 degrees.  I seemed to be the only person who knew where the course went, so I led us over through San Agata to Galliano.  The rain pretty much stopped in Galliano, and we turned back toward Firenze.  After around 5 kilometers, we had a choice of continuing with the course or going directly back.  3 decided to go directly back and 4 of us continued with the course, which involved going around a large lake for 15 kilometers or so.  After the tour around the lake, we rejoined the main road and climbed up through Vaglia to Pratolino.  We had to regroup here, as one person was getting tired and was dropped when we climbed.  At Pratolino, one person decided to return directly to town, as the course involved more climbing.

3 of us continued climbing up then down and over to the Olmo junction.  Here another person took off, basically due to the fact that returning to Fiesole would take him more directly home.  2 of us descended down Via Faentina through Caldine and Pian de Mugnone and turned off for the Via Salviati climb to complete the course.  This climb is as hard as ever, with around 50 vertical meters at 20%, which is a little cruel after around 1400 meters of climbing on the day.  It will certainly be more so after the long course which includes an additional 1200 meters of climbing.  After the Salviati climb we descended down Via Bolognese and I dropped off at the apartment.  Great day and we were back in the sunshine.  60.9 miles in 4:06 rolling time for an average speed of 14.8 mph with 4557 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 49.

Quick afternoon to Cercina with alternate return around Carreggi. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Medio corso de granfondo preview con squadra by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

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