Sunday, September 7, 2014

Meet and greet to Impruneta, then a solo tour with Passo de Sugame and Poggio alle Croce.

I had a nice 1/2 day work tour this morning, one of the meet and greets that I do for Dominick.  I met 6 very nice Norwegians at Florence by Bike, helped them all get set up on the bikes, and guided them out of town with a stop at Piazzale Michaelangelo.  We continued over to Poggio Imperiale, then down to Galluzzo and up to Impruneta, where we stopped of a cafe and to review maps.  My job is basically complete here, but they wanted the easiest way and I was going to Greve anyway, so I guided them to Ferrone.  We hooked up to the main road in Ferrone, and I said goodbye and good luck on their adventure.  I am sure they will be fine, as they were all interested in the maps and did fine on the climb to Impruneta.  It is certainly interesting the variety of people you see doing self guided tours.  Anywhere from a group like this one, who seems perfect for the service, to some who seem relatively clueless.  I think they all end up all right though, and my job is over at Impruneta.

I left them quickly, simply by riding faster in Ferrone, then rode the main road to Greve and turned off to climb Passo de Sugame.  I really don't ride this that much, and it is a really great ride.  Probably averages around 4 to 5%, so you can ride it pretty fast without too much hurt.  Super nice descent from the pass through Dudda to Ponte alle Stogli, where I stopped for a snack and some water.  They have a new fountain and shelter there, around a year old, which is really quite nice for a break.  I continued down the road to Figline to the cut off to San Martino and Brollo.  I really like this road and today it was perfect.  Just a very scenic road, today was a beautiful day, and there was absolutely no traffic of any kind on the road while I rode.

I connected with the road from Figline to Poggio alle Croce, and climbed through Brollo, then up to the pass.  Around 2 kilometers from the top, I picked up a swarm of 10 or so flies which would simply not leave me alone.  I often find it I go a certain speed I loose them, and today they spurred me to do what is for me, a sprint up to this pass.  I did not really loose the flies, but I went fast enough so they did not land and bite.  I guess that is good enough.  I will be interested to see on Strava if they had me do a personal best today.  Anyway, the flies really pushed my pace up this 7% climb.  I enjoyed the descent to San Polo, where I stopped for a cafe and a pastry, as there is a little spot I really like there.  The older woman who owns and runs the bar is always super nice to me and there is an excellent little area with tables and chairs outside with umbrellas for shade.

Today, there were a German couple sitting there looking at maps with backpacks, and I tried in Italian to ask where they were trying to go, and they said they did not speak Italian, but asked if I knew any English.  I guess my accent is sounding authentic these days.  Anyway, they were starting a 4 day trek to Sienna from San Polo.  I looked at the maps with them and made a couple of suggestions, then we all left at around the same time.  They were happily off on a 4 day adventure.  Great to see people doing these types of things.  I finished my ride by going from San Polo to Grassina, then through Cinque Vie to the Viales, then home.  It ended up being a very nice day with some work and a good solo tour.  I did miss the big event today, the Giro della Toscana, but picked a route that kept me away from them so I would not feel bad.  I assume the team all had fun and finished the distances they decided upon.  Ciao a tutti!

Here is the garmin link for my ride today.

Meet and Greet to Impruneta, plus Sugame, Poggio alle Croce, San Polo solo. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here is my group of 6 Norwegians at Piazzale Michaelangelo
on our first stop this morning.  Good group for a meet and greet
job.   They will do well on their 3 day self-guided tour.

There is a great fountain for water and a nice, shady shelter
with benches at Ponte Stogli descending from Dudda and Sugame.

Love this little cut off road to the climb to Poggio alle Croce.

The view to the east from the road to Brollo.

Such a beautiful road going toward Brollo from the Sugame road.
The cut off is around 5 k, and I did not see any vehicles or cyclists.

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