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.

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