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.