Saturday, December 13, 2014

San Baronto in mid December.

Up for a team ride today, and we ended up with 5 of us starting, which with relatively cold and wet weather, that is a pretty good turnout.  One of the guys, Giuseppe, only went around 2/3 the way to Montelupo with us, then had to do something else.  It was nice to talk with him on the way, though, as he was one of the founding members of the club 7 years ago.  The remaining 4 of us stayed together for the rest of the ride, coming apart on the climb, of course, but we enjoyed a pretty nice ride to San Baronto.  Although the roads were quite wet, the actual precipitation had stopped before we started with the exception of a few sprinkles.  I haven't ridden San Baronto in a while, and it was quite fun today.  The climb is just a super fun ride.  There is a short portion at around 7% at the very start after Vinci, but then it stays pretty consistent at 2 to 3 %, which allows for some real fun pushing the speed and pace.  I love it.

We all got back together at the top and enjoyed a great cafe and pastry.  Sweet, but slow descent to Quaratta, as we are all careful on very wet roads, particularly when it is relatively cold.  We stayed pretty close and kept a good pace back to Florence on the flats, and the 4 of us eventually turned into a group of 10 for most of the way.  One of the fun things about riding here is how that happens.  Today's ride was good for me, as it is close to 100 kilometers, but not really very difficult.  96.9 km (59.8 miles) in 3:34 for an average speed of 26.9 kph (16.8 mph) with 528 meters (1732 feet) of climbing.  Only 592 kilometers left for my goal of 20k for the year.  Getting closer every day!

On the climb to San Baronto, I started pushing the pace for me, and
saw two shadows staying with me, which eventually turned to three.
I started getting warm and took off my sunglasses and stowed them in
my vest pocket.  I slowed down to accomplish this, and these two guys
passed me, which was a surprise as I thought the two shadows were 
guys I was riding with.  They pulled the remainder of the climb at a very
nice pace and we arrived together.  We all shook hands and congratulated 
each other on the good work.  They happily had this picture taken while
I waited for my teammates at the bar across the street.

Andrea, Massimo, and Luigi in the bar in San Baronto enjoying
cafe and pastries after regrouping following our climb.

A bonus picture from a few days ago, on the Carraia bridge in 
Florence looking Northwest.  What a beautiful city.

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