Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spectacular day for a ride into the Mugello.

Simply a spectacular day to be out on the bike in the Mugello in Tuscany.  I picked a route I have been thinking about for a while, and I have ridden all the parts of the ride, but had never put them together in one ride.  Just a great day.  I went over to Barberino in the Mugello the most direct way, through Vaglia, to access the road from Barberino to around 1/2 way up to Passo della Futa.  This was the real road I wanted to ride today, and the rest was fitting it in with a good loop.  I had ridden this road around 4 times before, but had never found it on my own.  I found it pretty easily with no mistakes, which felt good.  It is a nice road of around 8 kilometers with a steady grade of 4 to 5% winding up along a hillside.  Always curvy, never steep, with great views to the West.  No wonder I like it.  After that, you get on Via Bolognese and ride it along a ridge, in places much steeper, to a cut off to Panna.  Often, I would go up and back to the pass, just 3 kilometers past the cut off, but today, I wanted to get back in plenty of time to get this done and be ready to go out tonight.

So, today, I took the cut off and went down, then up, then down through Panna to Galliano where I stopped for a cafe and pastry.  The fuel felt really great and I sat in the sun with a few Italians on lunch break from somewhere.  A group of 8 were playing cards inside, which is not uncommon in certain places with the older guys.  Lots of fun yelling, bantering, and laughter from the card games.  From Galliano back my normal way through Bosco ai Frati, another favorite road.  From there over to the climb to Croce alle Vetta, then down Via Faentina almost directly home.  Just a sensational, sweet ride.  91.9 kilometers in 3:57 to average 23.3 kph with 1540 meters climbed.  Ciao.

One of the views climbing from Barberino.

A view from the top of the hill, just above Panna on the way back.

One of the views from Via Bolognese on the way to Passo della Futa.

Beautiful road climbing to Passo della Futa.

Wow! spectacular views in every direction.

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