Friday, March 21, 2014

Climb-fest training ride. Fun, I think!

Still a little under the weather today, but with the forecast showing rain for the foreseeable future, I thought I would feel good enough for perhaps my last real training ride for the granfondo.  The is lots of climbing on the course, so for today's ride, I figured out a route that would maximize climbing for distance ridden, and it includes some pretty difficult, steep climbs.  Just like yesterday, around 10 minutes after I was on the bike and riding, I magically felt better.  I surprised myself with good energy for the whole ride and enjoyed the climbs.  I started with my regular route through Le Cure and San Domenico, then Maiano to the Vincigliata climb.  For some reason, today I decided to check the percent read out for some of the climbs, as I was wondering about the Montefanna climb in particular.

On Vincigliata, the percent stayed pretty steady between 10 and 15% for the first 3/4 of the climb, a little steeper than I thought.  At the top of the Vincigliata climb, I continued climbing over to the Fiesole / Olmo road, then turned off immediately for the Montefanna climb.  The percent quickly went up to 24%, which is steep.  Most of the climb stayed around 15%, but you know it is a steep climb when you feel like there is a little break in the grade and it reads 10 or 11%.  Vincigliata followed my Montefanna, is I think, the hardest close in climb around here.  Good for training.  You descend from the top of Montefanna to the Monteloro road, then continue up to the Olmo road.  I went across the road and climbed over to the start of the Montesenario climb.  I was surprised here, as even the steep parts were only around 15%, and I thought they would be steeper.  I enjoyed some water, a snack, and the great views at the top, then descended through Bivigliano to Vaglia.

What a descent.  Pretty long, good roads, and lots of turns and switchbacks for the entire length of the descent, basically from Montesenario.  Really fun today.  In Vaglia, I stopped for more water, then climbed to Pratolino, then turned off to climb to the Bivigliano road, where I mostly descended to Olmo, then through Caldine and Pian de Mugnone to the dreaded Via Salviati climb.  Because this climb is at the end of the granfondo, and has a grade around 20 to 22%, I have let it get too big in my mind.  It was not too bad today, but I still expect it to hurt at the end of 150 k with 2800 meters of climbing for the granfondo.  I often say your mental state is most important for climbing, and I need to remember that on the Via Salviati climb and not let it get to me.

Overall, a great ride with lots of climbing.  A climb-fest.  I had good energy for the entire ride and really enjoyed myself.  37.2 miles in 3:03 rolling time for an average speed of 12.2 mph with 5115 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 69, which includes the effect of the sun.  Great training ride.  If the weather holds off, I will ride with the team tomorrow, but it certainly looks like it is closing in as I write this, around 6 pm on Friday night.  Ciao.

Climbfest training - Vincigliata, Montefanna, Montesenario, Vaglia, etc. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

An avenue of old cypress trees on the Vincigliata climb.

Another avenue of cypress trees on the Montefanna climb.

A beautiful villa at the top of the difficult part of the climb 
to Montefanna.

I have posted lots of pictures from Montesenario, but whenever
I am up there, the views are too good to pass up.  Here is another.

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