Sunday, July 6, 2014

Croce Ai Mori and Consuma con squadra.

I was pretty much sick as a dog on Friday night, and all day yesterday, I was still a little sick with nothing staying in my body until the afternoon.  So, I approached the tour with the team today with some caution.  I really wanted to do the ride, as I love the route, and had not done it in the direction we took today.  I warned the guys when we started, and they had to wait a little at the top of both passes, but not that much.  They were all quite nice, and showed concern that I was not in my usual "form" today.  I may have not communicated real well what my Friday night and Saturday was like, but all was fine.  I have spent a fair amount of time waiting for others at the top of difficult climbs, and today the roles were reversed.

Jean Lu had a bran new bike, which is beautiful, and which he caressed whenever we stopped.  Luca Lacalamita was with us today, as he texted me yesterday to ride today and I sent him the team plan.  With Lorenzo out of town for a couple of weeks, the plans were not mass emailed, but only posted on Facebook, which for some reason Luca does not want to join.  Oh well.  He had new wheels, which he was not that happy with, but they are loaners while the manufacturer of his other wheels replaces the ones that came apart.

We started with 4 of us and in Pontasieve we picked up Andrea Volpi to make 5 for the tour.  Actually a bigger group that I thought we would have, as the tour today is relatively difficult which keeps some folks away.  Also, it is July, and many Florentines are at the beach these days.  This will only increase as we move into August.  From Pontasieve, we rode out on the main road to the turn for Londa, Croce Ai Mori, and Stia.  I have descended this route 4 times in the last couple of years, but had never climbed it before.  It is a great climb, and I will need to do it again when I have my normal energy.  You climb around 900 vertical meters over 18 kilometers.  There are a few level spots, but the climb is quite user friendly, although long.  We regrouped on top, I was last, but had Andrea in sight, so they did not have to wait long for me.

We all enjoyed the super descent to Stia, where we cross the Arno close to the headwaters.  We went into town, found a good bar, and had cafe and pastries.  We had picked up a few other riders on the climb, and all joined in at the bar.  A few told us the route to Consuma was closed due to a landslide, so we decided to go through Prato Vecchio, which increases the distance and climbing a little.  Andrea decided to return the way we came out, so we climbed Consuma with 4.  Good climb, and Davide basically took it quite easy and stayed more or less with me the whole way.  Very nice and considerate, grazie.  Photo opportunity on top of Consuma, then the big descent of the day back to Pontasieve.  We crossed over the river to have a different route home, and basically cranked it back into the city.  Really a fun morning, and although my energy was a little low, almost all the effects of the stomach bug are gone.

Pontasieve, Rufina, Croce ai Mori, Stia, Prato Vecchio, Consuma, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A couple of the guys, with the sign for Croce Ai Mori.
The first big climb of the day is done!

A peak inside the bar where we had cafe.  They
had the Maratona Dolomiti on the big screen,
which was cool.  We have 4 teammates
riding in the Martona today.  

The scene in Stia outside the bar where
we had cafe and pastries.

The team in front of me as we make our way up
Passo della Consuma.

One of the many beautiful views on the climb to 
Passo della Consuma from Prato Vecchio.

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