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