Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beautiful ride on a beautiful day. Colorado blue sky!

I had my last real Italian class this morning.  Tomorrow is the final test, then on Thursday we review the test then go for a cafe.  It has been a good class for me.  Everyone else in the class speaks Italian better than I, so it has been good to try to keep up.  I do think my comprehension of the language is coming, although slowly.  I am going to try something different starting in January.  I will try to find a partner who wants to learn English better, and we will hopefully do a couple of days a week.  One where we just speak Italian and on only English.  I find I can understand the grammar rules and can pass the tests as they are open book and you have plenty of time, but I really just need to have to speak the language to get better from here.  We shall see how it goes.

I had a reasonable amount of time this afternoon, but did not want to start too soon, as it was in the middle to high 30's until noon.  I got out a little after 12:30, and decided to do the Montesenario climb.  I climbed Via Bolognese yesterday, so I climbed Via Faentina today.  I had never connected Via Faentina with the Montesenario climb so it was fun and a little different.  The views at the top were wonderful as always.  A really clear day made them even better, as I hope the pictures show.  I descended into Bivigliano and continued through town to the west to the turn off for the road over to Polcanto.  This is a fun road with little to no traffic, although the surface is a little rough in places.  After Polcanto, the final 1/3 of the Croce alle Vetta climb awaits.  This was fine, although the temperatures really dropped between Bivigliano and Polcanto.  They came back up, I finished the climb, then enjoyed the descent to Fiesole then Firenze in quite mild temperatures.  Super fun ride.  32.6 miles in 2:31 rolling time for an average speed of 12.9 mph with 3586 vertical feet climbed at a sun effected temperature of 56.  Please note the Garmin went a little crazy at the start - I definitely was not climbing at 100 mph.  Ciao.

Via Faentina, Montesenario, Bivigliano, Polcanto, Fiesole, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The view to the east caught my eye climbing to Montesenario.

Look hard, on the top of the hill is the sanctuario de Montesenario.
This is climbing around 2/3 the way up.  

At Montesenario, this view is to the Southwest.  I like
the composition with the cross.  It is a functioning
Monastery after all. 

The view to the West from Montesenario.  I had to enlarge this one as the view is truly awesome.

The view to the North from Montesenario.  Somewhere on that
ridge in the distance in Passo del Giogo which I rode on Sunday with the team.

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