Friday, August 10, 2012

8-10 - a little discouraged, but a great ride

I mentioned another successful blog that Emily had referred me to for tips on blogging.  One of the tips was to write what you feel and just put it out there.  Well, after getting the contact for a tour yesterday, I returned an email to the person explaining that I did not do groups, but could work something out for her or for her and a friend.  Later in the day, she wrote back that she thought that would be too expensive, and she would look for alternatives.  I wrote her that I would charge her 1/2 the rate for two people, and hoped this would work out.  She wrote back saying thank you for making it affordable, but that she had already made other arrangements.  Not a big deal, but I was looking forward to taking someone, a paying customer, out rather than spending my time attempting to market.  As I have said in the past, I just need to stay patient, and things will work out if I keep trying.  So, I started the day a little discouraged.  When Emily asked me if I was going riding, I responded, yes, what else do I have to do.  Well, poor Mark.  I am blessed to be able to ride as much as I do, I love it, and am blessed to have the opportunity to be here and try this.  I believe all that, but discouragement can creep in.

I took off on my ride on another hot day, and had a truly great ride.  The moodiness faded with each passing kilometer, and by the middle of the ride, I was totally stoked.  I rode out the Viale to Piazza Ferucci, then out to Bagno a Ripoli.  At Bagno a Ripoli, you start a long climb to San Donato in Collina, a climb of around 1800 vertical feet.  It is a great road, and with a few exceptions, the climb is not that steep.  From San Donato, I descended through Troghi, Cellai (water stop), Palazzolo, then turned off just after Burchio.  This descent has become one of my favorites, and today was no exception.  From Burchio I rode over to the bridge across the Arno, then climbed, and descended, then climbed again to the turn off toward Matassino, then climbed to Regello, where I found more good, and actually reasonably cold water.  From Regello, I climbed to Pietrapiana, the descended to San Donato Fronzano, then climbed to Donnini.  More water in Donnini, again, quite cold, then a beautiful climb to Tosi.  More water in Tosi, then a descent, with some climbing mixed in to Paterno, then Pelago.  From Pelago, a descent to hook into the main road, then a continuing descent into Pontesieve.  Back home with a tail wind, yippee, through Sieci, Compiobbi, etc., to Firenze.  A total of 90 kilometers in 3 hours and 52 minutes, with a climbing guess of 4000 vertical feet.  The road to Regello I had not ridden in a number of years, and the road across, up, etc. to Tosi, then Pelago was truly beautiful and fun.  Hey, I have to remind myself to be present and enjoy!

A shot of the great descent between Cellai and Palazzolo.  
I just love this road!

A beautiful small church and bell tower on the way out of Palazzolo.

On the climb to Regello, there are some sandstone formations 
that I have only seen on this road in Tuscany.

Wow.  A nice little country villa on the climb to Tosi from Donnini.

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