Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday morning with the team - nice ride, but super windy on the return.

I like the 10:00 start.  I had a nice breakfast, and after entertaining last night, I decided to ride with the team today, and honestly, if I had to decide last night I would have skipped it.  We met and had a good sized group for this time of year, with around 10 to start.  We rode quite fast out to Montelupo, at one time I looked at the speed and we were at 50 kph, which is fast on a flat for me.  I eventually let the big dogs drop me, but in Montelupo, 6 of 10 turned to return to Firenze with only 4 of us continuing to San Baronto.  That explains a little the "sprint" to Montelupo.  We started the normal route to Vinci, but turned off on the road to Vitolini, then turning off toward Vinci.  I had done this route once before, and today, I really enjoyed it.  It is much harder than the normal route, but really beautiful and fun.  After we hit Vinci, we did the normal climb to San Baronto.

This is a very popular route, and it is a nice, mellow climb that you can really go fast on.  Davide dropped the rest of us pretty quickly, and two riders from a different group stayed with him, at least at the start.  Eventually, I picked up and passes the two who started with Davide, then I picked up 3 riders who stayed with me until I got a little tired, and they passed me with about 1 kilometer to the end of the climb in San Baronto.  Toward the end of the climb, I saw Leif, who came out the other direction from Firenze to catch us and finish the ride with us.  I had dropped Lorenzo and Luca around the time Davide dropped me, and I had time for a cafe at the bar before the rest of the group arrived.

As we departed from San Baronto, the wind really picked up, or perhaps we just got into a location where we were totally exposed.  It was gusting probably around 30 to 40 mph, so we really were pretty cautious on the descent.  A good gust can simply move you a few feet over, and I don't like that if I am going fast.  So, a pretty cautious descent.  We regrouped and settled in for a headwind for 35 to 40 kilometers back into Firenze.  Lorenzo started leading, I did around 2 kilometers in the lead, then Davide took the lead the remainder of the time.  He is quite strong, and a good, skilled rider.  He kept a good pace and kept it quite steady.  Unfortunately, around 3 or 4 times on the return trip, this meant the either he and I or Davide and Lorenzo and I stopped to wait for Leif and Luca.  But it was fine.  Actually, the return trip in the wind was fun.  I kind of can't believe I am saying that.  It is nice to have someone break the wind almost the entire way back.

For whatever reason, I really enjoyed the outing today.  I read a nice post from Velonews on facebook this morning about staying within yourself and enjoying the ride when it is challenging, which perhaps helped.  58.7 miles in 3:34 rolling time for an average speed of 16.5 mph with 2205 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 53.  Nice day.

Montelupo, Vinci, San Baronto, Quarrata, Firenze - Wind by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Luca on the climb to Vinci, just after the steep section.

The remaining crew for the ride to San Baronto, climbing toward Vinci.

A nice view on a beautiful day on the climb to Vinci.

I had never seen this plaque on the wall of the bar at San Baronto.
I thought is was pretty cool.  San Baronto is a total cycling scene.

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