Saturday, October 5, 2013

Great ride to the south and east with Bert and Jen.

The forecast was changing all week, but as the day started yesterday, it was only 40% showers with it clearing as the day progressed.  Bert and Jen, clients from the Denver area who found my services through Trip Advisor, came by the apartment to get the bikes I rent and get them set up properly.  We were off and riding around 10, which worked well with the weather forecast.  We basically rode with overcast skies all day, but did not have any rain, which was fine.  It was cool, which was nice for riding.  They told me they rode a fair amount and were pretty fit, so I gave them a couple of options with likely ride durations.  They choose the longest option, which was great by me.  I had wanted to take clients on the strada Sette ponti for a while, and we set off for this ride.

We went out through Ponte a Ema, taking the back way to just below Osteria Nuova (thanks, Leif, for this route) and hooked up with the main road there and climbed to San Donato in Collina.  By now, I knew pretty well their pace and fitness for climbing.  We continued with the plan and enjoyed the descent to the road on the west side of the Arno.  We crossed the Arno, then rode to the cut off for Matissino, then along the busy roads to the road to Castelfranco di Sopra.  The road gets quite nice again here, and we enjoyed the climb to Castelfranco.  We took a little water break and Jen stretched her shoulders, as the bike did not fit perfectly and with a long-ish ride and a fair amount of climbing, this is needed.

We next took the really fun strada Sette Ponti over to Regello and stopped for a nice snack / lunch.  Jen wanted something sweet and chocolate, and they had bongos, which were made in house.  The lunch and the bongos were really great.  I am stopping enough here now that they are beginning to know me, which is great.  Clients really like that kind of thing.  We continued on the Doninni, where we had our last decision point of the day.  Although Jen was slowing on the climbs, she happily choose to climb to Tosi, only saying, "I will just be a little slower, but I am loving the riding".  Perfect.  We climbed to Tosi, then descended through Paterno to the little climb to Pelago.  We regrouped and continued to the main road into Pontesieve.  They later told me that the part from Doninni through Tosi to the main road was their favorite part of the day, so it was great we added it on.

We took the ride back into town at a pretty mellow pace, and were back at the apartment in a little over 6 hours.  Sometime during the day, I learned this was an Anniversary vacation, so Happy Anniversary - 10 years!  Also, the day was the longest ride Jen had ever completed.  Congratulations, Jen!  They were great clients and a pleasure to guide in the Tuscan countryside.  We went 64.5 miles in 5:04 rolling time for an average speed of 12.7 mph with 4419 vertical feet of climbing at an average temperature of 66.  Great day!

Sette Ponte and Tosi with Bert and Jen by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Bert and Jen at the old gate in Castelfranco di Sopra.

The skies actually look like they are going to clear on this
panoramic picture on the Sette Ponti road.

Jen and Bert as we approach the final descent to Pontesieve.

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