After getting home, I decided on a ride, and eventually decided to go back where we rode last Saturday with the team and explore a couple of the roads I saw on the way to Certaldo. I checked maps pretty thoroughly, and while riding crossed off a couple of options as they were dirt roads not in very good shape. I eventually found the road that made me want to do the exploration, and it started really well, with a steep climb on a nice surface. After around 3 kilometers, it turned to a gravel road, but in pretty good shape. The gravel road eventually deteriorated and got rougher, making me think twice about my decision. I kept at it and was rewarded by a return to pavement after around 3 k of gravel. Alas, the pavement was short lived and I had another 3 k or so of gravel, some of it rough and rocky before returning to pavement and eventually the road from Certaldo to Fiano.
As soon as you get back on the main road, which is still a back road, there is a sign warning 10% grade for the remainder of the climb to Fiano. After some steep climbing on gravel, it was fine, and I arrived in Fiano then up and over to Lucardo. After Lucardo, I took the steep descent to Fornacette, then went down the valley to Boacciano, then up to Montagnana, down to Cerbia, then up to Chiesa Nuova. Back to Firenze via the Galuzzo switchbacks then home on Viale Michaelangelo. I was pretty tired by the time I returned. I think the combination of the stress test and the rough dirt roads took a slight toll on my energy. Still, a fun ride and a great, busy day. Here is the garmin link:
Signa, Ginestra, Montespertoli, Exploring, Bacciano, Chiesa Nuova by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details
I finally pulled off and stripped by jersey to locate the stinging bug
that I ended up finding here. This view is toward Artimino.
A view through the trees from a pull off on the descent to the
valley that leads to Certaldo.
I loved this view of the countryside climbing toward Fiano from the road to Certaldo.