Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fun team ride to San Baronto.

Super fun team ride this morning.  I wasn't expecting too many, as it is the middle of July and the seaside beckons, but we had a large group of 10 and with a little pushing, capitano Davide, picked the tour to San Baronto.  Agnese with a brand new bike - sweet, and Moreno back for a full tour with the team for the first time that I know of since his crash in Mid-December.  We cranked out to Montelupo pretty fast, but modulated speed so we could more or less stay together.  In Montelupo, Andrea Volpi realized that his rear derailleur was not working, so he had to turn around.  Jean Lu and I stopped with him, and I pulled us back to the group with some reasonably hard work.  We were back together before the turn off for the little back road to Vinci, and all enjoyed the great route there.

From Vinci, the climb to San Baronto starts immediately.  What a great climb - with only one or two exceptions, around 2 to 3% steady grade for 14 kilometers.  Amanda immediately put the hammer down, and Leif and I looked at each other and slowly caught her, then passed her.  She had put a fair amount of effort into the start, and we did not see her again until the top.  We rode together at a nice pace, then Jean Lu came by hanging with a couple of riders from a different team.  Leif and I continued at our own pace, pretty fast, but not too fast.  Davide came by us slowly, and I thought, let's use him to crank to the top.  We all three stayed together for around 2/3 the remainder of the climb when Davide stepped it up, and I stayed with him, but we dropped Leif pretty good.  We were at the top quickly, and Davide bought cafe for Jean Lu, Leif, Me and himself.  Eventually all were up at the top, and had cafe, etc.

It is a really fun cycling scene at this little town.  I probably saw around 150 to 200 cyclists while waiting / having a cafe / etc. come through.  Maybe the fact that it is such a nice, user friendly climb makes this happen.  Lots of people are not that happy with 10 to 15% climbs.  Anyway, a fun place to cycle to on weekends.  We returned through Quarrata, which gives you a very nice descent before a long, basically flat stretch of around 35 kilometers back to Florence.  I stopped just past the top to get some water, and when I set out I quickly caught another rider who was stuck behind a camper.  We both were stuck for a while, but around 1/2 way down we had a little window to pass and then it was on for a fast descent.  We caught the group a little ways toward Quarrata, and the other rider basically stayed with us around 3/4 the way back.  At a certain point Agnese and Moreno had enough of a fast pace and said to go on ahead, as Leif and I were waiting and helping lead them back.  Laura dropped back to ride with them as they all live in the Scandicci / Lastra area.  The rest of us powered back into town for a fun ride.  Great morning.

Montelupo, Vinci, San Baronto, Quarrata, Firenze con squadra by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The team on the way to Lastra a Signa with an early morning start.

The sunflowers on the way to Montelupo were amazing.

There is this fun and interesting cycling scene in San Baronto.
On a weekend morning, like today, as we had a cafe and waited
for our whole group at the top, I probably saw around 100 cyclists
coming from both directions to and through this little spot.

Great view to the south from San Baronto.

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