Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pinone, Limite, Ginestra, Marliano, Scandicci on a nice late spring day.

I am planning on joining the team for a raduno tomorrow, and I had been to the meeting place once before, but wanted to verify the location today.  To do this it took me out toward Signa, so I went with the flow and did a really fun tour that direction.  I am really into the ride through Comeana, and Carmignano to Pinone these days, and I had a tail wind today which helped me to a personal record.  A quick stop for a cafe machiato and water refill, then it was down the super fun descent to Limite.  What a great ride this is.  Just a few kilometers on the main road into Montelupo, then out the valley road to Ginestra.

On the way, I decided on going up from Ginestra and through Marliano to descend to Scandicci.  I used to ride this piece often, and I still really enjoy it when I ride it.  Entering Marliano today, I started "Buffalo Soldiers" by Bob Marley in my head and it was with me the remainder of the ride.  I enjoyed the descent into Scandicci, then it was home on the main roads.  Really fun tour, just the right amount of time and distance for today.  Tomorrow will be longer, and i wanted to watch the Giro today on the last day of climbing, including the famous Zoncolon.  I have no idea how the pros can do such a difficult climb as fast as they do.  It is amazing.  I picked Quintana to win in our pool with the team, and it looks like I will win.  Sweet.  Ciao.

Signa, Pinone, Limite, Ginestra, Marliano, Scandicci, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I really love the switchbacks on the descent to Limite.  I have 
often wanted a picture of one, but I never want to stop.  I 
forced myself to stop and take a couple of photos today.

One of the last switchbacks on the descent to Limite.

Love the name of this little town.  It had me singing
Bob Marley songs the remainder of the ride.

Cruising into Marliano.

A little peak a boo view at the top of the last climb above
Santa Maria a Marciola.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nice two hour ride in the hills to the North.

I have been in the process of doing some required upgrading on my computer, and it all came together today.  I bought the new, bigger RAM cards and had them installed in the computer, bought a back up system, then took a break with many other errands.  I then fought Apple a little due to address variations versus credit cards, simply to access a free download, and finally got to the download for the new Mavericks operating system.  It started and looking at some comments, it appeared it was going to take 3 hours to download.  I had not planned on riding today, just to take some time off, but plans changed.

I decided on a fun 2 hour ride with a fair amount of climbing.  Up through Le Cure to Via Faentina, then all the way up to Croce alle Vetta.  I took the turn toward Bivigliano, then turned off to descend to Pratolino.  In Pratolino, I took the branch to the West and hooked up with the climb to Monte Morello.  I turned off this road to do the tiny road to descend to the church above Cercina.  From there, it was a normal descent #4 to the Careggi area, then my new standard up and around to Piazza Georgina, then back home.  Sweet two hours of riding.

Faentina, Olmo, Pratolino, toward MonteMorello, Cercina, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

On the way toward Bivigliano, a great view of the city below 
and lots of yellow flowers just going off.

There really are lots of yellow flowers in bloom here.

The road from Olmo to Bivigliano.

Via della Rampa in Pratolino, one of my favorite water spots.

On the descent to the Careggi area on this tiny road,
as you come over a hill the road drops and there
is a view of the city below.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Great ride with British clients Andrew and Jackie.

Today I had a client ride with Andrew and Jackie, from England, around Sheffield I think they said.  We met in Chiesanuova, as they did not want to deal with traffic.  An extra bit of riding for me, but it worked out well.  The forecast was for only 20% chance of rain showers, so I thought we would be fine.  The skies looked threatening, so I suggested they bring shells.  Andrew did, but Jackie said he arms were waterproof.  We rode over to San Casciano, then to Mercatale where we stopped to have a cafe and discuss options.  The skies where I was planning on riding were really black, and we discussed other routes.  We pretty much decided to stay with the plan, but after we got back on the bikes, the rain started in earnest, and by the time we were back on the main road, I suggested plan B, which they were fine with.  We put on coats as we left Mercatale, and I suggested that Jackie use my wool arm warmers, which worked well for her.

Plan B was to go to Greve, which we did, and I thought we could climb Passo Sugame, but black skies there, and the rain had pretty much stopped by Greve.  The skies on the ridge between Panzano and Quattro Strade were light, so I decided we could do this.  This is a fairly difficult road, but Andrew was strong, and the electric bike that Jackie was on allowed her to stay with us regardless of the pace or difficulty of the climb.  It worked well.  I set a fairly strong pace to Panzano, then we descended a little to access the ridge road.  What a beautiful road, and it was fun to share with clients for a change.  In Quattro Strade, we turned to the South to ride over on the beautiful little road to the ridge ride through Montefiridolfi.  There was a fair amount of new pavement, basically on what were the roughest parts of the road which was excellent.  Fun ride, and again the steep parts were no problem.  Andrew and I may have tired a little, but Jackie was fine.  

We really enjoyed the ridge ride over to Bibbione, then the descent to the valley and the main road.  The skies had cleared, and it was looking like the Tuscany they had in mind.  We took the valley road toward San Casciano, then did our last real climb to San Casciano.   Again, I set a strong pace and everytime I checked, they were right there.  A little pause in San Casciano to see if anyone wanted gelato, etc, but Andrew has some dietary restrictions that did not allow this.  So, back to Chiesanuova, and the end of the days tour for them.  Really great ride, and I loved the way the electric bike made the different cycling and fitness levels work.  I had another 20 kilometers or so home, but it was fine.  Thanks for "Riding with Cosimo" Andrew and Jackie. Ciao.

Andrew and Jackie just getting started as we were riding
toward San Casciano.

Andrew and Jackie on the way up to Panzano.  It appears
here that the rain is over.

Andrew and Jackie just before the ridge road to Montefiridolfi.

This electric bike really made it work well to ride together,
and allowed us to tackle some steep climbs that would not
have been reasonable to do otherwise.  Great idea!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 2 with Fred - San Donato, Bombone, Monteloro.

I met Fred again at his hotel, and after suggesting he bring a shell, which he then returned to get, we were off.  The forecast was for showers and thunderstorms, and the route I had in mind was into the Mugello, which if it rains, it is most likely it will start there.  The route was also on the long side of Fred's time frame, so I adjusted and we went a different direction.  We started off getting through the city, then out to Ponte a Ema, then climbing up Via Carota.  What a beautiful road.  Even though I returned to town on Sunday on the same road with Fred, he still enjoyed.  We hooked up with the main road and rode up through Osteria Nuova to San Donato in Collina.  No water needed, so we continued and enjoyed the descent to Cellai, where we turned off to climb / descend / climb, etc. to Bombone.

What a fun road with great scenery and for the time being, no rain.  We refilled water in Bombone, and then enjoyed the descent to Rosano, where we tried a trattoria / bar I had seen many times, almost always busy - a good sign, for a cafe.  The cafe was great and we had some large biscotti which were excellent.  Also, a comfortable place to sit inside with no extra charges.  I will return.  Well, it started raining.  We put on our shells, and went over through Pontasieve, then to Sieci.  We turned off in Sieci to climb through Monteloro, and the rain pretty much stopped.  At the turn to the road to Monteloro, Fred lost his concentration, and he and his bike were down on the pavement quickly.  He was back up quickly, we determined there was no real damage, and he was happy to continue.  I liked his decision, as things will loosen up generally, if you keep going.  He really enjoyed the climb up and through Monteloro as well, and we refilled water in Monteloro.

After hooking up with the road to Fiesole, we descended through Fiesole to San Domenico, then took Via Palazzuolo back to Le Cure.  Back to the hotel on the main roads and we were done.  He was a little stiff and sore, but really quite happy with the ride.  It was our last day together and we both had fun.  He is an excellent rider and an easy client to guide.  Thanks for the business, Fred.  

Check out Day 2 with Fred - Via Carota, San Donato, Cellai, Bombone, Rosano, Monteloro, Fiesole, Firenze on! It's a 69.1 km ride I did on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

An over the head behind me shot of Fred climbing Via
Carota with two runners on the way down.

The beautiful road to Monteloro.  Get it, Fred!

Fred climbing toward Monteloro.

Here is Fred above Monteloro - enjoying the ride and the scenery.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick afternoon ride after immigration errands.

A quick 1 hour plus ride this afternoon as I had a number of other things to do or that still need to be done.  I am at a point with my immigration here that I need to prove a certain language proficiency and show some other things to get "points" that show I am trying to integrate into the Italian culture.  I received a letter saying I needed to show them certain things in the next 2 weeks, so I went to the office on the letter today.  A very different experience immigration wise. I had to wait in a pretty small area with some others, but a person eventually came and took me to her office and was very nice and helpful.  She went out of her way to help, showed me how to navigate some things to sign up for the language test, and said she would follow up with my application for the test afterward.  She also said to call or email if I had any questions she could answer.  How nice!  

Also, Emily (mostly) and I were taking care of Vittorio this morning as Kate was doing some things for Nicco's mother.  So, when I returned from my immigration adventure, it was wild time with Torrio, who today had on a cape and was "super, super, duper man".  He is a real piece of work these days, and takes a lot of energy, but wow, he is really fun!  Kate had a difficult time with some of the things she was doing so when she returned, I took her and Torrio out to our neighborhood sandwich place for a cheeseburger.  Emily had lunch plans.  So, after this I still had an hour or two for a ride, as we are attending a lecture about saving Italian art treasures later today by the person who wrote the book that the new movie, "Monuments Men" is based on.  A full day.  Still, a good ride with a fair amount of climbing on a beautiful day, although it is starting to get pretty warm in the afternoon with the sun.  Up through Le Cure to San Domenico, then down through Maiano then up past Vincigliata to hook up with the road to Fiesole.  A little climbing left, then a sweet descent to Fiesole, then I took the descent to Pian de Mugnone, then back home on Via Faentina.  

Check out San Domenico, Vincigliata, Fiesole, Pian de Mugnone, Firenze on! It's a 22.3 km ride I did on Monday, May 26, 2014.

The beautiful road above Vincigliata.  Just about to the turn
off to go toward Fiesole.

I love the view of this villa between Vincigliata and Fiesole. 
I tried holding the camera high above the fence while riding
but unfortunately the fence is still in the picture.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Excellent client ride with Fred from Canada.

Today's tour was set up by Florence by Bike with a private client, Fred Cahill, from Canada.  I met him at his hotel at 8, and with a little talk and adjustment, we were off.  I was told he needed to be back by 11, so I was planning a route for that amount of time.  We rode out by Piazzale Michaelangelo, then Poggio Imperiale, and down to Galluzzo.  We went over to Cinque Vie, then climbed up through Vacciano, San Gersole, Mezzomonte, and Monteoriolo to Impruneta.  We had a quick stop in Impruneta, and after a little talk, it appeared he had done much of today's ride with Chris Breckon last year.  I changed itinerary, so he could have some totally new riding, and we went out through Strada and turned off to descend, then climb to San Polo.

In San Polo, we filled water bottles, and climbed up to the little pass then descended through Quarate to Cappanuccia.  Just after Cappanuccia, we turned right to add a couple of climbs, as he told me he did not really need to be back at 11, and for today 11:30 or later would be fine, just not past 12.  So, we climbed up and over on the little road then down to Antella, then up to Osteria Nuova, then down to Via Carota, and back into Firenze from Ponte a Ema.  Fred is a strong rider, and he told me tomorrow he could be out until 12, so I am planning a nice tour in the Mugello.  Great ride today, Fred!

Check out Vacciano, Strada, San Polo, Antella, Osteria Nuova with Fred - great tour! on! It's a 65.1 km ride I did on Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Fred at Piazzale Michaelangelo.

Just after San Gersole on the way to Mezzomonte.

Climbing up the little road on the way to Capanuccia from San Polo.

I love this scenic spot for pictures just after Quarate.  Che Bello!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Giro de Mugello reverse, with the team.

Up early for a tour with the team today.  We had a group of 6, 3 men and 3 women, a nice, but unusual mix here.  It is mostly men riding, but we have a number of women on our team, which is nice.  All three women have gotten quite a bit stronger in the last month or two, which is also nice.  We had one new person joining us, whose name I forgot (sorry), as well.  He wore out pretty good by the end, so we shall see if he continues to ride with us.  I hope he felt welcomed and we waited when he was left behind, so all should be good.  Laura wanted to do the Giro de Mugello in reverse today, which was fine.

We met a Obihall, and went east a little before I got the word we were heading to Fiesole first.  We ended up on a climb that I had not done in a while, which takes you to the Maiano junction. Up to the main Fiesole road from there, then a nice pace up to Vetta alla Croce.  The last 3 kilometers of so, David and I put the pedal down pretty hard, which was fun as the pace was quite mellow until then.  We all descended toward Borgo San Lorenzo, and took one of my favorite roads over to Dicomano, where we took a break for cafe and the bathroom.  From Dicomano, it is the main road back to Firenze.  Nice weather, not hot at all, in fact at times cool in the valleys.  Great to get out.  I wished a couple of the riders a good tour tomorrow, as they are doing the ride to Cecina at the sea through Volterra, a definite favorite of mine.  I have work, which I am very happy to have, but will miss the tour tomorrow.  Ciao a Tutti!

Check out Giro de Mugello reverse, con squadra. on! It's a 91.4 km ride I did on Saturday, May 24, 2014.

The squadra on the way to Veccio.

An over the head, behind me picture of Francesca
taking a picture of me, taking a picture of her.  Surprise!

The team on the beautiful little road between Veccio and 
Dicomano.  Che Bella!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Good ride with Pinone Samontanna, and Montespertoli on a warm day.

It is interesting how my favorites change over time, but much of the route I took today has become one of them.  I chose the ride as it was relatively long but much of it allows a spin, read not too hilly, which is what I was after today.  The climb to Pinone from Signa is just really nice, and it is only around 450 vertical meters, so it is fine even for a flat ride.  It is also a very popular cycling route and it is always fun to see other cyclists.  The bar at the top is in full summer mode now, and I enjoyed some frattini con riso and a cafe machiato.  Both were excellent.  Good water up there as well.  Great descent to Limite, then only 3 kilometers on the busy road to Montelupo.  I decided in Montelupo to add the route to Samontanna, Villanuova, and Ortimino to Montespertoli.  

It is a nice ride, around 1/2 of it on tiny roads, and much of the busy road ride is very pretty, some of it on a ridge with views both directions.  It was kind of warm today, I would guess a high around 85, and humid, so the air was pretty hazy, I think due to the humidity.  It is fine if you keep moving, as cycling creates an excellent breeze.  The humidity morphed into very light rain showers on the climb to Chiesa Nuova and a little in Scandicci.  It felt good, cooling things off a little, and it never even made the roads wet.  A perfect shower.  Excellent ride on a nice day.  Soon a high of 85 will feel quite temperate.

Check out Signa, Pinone, Limite, Montelupo, Samontanna, Montespertoli, Chiesa Nuova, Firenze on! It's a 95.9 km ride I did on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

The vineyards in the Samontanna area.

The beautiful road to Villanuova.

This hill, covered with vineyards was calling to me 
for a picture, on the way to Ortimino.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2 hour mid afternoon ride to the North.

I had a very nice 2 hour ride today, and enjoyed a fair amount of climbing even after the long ride with lots of climbing yesterday.  I am a little put out as I write, as the Garmin Express link has just decided that my operating system is to old - 5 years - to deal with.  It apparently means a new operating system, and a full back up of my computer, which I am not going to do without some thought.  Enough of that.  I rode up Via Bolognese to Pratolino, up from Pratolino toward Vetta alla Croce, then tuned off to take the pretty little road through Casellina and Viliano to just past Bivigliano.  A little ways of the road to Vaglia, then a turn off on a tiny road up, over, up, and down to Polcanto.  The road is a little rough in places, but really quite fun.  In Polcanto, it is back on the main, Via Faentina, road up to Vetta alla Croce, then down Via Faentina home.  Great ride.  The strava link should work, maybe I should just forget about the Garmin link.  

After a quick shower, Emily and I attended a gymnastics show for Viola's school class.  Around 12 very cute 5 year old girls, doing some simple, fun movements.  Really fun.  A lecture at the Stanford facility after that, then home for the night.  Ciao.

Check out Via Bolognese, Pratolino, Vigliano, Polcanto, Vetta ai Croce, Firenze on! It's a 42.0 km ride I did on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.

Another beautiful little road in the Tuscan countryside.

View to the west from just below Viliano.

A villa on the back way from Bivigliano to Polcanto.

What a beautiful little road between Bivigliano and Polcanto.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Truly excellent long ride with lots of climbing on another perfect spring day.

After a much needed day off the bike yesterday, I decided on a long ride to see where I am at fitness wise.  There are three events the first three weekends of June which I would like to participate in, but all are difficult and two are relatively long.  The short one may be the hardest though, as it has move vertical than the others in half the distance.  Anyway, time to see what I could do.  I am feeling pretty good after the ride, as it felt good while doing it and I added the climb to Molino de Vento and Doccia on at the last minute and it felt fine while riding - no cramps or anything.  Last weekend I rode Consuma with the team and was thinking that I really like the climb from Tosi to Vallombrosa better, so I worked that into today's ride.

I started up Via Carota, then up to San Donato in Collina, then down to the outlet malls, then over to Matissino, and up to Castelfranco di Sopra to start the Strada Sette Ponte, one of my favorites.  It was great as always, and today with perfect weather and riding solo, it was pretty perfect.  I took a break in Regello for a cafe and a pastry, loading up for the climb to Vallombrosa.  I took the regular route to Tosi, then it was the main event, the climb to Vallombrosa.  It is a beautiful road for around 6 kilometers at an average of around 11%.  Pretty tough, but a fun challenge.  The Giro rated it a category 1 climb, and I have seen other ratings of HC for the climb, so it is the real deal.

In Vallombrosa, some water, both consumed and over the head, even though it had become cloudy up high and the temperature was cool.  The road over to Consuma is definitely a jewell, beautiful, with almost no traffic, and only a few spots with a bad surface, mostly the surface is excellent.  I hooked up with the main road in Consuma, and descended to Borselli, where I turned off to descend through Pomino to above Rufina.  I have climbed this road many times, but today was my first descent.  Another jewell, long, curvy, great surface, and again, almost no traffic.  On the main road for only a couple of kilometers, then turning off in Rufina for the climb to Molino de Vento, then Doccia.  A fun descent to Molino del Piano, where I found some water and continued down to Sieci.  I joined the main road and took my standard route back home.  What a sweet ride.  I loved the route and when I have the energy, I will definitely ride it again.

Sette Ponte, Tosi, Vallombrosa, Consuma, Borselli, Pomino, Doccia, Sieci, F by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Looking over toward the Mugello from Via Carota.

Via Carota is such a beautiful way to start the ride.

On the way to Castelfranco di Sopra, just before Falle.

There is this great climb from Tosi to Vallombrosa, and this
picture shows much of what the road is like.  It is around 6 k
long, averages around 12%, with a great surface in the woods.
A challenge, but a pleasure to climb.

Looking through the gate at the old (from the 1200's)
Monastery in Vallombrosa.

The church steeple in Pomino.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

McKenzie meet and greet and ride to Impruneta and Ferrone.

I did my first "meet and greet" for Dominick this year today.  I met a very nice and fit couple from Victoria, BC at Florence by Bike, and helped them get set up on their bikes.  I rode out of town with them via Piazzale Michaelangelo where we stopped to see the view and take some pictures, all with their camera.  I rode with them out to Impruneta, where we had a cafe and discussed the route for the remainder of their day.  We rode together down to the main road and I turned off to return via Luiano and San Casciano after explaining to them the directions to Greve.  They are using an excellent service that Dominick provides for a self guided tour.  He sets up bike rentals, hotels in Florence, Radda, and Siena, and luggage and gear transfers.  After I left them they were off on their adventure for a week of beautiful self guided riding.

Tomorrow will be a day off the bike, as I am pretty tired after many, many days of guiding people riding since late March.  My next tour scheduled at this point is next Sunday, so I will enjoy some time to ride solo and simply rest my body.  There are 3 events coming up in the first 3 weekends for the team, all with a fair amount of climbing, so perhaps I should get ready for that this week.  We shall see. Ciao.

McKenzie meet and greet, guide to Impruneta and Ferrone. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Looking up through their vineyards to the Luiano Estate.

The view to the east on the climb toward Luiano.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Passo della Consuma con squadra, 3 for Monteloro and Montefanna.

This morning I met the team for a great ride.  We left Illiopesca and picked up additional people on the way who did not want to go the opposite direction for the meeting, and ended up with 9 riding all the way to the top of the pass.  It was simply a perfect morning to ride this "big" pass here.  It is around 1050 meters of pretty direct climbing from Florence and around 950 meters from Pontasieve in 15 kilometers.  The weather was cool, but warm enough for the arm warmers to be down at the wrists until around 2/3 the way up.  Andrew and Davide were waiting for me at the top, and Leonardo, whom I would guess is the strongest waited for others around 1/2 the way up and rode with them most of the way.  It was fun to wait at the top and cheer others as the finished this tough climb.  Andrew had to get back to town, so he left with Damiano before the remaining 4 arrived.

We had a nice break at the top, discussing alternatives for our return, but ended up going back down the same road, which is after a great descent.  We regrouped before Pontasieve at the end of the climb and again in Sieci.  3 of us broke off and finished the day by climbing up past Monteloro, then taking the turn off to climb Montefanna, which is much more user friendly from this side, then descending through Fiesole and returning home.  Just a wonderful ride - thanks team!

Consuma con squadra - Monteloro, Montefanna con 3 by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Such a beautiful morning, I had to take a photo on the way up the pass.

The sign for the pass on the other side of the road is not covered
with stickers and you can actually read the 1050 meters elevation.

The team at the top.  Che Bella!

Zanobi took this picture of the team at the top with me in it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fiesole with 8 Canadians on a FBB tour. Great day!

I had an interesting tour set up for today, as it was different for me, and I did not have much information before we started.  The shop had called to see if I could do this tour today, and they only knew that there were 8 people, they wanted to get started by 11:00 and needed to be done by 2:00.  There were confusing communications about race bikes versus hybrid bikes.  I had a couple of options in mind, as I had no idea how fit the group was.  We met at the shop around 10:45, and they were easily persuaded that the hybrid bikes would be best for them, which was the case.  The group needs to work to the slowest person's pace, and there were a few who definitely wanted hybrids, so it made sense.  We also were able to get going quicker, as the hybrid set up is easier.

I led them out of the city under the sotto passegiato to the piazza Le Cure, and we accessed the road to Fiesole.  They stayed with me quite well getting out of the city, which is quite difficult with 8 people in traffic.  On the Fiesole road, the group quickly showed how fast it would ride when we encountered the beginning of the hill.  There were a couple of people that struggled with the climb to Fiesole, and 2 people walked the last part.  I did some pushing assists while riding, and everyone was fine and happy with the climb, even with the difficulties.  We regrouped in the piazza, and I suggested that some people could stay and enjoy a cafe and pastry while some could ride up toward Vetta alla Croce with me.  3 stayed, 5 started with me, and 1 turned around, so we ended up with 4 going almost to Vetta alla Croce.  They all really enjoyed the extra riding and a faster pace.  We returned on the same road and picked up the remaining 4 who were happily enjoying the scene in the piazza.

We returned via Pian de Mugnone, doing most of the World Championship loop today.  No Via Salviati!  We made it back into the city fine and were back at the shop 5 minutes early.  It turned out to be a fun day and all 8 clients were super happy, which is all that really matters.  So, another different type of tour under my belt.  Tomorrow out with the team for fun and a harder work out.  Ciao.

Fiesole with some extras on a FBB tour for 8 Canadians by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here is the group at the Mondiale sculpture on the way to Fiesole.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lovely day riding in the Chianti hills with Laura.

Laura and I got started a little later than planned this morning, as there was something going on and she could not get a cab.  Both the person at the desk where she was staying and I both said, it usually takes 5 minutes at the most.  Apparently some kind of conference was using all the cabs when she was calling for one.   We worked it out and I rode into town and met her in Piazza Signoria, then we walked to the apartment and set up the bike.  A little review of the gears and the particulars of the bike and it's shifting, and we were off.  We started off riding the Viales, then up to Piazzale Michaelangelo for a view and photos.

We continued over to Poggio Imperiale, then down to Galluzzo.  Over through Cinque Vie, and we were on our first real climb of the day up through Vacciano to San Gersole.  We did a few stops on the way, as the climbs were a little more than Laura was used to, but she was up to speed on the climbs by the end of the day.  A very interesting and accomplished woman, she was fun to ride and chat with.  From San Gersole we hooked up with the main road and continued climbing to Monteoriolo.  A nice cruise into Impruneta and we had a good stop for cafe and pastries.

We descended toward Falciani, then jogged over for the Luiano climb.  A really perfect day for riding, this climb was at it's best and Laura enjoyed it.  We decided to continue to Montefiridolfi, and I admit to being a little pushy on this, as I love the town and the ride.  The climb was a little much, but with a push or two, she was fine.  We hung out in the beautiful little town square and chatted for a little while, then continued riding along the ridge to Bibbione.  A great switchback filled descent into the valley and it was time for the last decision.  We decided to head back to town through San Casciano where we stopped and discussed a gelato.  Laura is lactose intolerant and so with this information, we skipped the gelato.  A nice cruise along the ridge to Chiesa Nuova, a little more water, then back into town through Scandicci.

In Florence the traffic was pretty heavy, but Laura stayed right with me, making my job easier.  Home, changed, and she was on her way back to her hotel.  Great day Laura, and thanks for "Riding with Cosimo"  Ciao.

Chianti hills with Laura from Indiana. Great ride, Laura! by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Laura at the Piazzale Michaelangelo.  It really has one of the
best views of Florence and is a perfect spot for a photo.

Finishing the climb above Vacciano.  Great job!

Laura at the San Gersole water supply with a wonderful
Chianti view in the background.

Laura at one of my favorite picture locations, the valley
just below the climb to Montefiridolfi.

Here is Laura finishing the climb to Montefiridolfi.