Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day ride with the team.

Nice, late start, especially for the team, this morning, leaving Illiopesca at 10 am.  There were only 3 of us to start, but it was cloudy, a little chilly, and the middle of February.  On the way out to Lastra, Angnese, who lives in that area, was waiting for us and joined in for the ride.  That made a really nice group of 4 and we had a very nice ride.  I loved the route, as when we started, Davide and I discussed some options, as we rode most of the proposed route last week.  He was up for changing the plan, and suggested Montelupo and Montespertoli, and I then suggested Turbone from Montelupo to Montespertoli, which we rode.  It is a particularly pretty road, a good surface, but it does have a number of stretches at 15% or more.  Most don't last long, but they are as steep as they are, regardless of how pretty the ride is.  I like that kind of riding, and the other three went along.  Nice cafe in Montespertoli, which I bought, as I did get everyone to go where I wanted.

We all rode pretty hard through Montagnana then Cerbia up to Chiesanuova.  Davide and I really pushed each other up to Chiesanuova, and in the end he gapped my by around 15 meters.  Oh well, he is strong.  As we waited for the others at the top, I explained how Strava would tell me if this was my fastest effort, which it was.  However, there are 10 other times I was within  30 seconds of today's time on the same climb.  Kind of fun to check it out.  Sometimes I take riding for granted, but at one point today, when returning from Chiesanuova to Firenze, it struck me what a great thing it is to ride a bike.  It is super good for your body, joints, and I would say your mind and soul.  Also, it is just fun, totally non polluting, and the good road bikes are incredibly responsive and a blast to ride.  So, for me, a good, happy reminder of why I love it.  I really enjoy when these little flashes of inspiration hit me while riding.  72.7 kilometers in 2:51 for an average of 25.5 kph with 779 meters climbed.  Great day.

Surprise!  Wonderful Valentine's Day flowers were waiting for 
me when I returned from today's team ride.  Thanks, Emily.

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