Saturday, August 30, 2014

Excellent, long Saturday morning and early afternoon ride with the team.

Up relatively early and off for a team ride.  We had a pretty large group of around 12 at the start, and stayed together to Montespertoli.  On the way, at the start of the Grillaio climb, I stopped with Lorenzo, as we were missing about half the squadra.  He called and someone had a flat, and they would be back with us soon.  I took off to catch the others who went ahead on the climb and Lorenzo waited at the bottom.  I was able to catch all but one and let everyone know what was happening, as we waited at the top of this first, little climb.  All back together, we enjoyed the descent to Ginestra, then regrouped again for the ride over to Bacciano and the climb to Montespertoli.  We stopped in Montespertoli and a few of us had cafe, then we resumed the ride.  Only 5 of 12 decided to do the long ride for the day, and the other 7 stayed on the ridge toward Artimino.

The 5 of us took a left and went on a new road for me to Certaldo.  It was a really beautiful road, and I love riding a new road.  From Certaldo, we took the smaller road to Poggibonsi, which was surprisingly nice.  As we got to Poggibonsi, discussions ensued, and we decided to take a "shortcut" to San Appiano.  We started, and the grade quickly went toward 20%.  As we were not sure about where the road went, we started to turn around, but someone asked a woman if the road went to San Appiano.  She said yes, so we did the difficult climb.  At the top of the difficult climb, the road turned to dirt, but asking another person pulling out of their driveway, he said the dirt road was only 100 to 200 meters long, so we continued.  It did return to a semblance of pavement after a couple hundred meters, but then descended at a grade, per the warning sign, of 25%.  We hooked into another road then and finished the difficult climb to San Appiano, which is around 15%.  We were a little tired by now.

After San Appiano, we rode to the Barberino road, but made a mistake by turning left, when we should have gone right for a hundred meters or so before taking a left.  Well, the first left took us back to the road between Certaldo and Poggibonsi, and we rode back to Certaldo to find the road to Fiano. Back on course, we climbed the relatively difficult climb to Fiano, then rode up and along the ridge before descending to Montespertoli.  We descended to Bacciano, and split up again, as Fillipo was pretty beat by now, and Lorenzo and I took him back on the easiest, but longest route.  Back to Ginestra, we got more water then climbed the Grillaio climb again.  Fillipo hung in there, and we were back in Lastra a Signa, then hit the flat, main road back to Firenze.  Fillipo had parked his car in Piazza Liberta, so he and I had a beer at Care Liberta, then it was a couple of blocks home.

The temperatures seemed quite hot by the end of the ride today for the first time in a while.  I think the temperatures as much as anything tired Fillipo out.  For the first time since early June, the heat made an impact on my energy level.  Remember, blog readers, that the blog is to promote by guiding business.  Please contact me for a guided ride or refer friends.  In the last week, I have had around 200 hits on the blog which is great, but it would be nice if the effort generated business.  Thanks.  Here is the garmin link for a great ride:

Signa, Ginestra, Montespertoli, Poggibonsi, Certaldo, Fiano, Signa, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Just after the turn off from the ridge road past Montespertoli, 
these are my companions on the long tour for today, 
which turned out to be 130 plus kilometers.

The guys ahead of me on the way to Certaldo from Montespertoli.
We rode a new road for me, which was beautiful.

A beautiful little town on our "shortcut" to San Appiano.

Leif and Luca ahead of me climbing to San Appiano.

An over the head, behind me shot of Lorenzo and Fillipo around 
San Appiano.

A view across the valley from the climb to Fiano.

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