Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Monte Morello (almost) before the upcoming storm.

Monday it pretty much poured rain all day, and we had plans which was fine.  We did a big trip to IKEA and picked up the shelves that are my present for Emily for Christmas.  Next, I just have to install them, which will be the biggest part of the gift.  It could be easy, but we shall see.  Masonry walls with anchors always makes it a little harder.  Also, all of my good tools are still in the US, but I was able to borrow what appears to be a good hammer drill from Nicco.  I hope it goes well.  Yesteday it was nice for a little over 1/2 the day, but I was busy with a job I do for an organization here 2 or 3 times a year.  SAI is the company, and they set up housing, schools, and everything a student would need to Study Abroad Italy (SAI).  I take a day and greet students on their first day here and help them get into their apartments, help with luggage, and answer questions.  Yesterday it was a solid day of work starting around 8:20 until 6:30 with the only breaks waiting for students to arrive at their apartments.  I ride my townie bike around town, and have been designated as the person who meets the students who arrive by train or have been here for a couple of days, and thus can get to the apartment on their own.  It is fun to be around the energy that a Junior in college has, in particular at the start of a big adventure like a semester abroad.  I make a little money, which is nice for a couple of dinners out.

This morning, I met with Donatella, Kate's brother-in-law's Mother in law, to do a couple of hours of conversation in Italian.  Donatella has a similar grasp of English as I have of Italian, and we try to speak only the language we are working on while helping the other person as necessary.  We both correct grammar and idioms which are very different in the two languages.  I was able to get out around 12:30, and around 2/3 the way through the ride it cooled off and clouded up and it is currently threatening rain.  The prediction is for a solid couple of days of rain, so it was good to get out.

I decided on climbing Monte Morello, which almost worked well.  Just below the top, the road was closed.  There was a sign earlier on the climb, but normally there is room for a bicycle to get through and the workers almost always wave me on.  Today, they had heavy equipment in the road and chain saws and big, cut trees in the road everywhere.  I simply turned around.  I went back toward Pratolino and turned off to take a little, pretty rough and steep, road down to the church above Cercina, then take my favorite option for the descent (#4) down toward Careggi, but climbed up to take the road above part of the complex, then took my new standard route around the Meyer complex, then up and over to Piazza Giorgini, then home.  A very fun ride.  Happy to get out before the storm.  20.7 miles in 1:48 rolling time for an average speed of 11.5 mph with 2451 vertical feet climbed at a sun effected average temperature of 50.  Ciao.

Pratolino, Monte Morello (almost, road closed) Cercina, Careggi by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

This is a little bar / cafe at the start of the state forest / park on the
climb to Monte Morello.  The sign says cafe and advice.  I 
will have to stop sometime for both.

The climb to Monte Morello - what a beautiful road.

Just before I was forced to turn around, I stopped and took these
2 pictures of the view to the east.  It does not show well in the
pictures, but there is new snow on the bigger peaks in the background
of both pictures.  

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