Saturday, March 21, 2015

Granfondo Firenze preview with Luca.

I met Luca Durazzi this morning to do a preview of the granfondo Firenze course.  Yesterday, I did a shorter tour with Dominick, a friend who I do some work for, and had mechanical trouble with my bike.  A week or so ago, I twisted my ankle leaving the apartment building and the bike went flying, unfortunately landing on the rear derallieur.  I adjusted a number of times, and occasionally it worked perfectly, but occasionally it did not work at all.  It got worse on the ride with Dominick, becoming quite frustrating, so I stopped at the shop when I returned for Andrea, the mechanic, to look at it.  He tried a number of things, but it still wasn't just right, and he suggested that the rear motor on the derallieur may need to be replaced.  He will check on Monday, when I take the bike in.  But in the meantime, I had promised Luca to ride the granfondo course this morning, so I put a couple of hours into making the Lightspeed work well.

We had a very nice ride, although with a different bike, with 15 year old mechanical shifting, it was at times challenging.  We caught a good sized group above Fiesole on the way to Olmo, but they stopped at the top of the first "little" pass, Vetta alle Croce.  On the way down, we picked up another guy, but he waited for the other group at the bottom.  Somewhere around the start of the climb from Scarperia to Passo del Giogo, another person joined us, and stayed with us to Passo della Futa, which was fun.  It is a pretty long course, around 150 kilometers with a fair amount of climbing, 2500 meters, so it was a challenging day.  We skipped the full route around Lago de Bilancino, and could not do the circuit of the Autodromo, so we were around 20 kilometers shy of the total.  We did get over 2400 meters of climbing in though.

Luca has a new bike, and this was his third day on it.  The previous two days had him getting personal bests on different climbs, so the bike fits him and works well for him.  He certainly was faster and stronger than I was today.  I give part of that to the different bike, and my anxiety of making it work well on a first use in over a year, but I really felt pretty good toward the end.  We had a little mix up on the descent from Futa, but eventually got back together to finish the ride.  I have a new place a block from the apartment that has an excellent burger for 4 euro and a good sized beer for another 4 euro.  I was famished and very thirsty for a beer upon my return, so I enjoyed this at "Deposito Bagali", the new place.  I basically guzzled the beer, and ordered another.  2 beers is a lot for me these days, but when I checked the stats after getting home and downloading the garmin information, it says I used around 6,000 calories today, so I am still quite a bit behind.  One of the advantages of riding a lot.  Today was 126.6 kilometers in 5:25 to average around 23 kph with 2404 meters climbed.

Luca Durazzi at the Passo del Giogo, our first really big climb
of the day, around 800 meters on this climb.  

I think it is so pretty looking North from Passo Giogo.
You can see the road starting the descent on the left.

The sign at the top of Passo della Futa after a much needed cafe
machiato and crostata.  Feeling strong after the snack and caffeine.

This picture was a mistake, and I am not sure how I took it,
but after cropping, I thought it was kind of cool.  Luca Durazzi,
my partner for the day riding, I think around Passo della Futa.

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