Sunday, February 9, 2014

Nice team tour with Lorenzo - to the Mugello, then Prato.

Up for a team ride again today.  I made the decision after checking the weather around 6:30, and it was wet, but not raining, which was my criteria for going.  While doing my Yoga routine, around 7:30, it started raining again, but had stopped by 8:15 when I was having breakfast.  The meeting spot was 5 minutes from the apartment, so with no rain, and the appearance of the worst weather being over for the day, I went to Piazza Liberta to meet whomever showed up.  I was prepared for today to be a team of one, but Lorenzo showed up a couple minutes before 9.  We waited a little, but took off as we both were thinking no one would show.

We started with the planned ride toward the Mugello, but with a possible change in mind in Olmo.  We rode up the main road to Fiesole, a good climb then enjoyed the gradual climb to Olmo.  It was looking very dark toward the Mugello, so we took my suggestion and headed off toward Bivigliano, then down to Pratolino, the up toward Monte Morello.  On the way, a sign warned of the road being closed, so I suggested the steep, kind of rough cut off road that drops you down to the church above Cercina.  Lorenzo, who has grown up here, had never been on this road or the option #3 from the church down toward Careggi.  I thought that it was nice to introduce a native to a couple of new roads.  We turned off from the descent when about 2/3 the way down and took off on a road new for both of us, but going in the direction of Prato.

The weather was getting better, and we had decided to ride out to Prato.  The new road was fun, and it comes back to Sesto right where I usually bottom out my descent from Monte Morello.  I will have to use it as an alternate to the main road in the future, keeping in mind that it will add around 150 meters of climbing.  From there, I simply followed Lorenzo to Prato.  He works in the area, and we stopped on the way at a bar he knows for a nice cafe normale.  We made it to Prato, and Lorenzo asked if I wanted to go to the center, and I thought why not?  We wandered around Prato, following signs and ended up in the beautiful piazza of the Duomo.  Mostly deserted, but a very nice piazza, and a beautiful Duomo.  We returned on secondary but busy roads to Firenze, finishing a very nice tour.  Thanks, Lorenzo.  43.6 miles in 3:14 rolling time for an average speed of 13.5 mph with 2431 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 55.

Fiesole, Olmo, Pratolino, Calenzano, Prato, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Even on a dark and cloudy morning these roads are beautiful.

Lorenzo on the road above Fiesole on the climb to Olmo.

A castle in Prato on our search for the Duomo.

Side view of the Duomo in Prato.

Posing in front of the Duomo in Prato.
Beautiful piazza.

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