Sunday, January 18, 2015

Checking out the proposed long course for our team's granfondo coming up in late March.

I admit today, I am feeling pretty good about myself and the progress I have made here, at least in the cycling community.  Today, during the ride, a couple people recognized me who were riding with other groups, and came back to say hi and talk with our group.  Lorenzo said I must be a kind of VIP in the cycling community.  I said, I was obviously different, being an Americani, and the tailgater on my bike is something people recognize.  The other thing that has me feeling good is that the granfondo long course we are going to use for the event our team is hosting is the route I suggested.  We rode much of that route today, hopefully finding a good spot for the aid station and control point for the long course.  We had the short and medium courses pretty much set, but had not done the proposed long course until today.

We had a good sized group of 12 or so at the meeting point, and soon after starting, I realized we had changed plans.  We were not doing the granfondo route, until the end when just a couple of us would try the part added on to the medium route for the long course.  We did a great ride and route, though, and I think everyone had a great time.  We ended up riding up past Ugolino to Strada, then up to La Panca, then down through Ponte agli Stolli to the cut off over to Brollo.  We then climbed Poggio alle Croce, then descended to San Polo for a cafe and pastry.  After San Polo, only 5 of us continued on the proposed long route addition, and went back up to Strada, then down to Ferrone, then climbed Luiano.  We lost another 2 here, leaving 3 of us doing the day's long tour, and checking out the remainder of the long route.  It all worked well, and we had another cafe / feeding at Ponte Rotto, then got back through San Pancrazio and Chiesa Nuova.

Lorenzo and I had Cheeseburgers and beer at the neighborhood place upon our return, as he lives only a couple of kilometers away, and this was on his way.  Really great ride today, and pretty much my first long, relatively difficult training ride of the year.  The Granfondo Firenze awaits.  Today's ride was 121.9 kilometers in 5:17 for an average of 23.1 kph with 1914 meters climbed.  Sweet!

A picture of part of the big group of 12 or so at Piazzale Michaelangelo
this morning, ready to start a great tour.

Paola, Stefano, and Lorenzo at the top of the Poggio alle Croce climb.

I know Andrea was right behind me on the climb with only 1/2
a kilometer to go, but somehow, I dropped him in that time, much
to my surprise.  Here he is at the top.

Massimo made the climb and is looking fresh.

Nicola at the top of the climb to Poggio alle Croce

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