Sunday, January 5, 2014

A ride as the sun returns.

I worked on one of my resolutions today, as this morning it was pretty much pouring rain.  I did not go to the team meeting place, as I was supposed to be going to a pool with the grandkids.  Torrio had a fever, so that did not happen.  My resolution was to go to the Uffizzi on gray, rainy days, and slowly take in one room or group of paintings.  Today, I spent about an hour in the first room with 3 masterpieces of late Medieval painting which perhaps make the beginning of the renaissance.  All 3 are Maesta's by Cimabue, Duccio, and Giotto.  I get a little overwhelmed after touring a huge museum like the Uffizzi, and this approach works well.  I learned that the Duccio was painted for Santa Trinita, which was a Vallombrosan church.  I looked it up upon my return home, and around 1030 the monastery at Vallombrosa, where I often ride when looking for a good climb, was set up and founded.  It eventually expanded to around 60 churches and "orders" before shrinking to it's present size after many different foreign powers conquered the area then were driven out.  I had no idea of the story or the importance of the monastery at Vallombrosa was, and enjoyed learning about it.

When I left the museum, the sun was actually trying to come out, and the roads were drying up!  On the way home, I had a cafe at Cafe Liberta, a great place very close, and asked about another of my New Year's resolutions.  I am newly determined to find a good, reasonably priced Cosmopolitan in Firenze.  Cafe Liberta does make them and they cost 6 euro, which is very reasonably priced.  I will return another time with Emily to try them out.  I even communicated the question and understood the answer in Italian.  Yeah!  After cafe, I suited up for a ride, and went out Via Faentina to Pian de Mugnone then climbed to Fiesole.  I really enjoyed this route the last time I did it, and wanted to do it again.  From Fiesole, up the main road to the crossroads just below the pass, then over to Bivigliano.

From Bivigliano, I went down, then up to Casellina, with more traffic on the road than normal.  A portion of the road to Bivigliano has washed away, so the traffic is re-routed there.  From Casellina, down to Pratolino, then over on the cut off toward Monte Morello, but then left and down Via Bolognese to the Cercina cut off.  Down, then up this road and then descending on option #1 to the new normal route around Careggi and home.  Really nice to see the sun again.  27.7 miles in 2:10 rolling time for an average speed of 12.8 mph with 2641 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 55.  Sweet!

Pian de Mugnone, Fiesole, Bivigliano, Pratolino, Cercina, Careggi, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The sun was really out on the mellow climb above Fiesole toward Croce alle Vetta.

On the way over to Bivigliano from Croce alle Vetta.

I stopped to put on my shell, as it was mostly downhill from here, and
saw this view and thought the incredible green and sky made it 
worth a photo.  From the descent to Viliano from Bivigliano.

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