Monday, January 13, 2014

Great Montesenario climb.

I started a new weekly effort today in my continuing quest to speak Italian in at least a mediocre manner.  I am meeting on Monday mornings with Donatella, Kate's brother-in-laws mother-in-law.  I have no idea what relation that makes Kate and Donatella, but she is determined to learn English and I to learn Italian, so we are meeting once a week to speak and help each other.  We met at their house and we wandered around putting words to different objects, which was fine.  Afterward, we sat and conversed, her in English and I in Italian.  It was interesting as we both tend to close our eyes and concentrate when we are forming the sentence we are looking for.  I think this will be quite helpful to me, and will soon start looking for another person to meet once a week and call that my Italian lessons. I am picking up Viola at school at 4, so I only had a two to three hour window for riding.

The weather was predicted to be like yesterday, but they missed it.  It is quite a bit cooler, but still totally reasonable to ride.  I really felt like climbing, which was a surprise as I have been on the bike for 9 days straight and should take a day off.  However, tomorrow is predicted to be 100% rain, so I rode today and will take tomorrow off.  Long term it looks like a number of days off perhaps starting Friday, but long term weather forecasts don't seem to be worth much here.  Anyway, climb I did and chose the Montesenario climb as I think it is the most direct climbing in the shortest distance.  Around 850 meters of climbing in less than 20 kilometers from the apartment.

I went directily up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, then continued up to the junction where I took a left and did the easy climb to Bivigliano, then took the road up to Montesenario.  My normal method is to take the direct road from the junction up, but I really likes today's method.  The descent on the direct road is smoother than the normal one, which is where I climbed today.  Back at the junction I went over toward Olmo, then took the road down to Fiesole, then back to Le Cure and home.  I passed 2 cars on the descent from Fiesole, so I guess I was going pretty good.  Anyway, fun ride and I am enjoying feeling strong the last few days.  26.1 miles in 1:55 rolling time for an average speed of 13.5 mph with 2867 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 49.

Pratolino, Bivigliano, Montesenario, Alberaccio, Fiesole, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

As I was riding over to Bivigliano from the junction above 
Pratolino, I noticed Montesenario just coming out of the clouds.
It was quite grey when I got up there, but the fog was not present.

I thought this very quiet, smooth stretch of road between
Bivigliano and Montesenario deserved a photo.

The view to the southwest from Montesenario.

A view to the southeast from the front of the santuario at Montesenario.
A little of the working monastery is visible and Florence is in the distance.

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