Friday, December 13, 2013

Viola's birthday party and a ride the next day.

Yesterday was a pretty busy, wild day.  I had class in the morning, which was followed by a couple of errands on the way home.  I was contacted immediately to help with preparations for Viola's birthday party.  I was on my townie bike going to Colle Berretto, a local restaurant that had a room upstairs that was the location for the party.  I helped a little up there and was sent off on more errands.  The first was the most fun, picking up 40 balloons for the party.  The place was around 3 to 4 kilometers away from the party spot, and I decided that I could tie them to my pack and ride the townie bike back.  It worked really well, but I definitely got some interesting looks and a few calls.  Then walking to pick up the cake, and I treated myself to a sandwich while picking up the cake.  I dropped the cake, returned home, and got ready for the party.  I packed my clothes for the next party as well, as I would be going from Viola's birthday party to the team annual meeting and dinner party.

Viola's party was a gas.  A pajama party, many of the adults and all the kids were decked out in their pajamas.  The space was perfect for the party, and even with around 40 kids between 2 and 5, it went pretty smooth.  It was lots of fun, but just being around the energy level of that many little kids, all charged up on sugar and chocolate, really takes it out of this old man.  I helped get all the extra stuff and presents back to Kate and Nicco's apartment then walked over to the restaurant for the team dinner.  It was really quite nice, and I felt my Italian was improving, as I at least understood around 70% of what was going on without interpreters.  I did confirm my thoughts with two people sitting next to me who speak perfect English.

After a few of these events I now understand the general flow of the evening.  It simply goes slow with lots of emotional talk.  The big discussions were of the timing of our winter departures for weekend rides and a much longer and more emotional talk about new jerseys.  The sponsor, Florence by Bike, is getting a new logo, and we had to decide if we would re-do all our jerseys, shorts, vests, etc.  The decision is that we will do new short sleeved jerseys, as no official events are in the winter.  We will have available vests, windstopper coats, etc. for a special price for the team as well.  It was midnight by the time I left, and I was pretty beat.  I did have a couple of big (30 oz) beers, enough to feel it this morning.

After class today, I was home and out quickly for a ride.  I checked my list of prior rides to get the timing right and decided on San Donato.  I went out through Ponte a Ema and up Via Carota to Osteria Nuova, and continued up to San Donato.  Today, I climbed into the fog on the way to San Donato, and it got much cooler and while not raining, the air was thick enough with water that my sunglasses were wet and needed clearing even on a climb.  I descended down toward Le Valle, but turned off a Cellai to climb to another road that would climb to the top of the hill above Bombone.  I had ridden this road only once before the opposite direction, so it was like a new road for me.  After hooking up with the road I ride occasionally to Bombone, I turned off and continued climbing through Santa Maria to the very top of the hill then down to the main road just above Bombone.  I had never ridden this road, and I always enjoy a new road.  Pretty steep, but no traffic and a pretty good surface.

After hooking up with the main road, I descended, climbed, then descended more to Rosano.  From Rosano, I powered in 20 k or so on the main road toward Bagno a Ripoli.  I used the first bridge to get across the Arno, then rode home via the Campo de Marte station.  Really a fun ride, and the slight hangover was gone in less than a half hour after the start of the ride.  34.3 miles in 2:31 rolling time for an average speed of 13.6 mph with 2516 vertical feet of climbing at a chilly average temperature of 44.

San Donato, Cellai, Santa Maria, Bombone, Rosano, Bagno a Ripoli, Firenze by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

I couldn't resist putting in a couple of pictures from Viola's party yesterday.
Here are my 3 favorite girls together in pajamas looking good.

All the kids are gathered around the cake to help with the candles.

Back to the normal pictures.  On today's ride, I climbed into the fog on the
way to San Donato in Collina.  I love the light on days like today.

I am starting across on this road that I had only descended once previously
As always, the roads are totally different in the opposite direction,
at least from this rider's point of view.  

The new road I found and rode today, with the fog coming back in.

The climb on the new road is in the distance here.  It turned out to be
pretty steep, but a fun, nice little road.

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