Monday, September 30, 2013

Short ride to the North for my last day with Todd and Melisa

Rain / Showers were predicted for today and it happened.  Todd and Melisa were returning from a spot in the country outside of Florence for a last day here and a last ride together.  With the weather forecast, they did not hurry their return, but we still got in a nice last ride here.  They were back in town around 12:00 and we met between their hotel and my apartment by 12:45 and were at the apartment getting the bikes together by 1:15.  Since it was sprinkling, there was no hurry, but we started regardless of the weather.  It was not raining hard.  The sprinkles stayed with us pretty much all the way up Via Bolognese to the turn off at San Bartolo.  Melisa was justifiably nervous about the wet pavement on the steep and tiny roads, so we took it slow.

I took them on one of my favorite short rides, and it was great.  The rain stopped as we turned off on the tiny road and we enjoyed the ride down / up through Cercina to the church above the town marking the top of our climbing.  We descended option #3, as it has only one really steep spot and it is pretty straight.  We took it slow and everyone was happy with the descent.  We turned off to take the back way into the Careggi area, then took the little roads below Careggi almost back.  It was a great ride, and we finished with sunshine.  Good riding guys and thanks for the business.  Ciao.

Cercina on my last day with Todd and Melisa by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Todd and Melisa riding through the tiny town of Cercina.

At the beautiful church at the top of the climb above Cercina.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday in Chianti with Eric and the World Championships.

Super fun day of cycling today.  I took out a young man from New York, Eric this morning and we had a very nice ride.  He was easy to guide, pretty fit, and a fun person to be around.  He does tri-athalons as a hobby, so it was kind of nice for this old man to be able to drop him on the hills.  Riding hills every day really is an advantage when tackling them.  We did a nice loop in the Chianti hills, pretty close in, almost the same loop I did with other clients on Thursday.  Today, rain was forecast, it absolutely poured around 7, but it was only a light shower when we left the apartment around 8.  I did this ride because it is easily expandable if desired, and if the heavens really opened up again, we could return fairly quickly.

I will not review the route again, as it really is almost the same as Thursday.  Eric was fun to ride with and easy to guide.  After returning, we caught the peleton riding along the Arno as they came into Florence, then rode to the apartment.  Eric stayed for a couple of passes of the group and then returned to his hotel room.  A couple of guys from the team came over and along with Emily, we all enjoyed the men's road race.  Sooooooo fun!

Sunday in the Chianti hills with Eric by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Eric at the now obligatory picture spot at Piazzale Michaelangelo.

Eric climbing the hill on the way to Vacciano.

The men's pro road race was the final event today at the world
championships here in Florence.  It was more than a little wet for most of
the race, but it cleared up for the final 2 laps.  The whole week 
has been so much fun to watch and be a part of.  Congratulations
to the city and everyone here for making it such a wonderful week.
The race was super close in the end and really fun to watch.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Super fun Saturday morning ride with the team.

Todd and Melisa changed their scheduled tour today to Monday, so another day off.  I got up and rode with the team this morning, which was super fun.  I love taking people cycling, but it is really great not to be in charge and to have people pushing my pace and a group that simply goes after it.  We had 7 of us from the team this morning, and picked up an additional 5 on the way to Montelupo.  We continued with a group of 12 to the turn off to Vitolini, and were down to 8.  We broke apart as a group on the climb through Vitolini to Pinone, but regrouped at the top.  We returned down the climb less than one kilometer and took a turn off to descend to Limite, which was super fun.  I had ridden this road a few times, both up and down a number of years ago when I was first exploring this area, but had not been back there in around 4 or 5 years.  I loved the descent, and will use it again.

We regrouped in Limite, then rode into Montelupo and cut over to the ride up the valley to Cerbia.  This is a very pleasant ride, and today we rode it pretty fast together.  We again broke apart on the climb to Chiesa Nuova, and Lorenzo sprinted ahead of everyone.  He had stayed with someone slower on the Pinone climb, and had some energy to use.  He also is riding the 200 k Eroica next Sunday, and needed to have this energy.  I was a surprising second up the climb, and Davide was surprised when I passed him and gave me his congratulations at the top.  From Chiesa Nuova, we cruised fast together over to the turn off to Scandicci and down into Scandicci.  While riding through Scandicci, people started breaking off to go home.

Three of us powered almost all the way home together, and I returned in time to see the final pass through of the Junior men on their 5 laps in Firenze.  Pretty darn fun.  Today's ride was 56.6 miles in 3:24 rolling time for an average speed of 16.6 mph with 2382 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 73.  Perfect.

Sabado con squadra - Pinone, Chiesa Nuova. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Here are a couple of pictures of the leading group of Pro Women on their way through at
the base of the Via Bolognese hill on their second of 5 times through.  Cool!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Junior Women and Under 23 Men - road races for the UCI World Championship

Todd and Melisa are staying in the country today, and cancelled today's tour and changed Saturday's to Monday.  So, I have a couple of days off, which I am happy to have.  It does take a lot of energy to guide people and mostly to be, "on" the whole day.  I love interacting with others and getting to know the clients, but I am not gregarious by nature, so it is an effort.  Anyway, after many days of tours and only a couple of days off in the last week or two, I was happy to have today and tomorrow.  Also, there is this event going on in Florence, which to me is about as cool as it gets.  The UCI World Championships are here, and this week is full of racing.  So, I get to watch today and tomorrow.  

Today, the junior women raced in the morning, starting at the stadium in town and doing 5 laps, each of which goes directly by our apartment at a curve.  We have windows on both sides, so we can watch them come down the hill, ride through a turn, and start a straight.  It is really fun and we are so lucky to be in this location.  I just get very excited watching these incredible athletes ride.  I am pretty obsessed with cycling, as any blog readers know.  Kate's babysitter was up late last night, sick, and texted Kate this morning that she could not make it.  Kate asked for our help, and I went over around 11:30 to watch the kids until around 2:15 when Emily took over.  My timing was good, as the morning race was over, and I saw the afternoon race come through town before starting their laps.

The afternoon race was the Under 23 Men, and it was really cool.  A couple of weeks ago, I did 3 laps, trying to go fast, and came up with a time of around 40 minutes.  My course was a little longer, and I did have traffic lights, etc., but at best you could round down a minute or two.  Well, the fast young women were doing the lap in around 35 minutes, but the fast under 23 men were around 24 to 28 minutes, getting faster as the race went on, which was the opposite of what I expected.  Overall, it was just super fun and exciting to watch this wonderful event up close and personal.  Ciao.

I think this is my favorite picture.  The Women's junior (they do not have a separate under 23 and junior class) peleton coming through below the apartment on one of their laps.  

The Men's under 23 group just starting to come through on one of the laps.

I think the pictures on the street were better.  This is just below the apartment of the Men's under 23 
road race peleton.  They are absolutely cooking.  

The men's peleton on the way down Via Bolognese from the apartment.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Close in Chianti hills with Todd and Melisa.

 We started a little later this morning, and had some discussions on how to make it work or what to do as they are moving to the country tonight around Tavernelle.  We had a few possibilities, but all of them were a hastle for at least one or more of us.  We decided mid ride to do a day of riding on Monday, and leave the bikes at my apartment today.  That way they don't have to deal with moving bikes daily, which is a challenge.  They also can enjoy the peace of the countryside with no committments.  One day less for me, but that is totally fine.

I had planned the day with going through Tavernuzze in mind, as I thought they were going to rent a car and transport the bikes.  After we decided that was not best, we skipped Tavernuzze, but still did a tour in that area.  We rode out past Piazzale Michaelangelo, then up to Poggio Imperiale.  Enjoyed the descent to Galluzzo, then over to Cinque Vie to start the climb to Vacciano.  Everyone enjoyed the climb, and the continuing climb to San Gersole, Monteoriolo, and into Impruneta.  We stopped for a cafe and snack at my new favorite place there and took a good break.

We descended the direct route toward Ferrone, got on the main road and turned off for the climb through Luiano.  Toward the top, I gave the options for continuing, and we decided to continue at least to Montefiridolfi.  Great ride to Montefiridolfi, then along the ridge to Bibbione.  We enjoyed the descent to the valley, then all rode the climb to San Casciano pretty fast.  Todd and Melisa definitely picked up the pace starting here for the remainder of the day.  We stopped in San Casciano and I pointed out gelato and water, and neither were needed or desired.  We continued riding through Chiesa Nuova and then down into Scandicci.  I gave the options for either the viales or through the city center, and they choose the center.

We powered through Scandicci and I was on auto pilot and we started toward the Viales, then stopped to change course through town.  A little confusion, totally my fault, then back on course.  After crossing Ponte Carria, we were on the race course through town, which was super fun.  We got off the course at Piazza del Duomo, and took a good posed picture.  While I was taking the picture some very nice American tourists came up to talk and were  convinced we were all participants in the Mondiale.  I explained that we weren't even close, and they eventually understood.  We finished the ride at the apartment, then went to the neighborhood place for a panini and a couple of cheeseburgers.  Great day, and I am looking forward to Monday.  Ciao.

Close in Chianti hills with Todd and Melisa by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Todd and Melisa climbing to Luiano.

In the valley just before starting the climb to Montefiridolfi.

Almost back.  In the Piazza del Duomo posing with the Duomo, Campanile,
and Baptistry in the background.  We rode the race course in through town.  Fun. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Santa Brigida, Pope's road with Todd and Melisa

I met Todd and Melisa at their hotel at 9:30 for day 2.  They wanted to keep the ride to 4 hours or so, basically elapsed time, so I changed my plan for today.  Diacetto was out.  I stayed with most of the remainder of my plan and added in the Pope's road.  We left and went back to San Domenico, taking a different back route which was nice.  On the main road to Fiesole for a while, then turning off toward Maiano.  On the way down, there were 2 RV's holding up all traffic, which luckily broke up almost right after we got there.  I have no idea what anyone is thinking driving an RV through there.  We rode past Maiano, the down to the start of the Vincigliata climb.  As always, a great climb and they both enjoyed it.

We took the road over to the road above Fiesole, and repeated a small portion from yesterday to the turn off for the Alberaccio just below the pass.  A short break up there and a warning for the downhill, and the turn for Santa Brigida, where I would wait to mark the turn.  Fun descent, and then everyone was in the small ring for the ride to Santa Brigida.  A little rough road surface, but a beautiful route and super views.  We got some water in Santa Brigida, and continued over through Fornello and Doccia to the windmill.  They loved the road.  It is super pretty, and after Santa Brigida, the road surface improves for almost the whole ride.

We turned down toward Rufina after the windmill and really enjoyed that descent.  A short discussion yielded the decision to take the Pope's road to Pontesieve where we would find some gelato.  The pope's road was great and we found the gelato spot I had gone with Don and Kay many years ago.  They no longer made their own gelato, but Melisa was fine with an ice cream bar.  We all had cafe and Todd and I had piazettas.  Nice break, then we took a nice, easy pace back down the main road to Firenze.  Great ride.

After returning, I had time to change and go to watch the pro men's time trial for the world championship.  I got to the course in time to watch 45 of the 75 riders come through.  The last 10 or so were the world's best, and I was just super happy to be there to watch them ride.  You see them on TV or the computer often, but it was nice to see them riding a time trial, passing within a couple of feet of where I was watching.  I loved it.  Ciao.

Day 2 Todd and Melisa - Vincigliata, Santa Brigida by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Melisa and Todd riding to San Domenico.

A cool monument on the way to the Maiano 
turn off on the world championship course.

Todd riding from Doccia.

At the Molino de Vento.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nice ride in the Mugello with Todd and Melisa.

Today was day one of five with Todd and Melisa, from Denver.  We had some trouble communicating getting everything set up, but they were super nice clients and strong riders.  Their luggage was lost yesterday afternoon and last night, but showed up this morning.  I met them at their hotel, the Four Seasons, at 10:30 after they let me know the luggage was on it's way.  They changed while I had a cafe, then we walked to the apartment.  We got both bikes set up, and were on our way.  We went out through Piazza della Cure, then up the back way #1 to San Domenico, joining the World Championship course to Fiesole.  We continued climbing through Fiesole and enjoyed the super mellow climb to Croce alla Vetta.  We cut over / up to Bivigliano, and re-filled water.

From Bivigliano, it was over, then down the super fun descent to Vaglia.  This descent caught their attention, as it is pretty steep and super curvy / switchbacky.  We powered down through San Piero a Sieve to Scarperia turning off on the small, fun road to San Agata and Galliano.  I stopped in San Agata at my normal spot, and for the first time, they were closed.  Yikes!  We continued over to Galliano, and found a good spot for cafe and panini.  It was good to find a new place.  Back on the main road for a few kilometers, then the turn off for Bosco ai Frati and San Piero.  What a beautiful road on a perfect day.

From San Piero a Sieve on a main road toward Borgo San Lorenzo, then up the fun climb to Croce alla Vetta.  Around 1/2 the way up the climb Melisa's back started bothering her, but some extra stops for stretching seemed to make it work.  We will have to see how it goes tomorrow.  Another stretch at the top, then the fun descent on mostly new pavement through Caldine and Pian de Mugnone back to Cure.  Back by the apartment and on the Viales back to the hotel.  Melisa's back was better after we started descending, so that was good.  Good ride today and we meet tomorrow at 9:30 - nice, civilized time.  Ciao.

Todd and Melisa, day 1 - Giro de Mugello by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Getting started climbing to Fiesole.

Riding into Bivigliano.

Todd and Melisa on the beautiful road between Bosco ai Frati 
and San Piero a Sieve.

A day at the UCI World Championships

Yesterday, I had a day off, and therefore it was my day to watch the racing happening in Florence this week.  I incorrectly estimated the timing of the women's junior group, so Emily and I arrived to watch just after the last racer went through.  We did get back in time to watch the entire group of 72 men's under 23 racers go through one by one.  It was really fun.  We watched in the city center, which involved hearing some whistles, then a motorcycle, then the cyclist, then a following car.  They were all going pretty fast, but our spot involved watching them come around a curve, then do a mostly straight stretch toward the Campanile at the Duomo.  A beautiful spot, and fun to watch.

Tourism does not stop for the event, so part of the fun was watching people and groups see what was going on, then try to understand how they might get from point A to point B on opposite sides of the race course.  There are officials and multiple types of police that will tell people where they can cross.  Some people want the world to turn for them and are quite put out with the fact of walking an extra 2 or 3 hundred meters to get where they are going.  Mostly, people seem to be enjoying the event, and I give the organizers my highest marks for the officials who are helping and directing people.  Although I use my Italian to ask directions, they respond first in Italian, then follow up with excellent English.  The course is amazing for spectators going through the city center.

The cyclists were all turning pretty big gears, and I was surprised at first not to see faster spins.  But thinking about it, they were coming out of a turn, on the cobbled part of the course, and they probably do not want to change gears too often.  Anyway, really fun.  Below is a video of one of the riders going through along with a few pictures.  Ciao.

The course going toward the Piazza del Duomo.

Here comes another rider.

And there he goes!

A little boy watching from the window of his apartment.

Emily made some flags to hang on the railing of our terrace.
One for the US and one for Italia.  Go teams!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Group of 22 to Torre a Cona - Wow!

Yesterday was a different but good experience for me.  I had never guided a group bigger than 6 before, and a friend asked me to guide this group of 22 for the day.  His wife, Michele, was along as a sweep guide, and we had a set itinerary.  It was still a challenge, as when I turned to see if the group was along, even if I could see a large group, it was not the entire group.  It is pretty amazing how long a distance a group of 22 plus 2 guides takes up.  It was still a fun day, but when I was done, I was pretty tired.  We certainly had a couple of difficulties, but they were quite minor.

The place we had lunch, a swim, and a tour, Torre a Cona, is a beautiful spot that handles a group this size very well.  Super views, great food, and nice people.  One interesting piece was guiding the group through the city on the way back.  The tour operator, Ola, asked if we could go by the Ponte Vecchio and Pitti Palace on the return.  I certainly managed that, and it would have been pretty simple, but town is packed with people and there are the World Cycling Championships going on right now.  So, a few detours, lots of people, and a large group.

All in all, a good day, and a great experience for me.  I think I prefer a small group, but it is good to know I can make a large group work, and now have the experience to make it happen.  Ciao.

Guiding a group of 22 to Torre a Cona and back by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The whole group just before starting the return trip.  Perfect
day and a great group.

I ran into some friends upon our return, and one of them took 
this picture.  Almost back at Piazza de Duomo.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vallombrosa, Consuma on a perfect September day!

I had a nice solo ride today.  I almost went with the team this morning, but with so many tours to take out and a number already completed, I thought a day alone would be nice.  Also, I could choose whatever route I wanted, which was nice.  I have a large group tomorrow, through a friend's company, and I needed to know how to get us all out of town with the road closures for the Mondiale.  It was actually pretty easy.  I found a spot where you can walk through occasionally when an official allows quite close to where the map said it would be.  The bonus was being able to watch four of the pro men's teams fly by on a practice run.  It really is amazing how fast the go.  The time trial bikes with the rear wheels being solid also make a distinctive sound as they pass by.  It was so cool.  I will watch as much as possible this week, which I have no idea what that means, as I will need to keep the clients happy first.  Still there should be some opportunities, like today.

I rode out the new way to Osteria Nuova, then up through San Donato in Collina, then down through Le Valle and Pallazuolo to the turn to cross the Arno.  After crossing, I turned left to go toward Vallombrosa, starting in Lecchio.  It is a nice climb, and I took the short cut to Pietrapiana, and mistakenly turned left, when if I had turned right, the road to Saltino and Vallombrosa would have been within a couple hundred meters.  I pretty much knew this, but the left turn beckoned.  I went left, and for a while kept expecting to see the turn for Saltino, but soon I knew I had turned the wrong way.  Thinking about it, I decided to just stay with it and climb from Doninni through Tosi to Vallombrosa, which is a much better climb (if you like a couple thousand feet at 10 to 15%) and very pretty.  I filled the water in Vallombrosa and took off on the road to Consuma.

I had only ridden this road once before, and it surprised me today by being way more fun and beautiful than I recalled.  I think the last time I was pretty beat, and it was more uphill than I expected, which must have colored my perceptions.  Anyway, I loved it today.  The descent to Pontesieve was super fast and long, which was also fun.  From Pontesieve, it was the normal power ride home.  What a fun ride - 58.4 miles in 4:14 rolling time for an average speed of 13.8 mph with 5250 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 79.  Great ride!

Vallombrosa, Consuma on a perfect September day. by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Practice day for the team time trial.  Here are a couple of the teams
I saw go by when figuring out how to navigate my way out of town. 
They are soooooo fast.  Really cool to see.

What a perfect day - on the way to Pietrapiana.

Ah ... the beautiful tree lined end of the climb approaching Vallombrosa.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A great van supported day in the Chianti countryside with Jeff and Jackie.

A nice tour today for Dominick's company with a couple of newlyweds on their honeymoon.  Ahh - young love is beautiful.  I hooked up with the van driver, a different one than in the past, and we picked up the clients then went to the bike shop for the bikes.  We drove to Chiesa Nuova, and started our ride there.  They were really quite fit, and rode very well.  We rode the very gradual mostly up ridge road to San Casciano, then descended to Bargino.  At every opportunity to stop at the van for water, snacks, etc. they wanted to keep moving.  So, we just kept riding, after the descent up the very gradual valley to Sambuca.  Next we had the climb to San Donato in Poggio, which I wanted to discuss.  It was our first real climb of the day, and I wanted to let them know what was coming.  We also finally had some of the snacks I prepared, which they really enjoyed.  Jackie made the whole climb to San Donato, and Jeff used the van after around 1/2 the climb.

We got the bikes on the van and drove to Podere La Capella for a super lunch.  It is the second time I have been there and it is simply an amazing lunch.  4 or 5 courses depending on how you look at it, 3 different wines that they make, followed by a tour of the winery and property.  It is a really nice experience and the clients loved it, which is what it is all about.  Back in the van and we did a nice drive through a different part of Chianti back to Florence.  Congratulations Jeff and Jackie.  Ciao.

Excellent client tour for Dominick's company by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Jackie and Jeff climbing in the valley between
Bargino and Sambuca.

The vineyards are starting to change colors and I had 
to get this first shot of the change.

At lunch at Podere La Capella.

Jackie and Jeff in front of the chapel at Podere La Capella,
built in 1076.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My first city tour on bikes with clients.

I took out some clients through the Vayable guide service today who asked for a "city" tour, taking in many of the sites of the city.  It was a very different tour for me, but I think it worked well.  We rode throughout the city on a beautiful day, stopping for me to share the knowledge I have about many of the historic and architectural site in the city.  It was fun.  We added in a loop to Piazzale Michaelangelo, then had a panini in Piazza Santa Spirito.  We then added in a loop through the Cascine, followed up with gelato at B-Ice, one of my favorite gelaterias.  All in all, a fun day.  Thanks for "riding with cosimo" Landon and Kayla.  Ciao.

City tour with Landon and Kayla by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Kayla and Landon at Piazza Santissima Annucciata.

On ponte alla Grazie, ponte Vecchio in the background.

Landon and Kayla at Piazzale Michaelangelo.

At one of my favorite gelaterias, the tour almost complete.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A couple rides in Tuscany to the east and south of Florence.

A couple of rides accounted for here today.  Yesterday was a very busy day with errands, the Viola pick up, and I fit in a couple hours for a scouting ride.  A friend here, Leif, who has been doing cycling guiding for around 8 or 9 years here asked me to help on a tour for this Sunday.  Leif is busy elsewhere, so I will lead the ride and his wife Michelle will help at the back of the group.  Leif had a couple of different ways to get to Osteria Nuova that I had never rode, and it took some effort to find them both.  Only one really wrong turn, but a lot of back and forth taking both routes both directions.  I also found the suggested cafe / break spot around Badia a Ripoli.  The new route is really nice, and as you can see below, I will use it myself for the climb to Osteria Nuova occasionally.  Stay tuned to Sunday's post to see how the ride with 22 Swedes goes.  I am of course hoping for the best.  The ride summary is:  23.6 miles in 1:50 rolling time for an average speed of 12.9 mph with 1135 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 80.

Scouting ride for Leif's Swedes by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

A villa on the little road from Ponte a Ema to Osteria Nuova.

Some of the vineyards on the back road to Osteria Nuova.

I had a very nice ride alone today.  I had a few things to accomplish this morning, and was off for a ride by 12:30 or so.  I had the climb toward Passo de Sugame cutting off after Dudda for La Panca in mind. I rode out of town toward Bagno a Ripoli, and took Leif's route to Osteria Nuova.  It is a very quiet road, really pretty, and not any steeper than the normal route.  I may use it often.  It was fun today.  Back on my normal route in Osteria Nuova, I climbed to San Donato in Collina and enjoyed the descent to Incisa.  (Let's just ignore the two hills that interrupt the descent)  I was in Figline before I knew it and starting one of may favorite climbs toward Passo de Sugame.  It is just a very nice climb - good road, not really steep anywhere, curvy, and after you get a little ways away from Figline, pretty darn quiet.

I turned off a little after Dudda for the short descent, then climb to La Panca, where the big descent begins.  I love this descent.  It is just super fun, totally curvy, very little traffic, and not too steep, so you can kind of let it go.  I enjoyed it today, as always.  I rode back through Strada, then descending gradually along the ridge to the real descent to Grassina.  After Grassina, you find the cut to Cinque Vie, do a little climb and hook into the Viales back home.  Great ride.  46.5 miles in 3:06 for an average speed of 15.0 with 3205 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 77.

The vineyards just before Dudda.

The final push to Dudda.

My favorite bar in Dudda - Flags from many countries out front.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nice ride in the Chianti hills with Larry Morgan.

I had a really nice morning showing Larry Morgan around some of the Chianti hills on a fun ride.  We met at the bike shop where he rented a bike, and where Lia gave him my name and number to set up guiding services.  Thanks, Lia.  He was set up pretty quickly on the bike, and we were off and riding before 9:30.  Larry wanted to be back before 1 when the shop closes for lunch, so I had some timing to consider.  I am super compulsive about time, and was proud to have us back at the shop at 12:58.  Nice.

We rode out by Piazzale Michaelangelo, and he was strong and fine riding hills.  I had a couple of different rides in mind, and checked with him regarding small, steeper roads versus more travelled less steep roads.  He was into the small roads, so I adjusted to the ride we took.  We went up to Poggio Imperiale, then over to Cinque Vie to the start of the climb through Vacciano to San Gersole.  This is pretty steep in places, but he had no problems, and although I did modify my pace a little, I only really dropped him a couple of times.  He rides with a group in Maine where he lives, and has actively been riding road bikes for over 40 years.

From San Gersole, we hooked into the remainder of the climb to Impruneta, and stopped for a quick cafe there.  I am really liking the bar I have been going to recently there.  We descended from Impruneta toward Ferrone, then were on the main road for a couple hundred meters and turned off to climb through Luiano.   Great climb, and he was all over it - strong and happy.  At the top we hooked up with the main road around Mercatale then quickly turned off for the descent, then climb to Montefiridolfi.  We stopped in the town square and got some water and I just wanted to show him the square as I really like this spot.

We rode along the ridge, enjoying the views to Bibbione, then descended down the switchbacks to the main road, turning right and soon starting the climb to San Casciano.  We knocked out the climb pretty well, although his climbing was tiring a little by now.  However, he was quickly recovered, and totally stayed with me on a fast traverse through Spedellato and Chiesa Nuova.  We descended the switchbacks to Galluzzo, and then took the fast way home straight to Porta Romana.  We were closer on time than I thought we would be, but on schedule none the less.  Great ride, Larry.  I enjoyed the riding and conversation.  Ride summary is:  42.2 miles in 3:39 rolling time for an average speed of 11.6 mph with 3205 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 70.  Ciao.

Excellent client ride with Larry Morgan in the Chianti hills by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Riding past the olive groves on the way to Vacciano.

Larry on the last part of the climb above Vacciano.

Here is Larry starting the climb to Montefiridolfi.  Che Bella!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ride with clients in the Chianti hills.

I had a very nice client ride today with Tayo and his girlfriend, whose name I am sorry to say I forgot quickly, then did not ask again.  They were very interesting people and fun to take on a tour.  The only thing Tayo mentioned in his email about what the wanted to see on the tour was a great view of the city, and some beautiful countryside.  So, I started us out by going to Piazzale Michaelangelo, one of the best views of the city.  I tried to use this as a benchmark for their desire and ability to climb hills.  We discussed this, and I gave them a couple of options, and they chose the option with smaller, less trafficked, but steeper roads, even if they had to walk the bikes a little.

We headed out to Cinque Vie, then climb up to San Gersole through Vacciano.  Well, it was a little too much, in particular for Tayo, and he was game, but basically said he had enough hill climbing at that point.  I told him we needed to do a little more climbing and we could have cafe and food in Impruneta.  After a snack in San Gersole, we made our way to Impruneta and had a very nice snack and cafe.  We took a nice, long break, and I discussed our options after recovery had been accomplished.  Tayo really had enough climbing, so we took the direct descent toward Ferrone, and turned right on the main road back to town through Tavernuzze.  It was a nice ride back, and they both enjoyed the crusing versus climbing and descending.

We had a good chat during our break in Impruneta, and they were both really interesting people.  Both in their early 30's, from Nigeria, and educated in the US.  They had both started businesses in Nigeria, and were enthusiastic about the future.  It is a great benefit of my work to meet and hear about the lives of such fun and interesting people.  The weather forecast was for rain, but they were game to go and had bought ponchos, and the rain had stopped by our starting time.  The rain never returned during the ride, although it is starting again as I write this.  Always great to take out people who will deal with a little adverse weather.  Nice ride guys!  Thanks for riding with cosimo.  Ride summary:  30 miles in 3:14 rolling time for an average speed of 9.3 mph with 1709 vertical feet climbed at an average temperature of 72.

Great client ride in the Chianti hills by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

The great view of the city and a perfect picture spot
at the Piazzale Michaelangelo.

Tayo on the climb to San Gersole.

Climbing to San Gersole.

At the water source in San Gersole.