Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two wonderful rides in perfect weather.

Monday, I got out in perfect weather for a short and relatively flat tour around Florence, simply to flush the legs after the effort on Sunday.  It felt really good, and after yesterday's ride, I am sure it was the right thing to do.  That ride was around 35 k with 200 meters of climbing.

Yesterday, Jean Lu, who is visiting wanted to climb Passo Colla, where I had never been before.  He lived here a year ago and was an integral part of the team and a fun person to be around, always positive.  We have a team challenge, Brevetto della Firenze, or a diploma climbing 5 passes around here.  Jean is trying to finish this this week, and good luck to him.  So, with visitors I had not been able to get out with him, but yesterday it worked.  We were joined by 3 others which made for a very nice group for a tour.  Marguerita, Jean, and I left from Piazza Liberta, and climbed through Fiesole to Olmo, where we met Leonardo and waited for Tiziano, who was climbing from Fiesole when Jean phoned him.

Down and through Borgo San Lornezo, where I found out none of us had ever ridden this area before.  I had looked at a map, and we easily found our way to the road to the pass.  What an amazing and beautiful road.  I did not stop for photos, as when riding with a group, you kind of go, and honestly, my ego wanted me to not fall behind the other 3 guys.  All three dropped me around 1/2 way up, but surprisingly, I almost caught them by the top.  I tend to go my own pace on a climb, and I was within 50 meters of them at the top.  Just a super road.  Winding most of the way up with many spots where it switchbacked many times giving one a view of both the climb ahead and the climb already completed below.  It did not hurt that it was sunny, very crystal clear, and around 70 F with the trees in the middle of their spring explosion.

We had a nice break at the top, found a wonderful fountain for water on the way down, then basically returned the way we came, with a couple of changes.  Just an excellent ride and fun day.

Marguerita, Tiziano, Jean Lu, and Leo at the top of the climb.

Marguerita, Jean Lu, Leonardo, and I at the pass.

The obligatory photo of the sign at the pass.  Not as well travelled as
some, the sign is not totally covered with stickers.

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