2019.05.10 – Under the Tuscan Sky: Day 4

After yet another late night out, I ended up sleeping in. I had the possibility of riding with a local friend, Paolo Martelli, but unfortunately he had to go away in the afternoon so he squeezed in a quick ride in the morning. After a quick breakfast, I got myself ready, and was able to get out around eleven thirty in the morning. I settled on a rather long trip to an Abby, south of Siena.

My legs were still tired from the day before. My route took me down through Staggia Senese, Monteriggioni, and then Siena, dropping me by the train station. The roads, as described the day before are not ideal and I did not feel too comfortable riding through this area of Siena. After the station I got a bit lost while trying to get on the right road. Several wrong turns later, I finally found my way.

The road I had choose, Via Cassia was pretty flat. As Siena faded in the background and the traffic subsided, I was once again greeted by a wonderful green rolling hill scenery. I stopped in San Carlo to chomp on a energy bar before continuing on.

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San Carlo.
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Close to Poggio della Sorbitella.

Eventually I made it to Buon Convento. Here I paused for a moment before turning east to head towards the Abby.

Almost immediately the road started to point upwards. I was in for a seven or so kilometer climb up towards the Abby of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Despite the dark puffy clouds, the scenery was spectacular. I was interrupted by few cars, so I could take more of the road with confidence. This helped in the switchbacks, allowing me to take the least steep parts of the turns.

Eventually I made it to the Abby. I wasn’t going to pay to go inside and visit, so I took a seat outside and ate another energy bar and sucked down some much needed liquid. My phone camera does not do justice to the views. One has to see the views in person to truly appreciate the scenery.

Due to the cool slightly windy conditions, I did not want to stop too long. I was quite damp under my vest, so I felt it best to keep moving. I decided to return back up towards Siena by heading east, and then circle back. The only issue is that this road was going to be a continuous up and down. I would finish one climb, and enjoy the fast descent only to be greeted by another long climb. This repeated over and over again until I had almost reached Siena.

My legs were crumbling. I knew I could make it home but there was not much left in them. I was not really taxing my cardio vascular system except maybe on some of the steepest climbs. On those I had to embarrassingly engage my rear dish, or better my 32 tooth sprocket.

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Panoramic Stop.
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Panoramic Stop.
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Panoramic Stop.

Eventually I made my way back to the Siena train station. At this point I knew what lie ahead. I did not dwell long, just enough time to eat another Skratch Lab energy bar, and suck down more liquid. This time, I decided to ride through Badesse and in so doing, I rode right by Il Cigliegio, a restaurant I have eaten at on several occasions. Just before arriving back at Monteriggioni, my Garmin unit decided to shut off with still fifty percent battery left. I turned it back on and saved my data and started a new run. Later I would have to merge the two files together, creating a less then perfect data file.

Back in Poggibonsi, I stopped in the bike shop to find out about my wheel, and disappointingly, the rim strip tape had not been received yet. I gave him the phone for my sister since I will not be here when the wheel is finally ready.

Another ice-cream and I enjoyed a quiet evening at home. All said and done, my ride came out to about eighty two miles and around five thousand feet elevation gain.

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Another well deserved Gelato.

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