Sunday, August 24, 2014

Wonderful team tour with 4 passes

I admit, I was thinking I needed more time off after 13 days in a row on the bike in Lucca, but with the meeting point 5 minutes from the apartment and a relatively civilized meeting time of 8 am, I thought, go for it.  I am certainly glad I did.  I love the tour, and I planned on cutting it a little short, with everyone going for the long tour with the exception of one, I went for the long tour.  I love this tour, and it certainly is becoming one of my favorites for a long tour.

We met at Piazza Liberta, then rode through the city and outlying cities to Calenzano, where we rode through the center then started the climb to Croci a Calenzano.  It is a nice, relatively fast climb, and Luca and Davide preceded me to the top by a minute or so.  I did have them in sight all the way.  We all regrouped there, and all 8 of us proceeded down to Barberino de Mugello, where we started the second and probably the hardest climb of the day.  The first piece of road is one of my favorites, around 6 kilometers of constant grade of around 5%, twisty, with very little traffic.  You join the main road, Via Bolognese, and then have around 8 kilometers averaging around 8% to the top.

We regrouped at the top, and had cafe at the bar at the pass, whose proprietor was a Giro d'Italia racer in the late 30's.  He is rarely there, but his family still runs the bar and restaurant.  There is a nice picture of him passing water bottles to Bartoli on the Passo della Futa, where the bar is, in I think the 1938 Giro.  Kind of cool, the cycling history here.  A great descent on the most direct route to Firenzuola, then we climbed up to Passo Giogo.  The scenery in the valley that Firenzuola sits is really nice, and the climb is fine.  I think we were all getting a little tired by now, which made this probably the hardest climb of the day.

We descended to Scarperia, where we refilled water, then decided to return by the fastest, shortest, although not the easiest route, through Pratolino.  Great descent, and a reasonable climb.  We regrouped at the top of the climb, then descended into Florence, the route going right to my apartment, where I peeled off with a grazie ragazzi, a prossima!  Great team tour today.  I loved it.

Calenzano, Barberino, Futa, Firenzuola, Giogo, Pratolino, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The team starting the first climb of the day, to Croci a Calenzano.

While some of the guys took staged group shots, I went for a couple
of candid shots at the top of Passo della Futa, after the biggest climb
of the day, and our second of four.

Well, maybe not totally candid, as Leif clowns around in front 
of the memorial to Gaston Nencini. 

Most of the guys at the top of the Passo Giogo, probably the hardest
effort of the day, and the 3rd of the 4 passes.

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