Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Variation of my Giro de Mugello with Randy.

No weather complaints today.  Started relatively cool, but clear skies, a mild breeze, and very moderate temperatures made for a perfect day for a cycling tour in the Mugello.  Randy, who is here for around a year, but only 4 more months, contacted me to ride, and I thought he had not really been into the Mugello, so why not?  He had enough time, barely, as the ride I had in mind takes me a little over 3-1/2 hours, so I thought the two of us at a slower pace would hit 4-1/2 hours easy.  Well, I was right, but just barely, as we finished right at 4-1/2 hours after meeting at Piazza Liberta.  I tried to take roads and routes that Randy had not ridden, and was mostly successful.  I think the only time he had ridden in the area, I was guiding him as a client.

For now, we are simply riding as friends, although I am still pretty much determining routes as we go.  He is a nice guy and a strong athlete, and fun to ride with.  We rode out through Le Cure, then up Via Faentina the turned off a Pian de Mugnone to climb to Fiesole.  I started to moderate my pace as we started the climb, but he encouraged me to ride at my own pace and wait at the top, saying he was more comfortable with this.  OK, I hit it pretty good and enjoyed the climb to the top.  We regrouped in Fiesole, then rode up to Vetta alle Croce, then up to Bivigliano and over to the descent to Vaglia.  We had ridden part of this together before, but it was all new after Bivigliano.  Sweet descent to Vaglia, perfect today, other than the car I caught around 3/4 the way down.

Out through Scarperia the over / up to San Agata with my usual stop for cafe and pastry.  As I told Randy, we are really off the tourist path now, as it is a small town and a totally local bar.  They are always very nice to me there and appreciate the business.  Our timing today had the bar pretty full of people for wine, cafe, paninis, pasta, etc.  A fun scene.  A wonderful ride over to Galliano, then down to the cut off for Bosco ai Frati.  Another gem of a road, then we were back at San Piero a Sieve.  Over to Borgo San Lorenzo, then up Via Faentina back to Vetta la Croce, then descending home.  Just a perfect day to ride here.  87.2 kilometers in 3:54 averaging 22.3 kph with 1344 meters climbed.

While waiting for Randy at Vetta alle Croce, I checked out the
hiking trail to Alberaccio.  I hiked this when we lived in Santa 
Brigida, around 3-1/2 years ago.  Bellissima!

Almost done, hang in there Randy.

Happily finished with the last climb, Randy said, "Wow, I 
am really gassed"  Couldn't say it better myself.  

Randy approaching the top at Vetta alle Croce.

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