Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fast, hard Saturday team ride.

It was a surprise to see blue sky when I awoke yesterday, but it was pretty much gone by the time I met up with 5 from the team and we started our ride.  A good sized group for this time of year, and we set off toward Montelupo, but detoured to Grilliao as the skies were threatening.  With the make up of the group, I was thinking a mellow pace for the day, so, as we started up Grilliao, I pushed the pace for the climb and enjoyed really cranking it up there.  I figured we only had a couple of climbs, so why not push one or two, then ride more socially up another?  We rode into Bacciano, the up to Montagnana, then we split up, with 2 opting for a shorter tour, and 4 of us going longer.  We took the pace much faster now, and rode to San Pancrazio, where I thought we would turn down to Ponte Rotto, but we continued along the ridge toward La Romita.  I was still thinking we might take a short cut down to the valley, as there are a couple of options before Romita.  So, I purposely let Davide and Leif go a little ahead, but they started cranking it, and there was no way I could catch them to stay.  It is interesting how easy it is to loose touch with a group going faster, then not be able to get back.

Luigi pretty much stayed with them, then eventually dropped as well.  They were only a minute or so ahead at Romita, as we could see them most of the time.  I rode in with Luigi, then we all descended together to the valley.  We had a very nice tail wind, and I started in the lead.  After a few minutes, Davide came around me, and I gave it a try, but did not have it to stay with him.   Leif and Luigi stayed with him, and I just let it go.  Eventually Luigi was dropped as well, and I think they were only a couple minutes ahead, so when we started the climb to San Casciano, I pushed my pace.  I quickly passed Luigi, but never saw Leif and Davide until the top.  They had only been there a couple of minutes, but I had hoped to catch them with my stealth climbing push.  Fun anyway to give yourself a good push, and good for me to be dropped for a change instead of doing the dropping.  Challenges motivate us all.  It started sprinkling on the way to San Casciano, but never even made the roads really wet.

We descended to Scandicci, and there some real rain had happened.  The roads were quite wet, and we pushed it into town, where they were even wetter with some standing water.  Good timing as we did not really have any rain on us to speak of, just the very wet roads on the return.  Fun morning, but with the clouds and the pace I did not take any pictures.  Below is a better picture from the same area, which I like better anyway.  83.0 kilometers in 3:19 to average 25.0 kph with 958 meters climbed.  Ciao a tutti!

Not from yesterday's ride, but I think from the same area, looking at the
hills of Chianti defined by the haze and fog.  Cloudy, sprinkles, and a 
killer pace for much of the day left me with no pictures from 
the team ride yesterday.

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