93k /1093mt/5hr. 58 mi/3856 vert ft
Wow. So, this is where Michelangelo went to conceive his imagination, and give birth to a great sculpture.
The ride was pretty flat for about 30k, then the climb began. Firs gentle 4-8% (that’s gentle now), then it kicked up to 10 -15% for about 4k. It let up a little going through some towns. But the climb to the last town was steady over1 2% for 1.5k. Well, at. The turn for the town (which is a dead end on a point, I saw the sign for the “cave”, the marble mine. There’s actually several, but I think the approaches are all the same. So, there I was climbing 20% switchbacks, about 30-40 meters each. I made it half way up the 4th, really feeling it, when two mining trucks came, one up, behind me, and one down. I pulled into the flowers on the right and stopped , watching the trucks pass each other in a dance they must repeat all day long. The concierge told me that when they get to the top turns, there’s no room to even turn one truck so they have a place at each turn where they go into and then go up backwards, repeating this until they reach the mine. I was slightly above my destination town (see photo), and I turn and went down, but couldn’t resist going up to the town, which felt “easy” now at 6-10%. And there was a great fountain at the top! ( see photo ). So these are the white topped mountains I’ve been seeing froths distance all week if it were snow, you’ll need to bring your rock skis. home was supposed to be all downhill then a long 20k flat run home, avoiding the beach traffic. What the guide book said was when you get to the STOP sign at the bottom of the hill, in Carrara, make a left turn toward Massa. What the guide book didn’t say was as you approach the bottom get into a low gear, because when you make that left, from a full stop, your facing a 500 meter 8% uphill climb, before you reach that flat section. Oy. The ride back to Viareggio on the alternate route was busy with traffic anyway. When I got to town, I immediately went to my new favorite Gelateria, for a dark chocolate mixed with dark cherry, and another wonderful flor that I haven’t identified yet. I’ll ask tomorrow. I cleaned and lube Sally for another ride tomorrow. Dinner at a grey restaurant. Chef’s choice, fixed price meal. Just what I was craving. Lots of fish. Pasta vongole, with clams and lots of mussels. And a mixed grilled fish and vegetables dish. I’m full, and I only had one piece of bread. Oh, and a carafe of very good house wine. I feel full, and I feel fine.
Time for. Bed soon. I’ll try to load some photos for you.