Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two big passes and one great ride!

I ended up doing the ride I had planned today, but after yesterday's ride, I was feeling a little tired and was doubting my energy level for today's ride.  I am getting pretty focused on a couple of things, and will be trying to get kilometers in for both.  First, it appears I should be able to do 20,000 kilometers on Strava this year which will be an accomplishment for me.  After today's ride, only 3,225 remaining in a little over two months, so it should be doable at my normal riding rate.  However, the weather could make it more difficult at any time, so I am trying to get kilometers in when I can.  I am also thinking I can get 1,000,000 vertical feet climbed this year, which would also be sweet to me.  A long time ago, a Canadian (German / Swiss) mountain guide told me he put in 1,000,000 vertical feet per year and I thought, wow.  So, maybe I can get that in as well.

Second, I have decided to do a number of challenging events next year.  I am figuring that I am getting older and who knows how many years I will have either the desire or fitness to do these things.  They will all be challenges for me.  First, I am already signed up for the granfondo Firenze, a race that is 150 kilometers with 2850 meters of climbing on a challenging course.  Luca has challenged me to see if we can both do it under 5 hours.  I just signed up with the team to do the long course of the granfondo Nove Colli, or 9 hills.  The long course is 200 kilometers with over 4000 meters of climbing.  Again, quite a challenge for me.  I have pre-registered for the Maratona de Dolomities, but it is a lottery to get in, so I don't know if it will work.  I have not been selected the last two years, and I think that helps as well.  If I do get in, the course is 135 kilometers with 4200 meters of climbing with 7 passes.  Again, a real challenge for me.  Last, Luca is talking up the long course for the Eroica, which I will need a vintage (pre 1987) bike for.  He did the 205 kilometer course in late September and loved the day, although he said it was super hard and he was on course for 11 hours.

So, now you know why I may be even more obsessed than usual, which is saying something.  No taste treat or phrase today, I just rode hard.  Here is the garmin link for today's ride.

Pontasive, Croce ai Mori, Stia, Consuma, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The climb to Croce ai Mori from Contea is long with around 800 
vertical meters of climbing in 18 kilometers.  So, it is gradual
and as you can see below, quite pretty.  Today was only the 
second time I have ridden it in this direction.

A view back to the west on a clear day around 1/3 the way up
to Croce ai Mori.

Sign and bike at Valico Croce ai Mori, which I am pretty
sure means cross of death.  Who know's the history of 
this pass.  The headwaters of the Arno are around 4 kilometers
down the other side.  A tiny stream there.

A view through the trees to the Southwest from 
Croce ai Mori.

After an excellent cafe and pastry in the town of Stia,
which is shown here, I started the climb of around 
700 vertical meters to Passo della Consuma.

A view of the landscape to the East while climbing 
to the Passo della Consuma.

The bike and sign at Passo della Consuma.  The sign is covered
with stickers, which I have come to like.  It does say 
Passo della Consuma under all that.

A view of the hills to the Southwest from the top of the Pass.

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