Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nice under 2 hour recovery ride before a big day tomorrow.

Some crazy weather today.  I awoke to clear skies, but had decided to do a short ride on my own today and ride with the team, and hopefully preview the long course of the granfondo tomorrow.  For a while, I was regretting my decision, as the forecast called for rain today.  By 10:00 the skies had opened up and my decision looked good.  It cleared around noon, and it looked like the predicted good weather that was supposed to start early tomorrow was here, so I took off for the short ride.  It really looked beautiful almost the whole ride, but as I turned to come back to Florence, the skies were super dark, and 15 minutes or so after my return, the skies again opened up and dumped rain.  I guess good timing for me today.

I was looking at today's ride as a sort of recovery ride, between a long ride yesterday and a longer ride planned tomorrow.  I rode out through Ponte a Ema, then Grassina, then up to Strada, a climb I am doing more these days.  It is a pretty gentle climb and for an off day, it is fine.  After Strada, I skirted the town then descended toward San Polo, followed by one of the best really gentle climbs around here.  Around 150 meters of climbing at 2% or so gets you to San Polo - nice.  I have a spot in San Polo that I am stopping for cafe these days and I enjoyed one today.  It appeared that the older lady who owns / runs the bar is recognizing me, as she greeted me and when I left said, "a prossima", which means until next time.  I have only been there 4 times in the last 2 months or so, so I was surprised.

I got some more water in San Polo, then climbed to the little pass toward Cappanuccia.  This is a beautiful climb and road and I enjoy.  Back in Grassina, I followed the route Lorenzo, a Florence native, took us on a few weeks ago with the team to return home.  Great day.  28.4 miles in 1:47 rolling time for an average speed of 15.9 mph with 1545 vertical feet climbed (my Garmin reads 471 meters climbed, and it records that on Strava, but for some reason the Garmin site is saying around 1300 vertical feet, not sure why, but it started doing this a week or so ago).

Grassina, Strada, San Polo, Cappanuccia, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Looking Northeast on the climb from San Polo.

The beautiful climb from San Polo toward Quarate.

Although the picture is fine, in person, the tree was exploding
with white blossoms, which did not come through in the photo.

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