It was a glorious ride (except for the part where Ged told me the climb was over as I turned a corner and saw the road rise up...a lot).
Anyway, Ged told me (according to his extensive Twitter research) that this place is supposed to have pros. Some from Team Sky, HTC-Highroad (Cav), etc. Let's just say I saw NONE. But I will see LOTS tomorrow because we're going to Parma for a big, fat (pink) Giro party.
For your entertainment and knowledge, I have illustrated on a map the approximate route of our ride today. May or may not be to scale. To be determined.
Starting from Florence, we had to ride ~30 km before getting to the good stuff. That meant we had to deal with really poor Italian driving and crappy road surface. I'm currently learning how to say various curse words in Italian to respond to these inattentive motorists.
But the [first] climb. Boy, oh boy! Probably my favorite climb of all. Scenic, very little traffic, friendly ciclisti and gradual gradient so I could gain a good momentum.
Before the climb:
I started a few minutes before Ged and rode the climb by myself. There were tons of cyclists out today. All with smiles and nice kits.
Once we got to the top, a small lunch was in order. A sandwich and fresh orange juice did the trick.
Check out Ged and his new Oakley sunglasses. Not sure how I feel about them.
Then it was back on the bike for what I thought was all downhill. Little did I know...
Poppies were all over the place. At one point, I even plucked one while riding and stuck it in my sunglasses. Not long after, I ripped the flower out as a result of my anger toward climbing.
Actually, here's a picture Ged took of me crumpling up the flower and getting angry with him:
We passed through Vinci (where Leonardo da Vinci was born) and saw spectacular views.
It's a great weekend for cycling in Italy. Now if I could only get my hands on a pizza...