Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday scouting ride with the team - mediofondo course?

Today is a holiday here, which I realized because there was an organized team ride for the day.  We started with 9, but 2 needed to return to Firenze from Pontasieve, as they had family things to do.  2 others decided to climb Consuma, then return, as they wanted something hard and relatively fast.  That left 5 of us, and we basically scouted out a mediofondo route for the granfondo that we have been asked to host this spring.  It is an honor for the team to be asked to expand our raduno to a granfondo and is a testament to the efforts of all the people who work hard to make it happen.  Lorenzo had today's route in mind, and I was able to offer some suggestions that probably will be incorporated into the granfondo route.

One of the difficulties of coming up with the courses is that you need 3 routes, short, medium, and long, that start and finish together.  We need to be able to set aid stations at the far point of the short and medium routes that also work for the long route.  I think we have some good possibilities with using the route we took today, and using my suggested expansion for the long route.  Today we went out the main road to Pontasieve, then over in the Valdarno to Incisa.  We then climbed to Poggio alle Croce, descending to San Polo.  We stopped for a cafe here, at my favorite spot, then returned to Firenze via Grassina, on a road I love.  My suggestion for the long route would be from San Polo, ride to Strada, then down to Ferrone, toward Firenze, turning to climb Luiano, then climb to Montefiridolfi, down through Bibbione, then up to San Pancrazio and returning through Chiesa Nuova.  I think it would add 40 to 50 kilometers, which would be about right.  It would also probably double the climbing, and on granfondo routes people are looking for difficult rides.  Perhaps next week I will give my suggested granfondo route a try and clock the kilometers and dislivello.

Up to 19,047 for the year with 953 kilometers remaining for my 20,000 goal.  Starting to feel good about the goal.  Ciao a tutti!

Waiting for the others in Incisa / Figline.  Beautiful day for a ride.
This is the start of the road to Poggio alle Croce - the climbing
starts just around the corner.

The top of the hardest climb of the day to Poggio alle Croce.
I liked the way the underpass framed the view beyond.

At the intermission during a symphony concert Saturday night,
I tried out the camera and this shows the new opera house in 
Florence pretty well.  I don't think the flash happened, but did not
want to try it during the performance.  Perhaps the highlight of the
night was Pinkus Zucherman coming back out at the end and
doing a solo rendition of "lullaby and good night" on the violin.

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