Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sette Ponte with some rain.

Plans changed today, and we postponed going to IKEA until Monday, which left me with time for a fairly long ride.  I hadn't ridden the sette ponte road, one of my favorite roads in a while.  It is kind of unusual to be able to ride it in late January, but we are enjoying a very mild winter.  I rode up to San Donato in Collina by way of Ponte a Ema, and Via Carota and nice route.  I enjoyed the descent through Troghi and Palazzuolo (that has a short but steep climb at the approach) to the turn off below Le Valli.  I cut over by the outlet fashion malls, over the river and climbed to the turn off to Matissino on the main road on the east side of the river.

I continued to Castelfranco, picking up a rider on a mountain bike on the way.  He was very talkative, and I surprised myself with my ability to have a conversation in Italian.  Maybe I am making progress.  He lives in San Giovanni Val D'Arno, and turned off for there around 4 kilometers before Castelfranco.  At that point, it was sprinkling, but then really started raining.  I stopped and changed clothes, and it felt fine in the rain to Castelfranco when the rain stopped.  I got some water and took off the rain gear, then headed over to Regello on the sette ponte road.  It is always a pleasure to ride this 10 kilometer piece of road.  I stopped in Regello to have a cafe and a piece of pizza as there is a place there I really like.  It had started to rain just as I arrived in Regello, and the Donna at the cafe told me it was supposed to rain the remainder of the day and tomorrow.

I took off from Regello and changed my plan a little still climbing to Donnini, but not taking the climb to Tosi, as it was raining pretty hard.  It was lightening up though, and just below Donnini, it totally dried up and the roads were dry, which is great as it allows more speed.  I enjoyed the descent to Donnini then got on the main road and powered back to Florence, once again changing out of rain gear around San Ellero, then Pontesieve.  Great day even with an hour or so of heavy rain.  With about one dry hour on the way back, most everything was dry when I got home.  59.3 miles in 4:06 rolling time for an average speed of 14.5 mph with 3990 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 56, although the temperature during the rain was around 48, just at the edge of challenging.  Ciao.

San Donato, Matissino, Castelfranco, Regello, Donnini, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here is the climb to Castelfranco.

The gate to Castelfranco on the approach from below.  I left 
some rain about 1/2 kilometer before the citta.

Looking back down the main street into the old part of town 
with the gate at the end in Castelfranco.

The strada sette ponte curves in and out of numerous drainages 
between Castelfranco and Regello.

My favorite bar in Regello.  I had a great piece of pizza, an 
excellent cafe machiato, and some nice conversation with
a very patient senora in Italian.  

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