Sunday, June 29, 2014

Calenzano, Passo della Futa con squadra. Sweet!

Up very early after another party last night for a ride with the team.  I simply have to do my yoga / stretching routine before a hard ride, so it was 5 am for me today.  It is nice that Emily and I have enough invitations lately to become tired with parties / dinners / etc. but it is catching up with me.  We met at the Cascine and had 8 of us, a pretty good number for the end of June.  This time of year, Florentines start to vacation elsewhere to escape the heat.  I was only expecting around 4 to 6, so 8 was nice.  We had a fairly hard ride planned today, and rode out to Calenzano from the Cascine together.  As we started up the road to our first pass, Croci alle Calenzano, we saw a group of around 20 to 30 in front of us.  Davide, who was leading us, put more effort into the pace, and most of us were with the big group until everything broke apart when the climb got hard.

Things change with time, and instead of struggling to stay with a group, I now enjoy it, and when the climb got steep, I was actually in the lead group of 4, which ended up being 3, although the other 2 dropped me about a kilometer from the top.  Anyway, I pushed this climb pretty hard and enjoyed the effort.  We waited at the top for everyone, and after 15 minutes or so, everyone but Margerita was at the top, and Amanda told us that she decided to turn around.  I hope the fast pace with the group did not convince her to turn around.  She is usually quite strong riding, so I am thinking it must be something else.

We descended toward Barberino, then started the climb to Futa.  The first part after Barberino, which after around 6 kilometers connects with the main road is just a special climb.  Beautiful road, great surface, curving all the time, at a pretty consistent 5% or so.  I love this road.  We hooked up with the main road to the Passo, and I stayed with Amanda the rest of the climb to the pass.  She had told me at the top of the first pass that she was concerned she might be too slow, and thought she might turn around.  I encouraged her to keep going, and thought after a hard effort on the first part of the climb, that I could ease the pace and stay with her.  It was nice and I had a chance to get to know her a little more.

At the top of the pass, we did some pictures, had a short discussion of the route home, and took of back down the road we climbed.  We turned off after a couple of kilometers and rode down through Panna (with a little climb), Galliano, toward Vaglia.  Somehow we mixed signals with a couple of guys on the route, and had to wait, call, etc. at the rotunda that puts you on the Vaglia road.  We all got back together, but only stayed together a little while as a few folks were getting quite tired.  I stayed with Davide and Andrea and we pushed a nice pace to the start of the steep part of the climb.  Surprisingly I dropped Davide, and then around 250 meters before the top also dropped Andrea.  I felt good at the top, and the three of us waited around 1/2 hour for the others.  This climb is one that seems to just hurt people when they are tired.  I have seen it happen many times now, and today it continued.  We descended Via Bolognese back to town, and I soon was saying Ciao Ragazzi at my front door.  I love the ride today and the team is a fun group to ride with.  Ciao a tutti.

Calenzano, Barberino, Futa, Panna, Vaglia, Firenze con squadra by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Leaving Firenze on the way to Calenzano on the start of out ride
early this morning.  Excellent ride tutti!

Really sorry about the picture quality, I must have smudged
the lens.  Anyway, this is the squadra at Passo della Futa
with a cool monument to Gaston Nencini.

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