Monday, March 3, 2014

Pinone and San Baronto.

Forecast said only 10% chance of rain until later today, so I planned a fairly long ride, even if I did a long ride yesterday.  My Italian conversation time on Monday mornings is suspended for a while due to my language partner's family emergency.  This surprised me today, so I had extra time.  I had not climbed to Pinone for a couple of months, as I saw a picture of the road falling apart posted.  I took off on the ride thinking that if the road was closed, I would simply find a plan B.  There was no evidence of road damage, so who knows where the photo was from or if it was simply repaired quickly.  I combined a couple of favorite climbs in a fun ride of around 100 kilometers.  The most difficult part for me was pushing myself to ride the 40 kilometers or so of flat on pretty busy roads hard solo.  It gives me thoughts of what a real time trial must be like.  This flat was part of the time trial at the world championships, and I know their average speeds on this part were around 45 to 50 kph, and I had a personal best on this part with a speed of 32 kph.  Wow, they are strong and fast.

I rode out through the Cascine to Signa in pretty darn beautiful weather.  It was sunny and actually pretty warm.  I took the road through Comeana to Carmignano, where I expected to see a sign if there was a road problem.  No sign, so I continued to climb to Pinone.  From Pinone, there is a truly wonderful descent through Vitolini to the turn off for Vinci, which was great today.  I had to take it easy though, as it started to rain lightly after I crested the top at Pinone.  The rain had stopped by the turn off, so I took off the shell, and started the climb to San Baronto.  Around 2/3 the way up, the light rain resumed, but it was so light, I did not get the shell back out.  The bar was closed in San Baronto, so I stopped to water on the other side of the pass, then enjoyed a mostly dry descent to the main road back to Firenze.  It really is around 40k from the start of the main road, mostly flat, and I pushed pretty hard most of the way.  Really fun ride, although I admit to being pretty tired right now.  61.6 miles in 3:53 rolling time for an average speed of 15.9 mph with 3176 vertical feet climbed at a sun effected temperature of 56.

Signa, Pinone, Vinci, San Baronto, Quarrata, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Starting the climb to Comeana, you leave this incredibly green
valley of the Umbrone river.

There really are spring flowers coming out all over the countryside.
These are on the way to Pinone, climbing from Carmignano.

Looking South on the climb to San Baronto from Vinci.

A view to the West from the climb to San Baronto.

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