The climb up from oir house was tough again, but at least this time I knew what was coming, and I was soon on the long descent into Certaldo. This time I knew that I had to keep going into the centre to get across both the railway and the river.
From this point I set the Garmin to find San Gimi, but I also followed road signs when Garmin tried to take me up dirt tracks. There are unclassified roads here in Tuscany that would just be tracks at home, but the Garmin seems to think they're ideal for cycling on - I'm sure they are if you're on 32mm tyres and a touring chainset, but on 53-39 and 23mm tyres they're a no-no.
In the end the main road was fab - perfect road surface, about five miles of steady climbing and stupendous views. Near the top I was passed by three lads with San Gimignano tops on, so I hitched a ride to the roundabout just below the village. I didn't see a convenient caff, so I turned for home straight away after a couple of pictures.
The descent down to Ulignano was stunning, and necessitated several photo stops looking back up to San Gimi.
Back down in the valley they're building a new trunk road from Empoli down to Siena, so the road looks nothing like the map, with new roundabouts and bridges, but eventually I was on the right road. A stiff climb (particularly on 39-26) up to the little village of Vito, then an undulating ride to Barnerino and I was back on home territory.
A final bump down the track to home saw 32 miles on the clock and about 3,100' of climbing - but apart from the track up from home and the graunch into Vito it was nearly all in a continental style, so generally easy angled and great road surfaces. Cracking holiday cycling.
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