2019.05.12 – Under the Tuscan Sky: Day 6

I was awake relatively early after a night of bad stomach. I decided to check the weather once more, and I was glad to see that the rain had passed and would not return until later in the afternoon. Even though I was not feeling one hundred percent, I decided I needed to get one last ride in before departing tomorrow. Il Giro d’Italia is scheduled to come through town around one thirty in the afternoon on Monday, and I was hoping to catch it before running to get the two twenty-five bus out to Florence.

I settled on a route I have done in the past. I would take the road out towards Ulignano, then head up to San Gimignano. From there I would turn towards Volterra, climbing my way up to Castel San Gimignano. Shortly after I would turn back sort of south, and head up to Casole d’Elsa. From Casole I would drop back down to the valley, and head north back up towards Colle Val d’Elsa. Before getting to Colle, I would head east again and ride through Staggia Senese and back home.

The temperatures felt cool, and there was a decent cool wind blowing, I settled on arm and knee warmers and my vest. I did not have my usual big breakfast nonetheless I decided to make things harder on myself. Arriving in Ulignano, I turned downhill then left. This road would take me to San Gimignano but I would have to contend with a fifteen and then right after a twenty percent hill, which I call The Wall.

After suffering through that climb, I made my way to Casale, about a kilometer or so from San Gimignano. I passed the road where I used to wait for the school bus as an elementary and Junior High School kid.

img_0873
Where I used to wait for the school bus.
img_0872
The driveway to where I lived as a kid.

I made my way up the final few climbs to the town. I stopped in and said hello to some of my old school friends who work in the various shops in town.

img_0875img_0878

I worked my way up towards Castel San Gimignano. The road has many climbs and drops. When you get to the relatively new prison, you pick up some serious speed and zoom right by. I stopped in town for a quick energy bar since I was getting quite hungry. I did not stay long, with the rain predicted and some errands to complete in the afternoon, I could not hang around long.

I soldiered on then turned onto the road that would take me to Casole. This road is also a lot of fun. It has very little traffic, and the first part heads downhill with small chicanes. When I had a clear view I would just cut straight down the middle. I still had to be careful of the road surface. Since it is an old road, it has areas of concern, especially while descending at speed.

After grappling with the leg breaking climb, I stopped in the center of Casole for another energy bar and a coffee.

Dropping out of Casole is also quite fun since you pick up a good amount of speed. Shortly after flying down from Casole, I got dumped onto the main road to head back up to Colle Val d’Elsa. This area is nice and flat, maybe a slight incline. But I had to contend with the pesky wind. I did not feel comfortable resting my forearms on my bars, so I stayed mostly in the drops the whole way back.

Riding into Staggia, I hit my max speed of around forty three miles per hour. The Strava segment calls this segment Kamikaze. Five kilometers later I arrived back in Poggibonsi, and as per my usual, I rode right over to the Gelato Shop.

img_0883
Gelato.

After our errands my sister and I were not in the mood for cooking so we decided to go to the local Neapolitan pizza restaurant and dine on some yummy pizza, and of course Limoncello.

Tomorrow will be a travel day so I can spend the night in Milano for my flight back home on Tuesday. Hopefully I can manage to catch Il Giro d’Italia.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s