Sunday, August 3, 2014

Montelupo, Castra, Pinone, Vinci, San Baronto con squadra. Bello giro, ragazzi!

With our trip to the hills north of Lucca starting next Saturday, I decided to join the team for another ride today.  I had a great time yesterday, and did today as well.  Also, the planned route was interesting and I wanted to climb to Pinone through Castra, which I had never climbed, but descended many times before.  We met at Illiopesca, and picked up a couple more in Lastra a Signa on the way to Montelupo.  Marguerita and Agnese live in Lastra, and by picking them up there, they save around 20 kilometers of riding.  We kept a good pace out to Montelupo, but lost Moreno just before Montelupo, as he is still recovering from an injury and did not want to do the whole tour.  Just after Montelupo, going toward Vinci, we somehow picked up around 15 additional riders, which made for a large group of around 25.

David and I turned at the road to Castra, but the others kept going toward Vinci.  David and I double checked and Jed turned and caught us, as he wanted to do the climb as well.  I did not know, but the others had told David they would skip this climb and see us in San Baronto.  It turned out to be a great climb, pretty steep, but only around 350 meters of vertical.  We all kept a very similar pace, and got to the top, and regrouped, as Jed and Davide put the metal down when the climb leveled out, while I relaxed a little.  We turned to descend to Vitolini, then the turn off to Vinci.  What a great couple of roads.  Although the road is a little rough in places, the descent to Vitolini is a classic, then the little road you cut off on to go to Vinci is simply beautiful.

Davide and Jed went a little ahead again, when the road flattened out, but we started the climb to San Baronto together.  This climb is made for Davide's skills, and we all stayed together for around half the climb before Davide pulled away from us.  Jed made a good attempt to stay with him, but eventually dropped off and then I passed him.  We did a very nice, fast pace to San Baronto, and the squadra was waiting for us there.  I think this was Jed's first time climbing from the Vinci side, and he really enjoyed the pace we worked on the way up.  He said as he pulled up, maybe 30 seconds behind me, "Wow, that was fun, but quite a work out".  Sweet.  I finally took my turn buying cafe, and 7 of 9 of us had a cafe before starting down the hill.  We all stopped just over the top to get water at the excellent fountain there, then were on our way down.

We kept going and I heard some talk about going through Carmignano on the way home, which turned out to be the plan.  It added a nice 200 meter vertical climb, and a new road for me, although I had seen the signs from above many times.  From Carmignano, we descended through Comeana, then back to Signa.  We split up there, and made our way back into Firenze and split off as we entered the city, each going their respective ways home.  Great, fun ride again today, team.  I love being a part of such a fun group to ride with.  Ciao!

Montelupo, Castra, Pinone, Vinci, San Baronto, Quarrata, Carmignano, Fi. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

We had picked up another 10 or so riders on the way toward Vinci,
just before the turn off to Castra and Pinone, which only 3 of us
took.  We met the others at the bar in San Baronto.

The squadra, most anyway, in the Bar in San Baronto having 
a cafe around mid way through the tour.

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