Friday, January 10, 2014

Great La Panca ride on a very grey day.

Emily was off to Pisa today with a friend to see an Andy Warhol exhibition, so I am on duty to pick up Viola from school today, which means being back at a reasonable time.  I have rides with the team both Saturday and Sunday, so a 3 hour ride today was plenty.  I decided on the ride ahead of time, and for a change I did not make any changes while riding, although I was definitely tempted.  I rode the main road all the way from Bagno a Ripoli to San Donato in Collina, something I haven't done in a while.  I have been using the Via Carota route since I found it, but rode it yesterday and wanted something different.  Good climb.  A great descent interrupted by a number of small climbs gets you to Incisa.

From Incisa to Figline, it is a busy, industrial road, but I clocked it today and it is only around 5 kilometers, so that is not bad.  I turn off in Figline for the climb toward Passo de Sugame, and this is one of my favorite climbs.  It is beautiful, not too much traffic, and quite mellow for most of the climb.  I stopped in Dudda for a cafe at one of my favorite bars in the countryside.  Just above Dudda, around 2/3 of a kilometer below the pass, I turn off to take a very short descent, then finish the climb to La Panca.  The descent from La Panca is just one of the best anywhere that I have ridden.  Not too steep, super curvy, and around 10 kilometers long.  At the bottom of the descent, I hook into the main road but turn off to go through the centro in Strada.  Back on the main road, it is a power crank down the ridge, then a real descent to Grassina.

In Grassina, there are a few jogs to take, then you are basically in Cinque Vie, with a very nice back road to the Viales available.  I often ride this route back into the city.  Back on the Viales, it is just head down, watch for traffic and crank it on home.  A very grey day, but quite warm, and just fine for a really great ride.  44.4 miles in 3:03 rolling time for an average speed of 14.6 mph with 3304 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 55 (no sun to affect the temperature).

San Donato, Incisa, Dudda, La Panca, Strada, Grassina, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I like the way the vineyard rows interact with the cypress trees
lining the road above.  I have taken many pictures of this, but I 
think this is my first winter view of it.  It is close to Sting's place here.

What a beautiful, mellow climb toward Passo de Sugame.

I love this bar in Dudda.  Great cafe machiato, and just a nice
place to stop.  Last winter I stopped here for the first time when
I was very cold and had been slightly lost for a short while.  
This memory probably has something to do with my affection for this bar.

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