Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year ride in Chianti with Luca.

Sorry, no pictures today, although it was a spectacular and beautiful ride.  It was quite cold, and riding with Luca, I work to stay with him, and did not want to stop for pictures today.  If you follow this blog, some pictures on Passo de Sugame, La Panca, or San Polo to Grassina will work.  Look for some from last October - great colors, and I am warming up just thinking about it.  It was certainly warmer than yesterday, and a nice, sunny day at that.  Still, it was around 39 F when I left and warmed up to 47F by the time I returned, still chilly for a road ride.  I really enjoy riding with Luca, he is young (29), enthusiastic,  and strong enough that it is my turn to struggle to stay with him.  We saw each other on the road a few days ago and set up a ride for today.  He worked late last night, but has the day off today.  His only thought was a ride in Chianti.

So it was kind of up to me for the route, and I chose one of my favorites, shooting for around 3 hours, as that is my happy to ride cold limit.  We went out through Ponte a Ema, Grassina, and up to Strada. From Strada, we continued up to Le Bolle, then descended to the Greve road.  I am really starting to like this ride from Grassina to Greve, as I really think the flat ride in the valley from Tavernuzze is kind of boring.  Maybe it is because my natural talents tend toward climbing, and the route through Strada involves 3 times as much climbing.  It is also really pretty.  The bar we usually frequent in Greve was open, so a cafe was in order.  We then climbed up Sugame, which Luca said he had never climbed before.  From the pass, it was down to the turn off for La Panca, which involves a short climb followed by one of the best descents around.  We turned to ride down then up to San Polo, then climbed and descended to Grassina before returning home.

Great ride and good to be out on the first day of 2015.  Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!  73.6 kilometers in 3:04 for an average of 23.9 kph with 1103 meters of climbing.  An added bonus is that Strava is starting to re-set the King of the Mountain places for the new year, so after today's ride, I have around 12 KOM's, when before I had made only 1 in 2 years.  I know it is what it is, but it feels good.  Ciao.  Here is a nice picture from the files just to feel warm and enjoy the beauty of Tuscany.

Nate and Tina in May on the road between San Polo and Grassina.  Similar, but different today.

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