Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Great ride with British clients Andrew and Jackie.

Today I had a client ride with Andrew and Jackie, from England, around Sheffield I think they said.  We met in Chiesanuova, as they did not want to deal with traffic.  An extra bit of riding for me, but it worked out well.  The forecast was for only 20% chance of rain showers, so I thought we would be fine.  The skies looked threatening, so I suggested they bring shells.  Andrew did, but Jackie said he arms were waterproof.  We rode over to San Casciano, then to Mercatale where we stopped to have a cafe and discuss options.  The skies where I was planning on riding were really black, and we discussed other routes.  We pretty much decided to stay with the plan, but after we got back on the bikes, the rain started in earnest, and by the time we were back on the main road, I suggested plan B, which they were fine with.  We put on coats as we left Mercatale, and I suggested that Jackie use my wool arm warmers, which worked well for her.

Plan B was to go to Greve, which we did, and I thought we could climb Passo Sugame, but black skies there, and the rain had pretty much stopped by Greve.  The skies on the ridge between Panzano and Quattro Strade were light, so I decided we could do this.  This is a fairly difficult road, but Andrew was strong, and the electric bike that Jackie was on allowed her to stay with us regardless of the pace or difficulty of the climb.  It worked well.  I set a fairly strong pace to Panzano, then we descended a little to access the ridge road.  What a beautiful road, and it was fun to share with clients for a change.  In Quattro Strade, we turned to the South to ride over on the beautiful little road to the ridge ride through Montefiridolfi.  There was a fair amount of new pavement, basically on what were the roughest parts of the road which was excellent.  Fun ride, and again the steep parts were no problem.  Andrew and I may have tired a little, but Jackie was fine.  

We really enjoyed the ridge ride over to Bibbione, then the descent to the valley and the main road.  The skies had cleared, and it was looking like the Tuscany they had in mind.  We took the valley road toward San Casciano, then did our last real climb to San Casciano.   Again, I set a strong pace and everytime I checked, they were right there.  A little pause in San Casciano to see if anyone wanted gelato, etc, but Andrew has some dietary restrictions that did not allow this.  So, back to Chiesanuova, and the end of the days tour for them.  Really great ride, and I loved the way the electric bike made the different cycling and fitness levels work.  I had another 20 kilometers or so home, but it was fine.  Thanks for "Riding with Cosimo" Andrew and Jackie. Ciao.

Andrew and Jackie just getting started as we were riding
toward San Casciano.

Andrew and Jackie on the way up to Panzano.  It appears
here that the rain is over.

Andrew and Jackie just before the ridge road to Montefiridolfi.

This electric bike really made it work well to ride together,
and allowed us to tackle some steep climbs that would not
have been reasonable to do otherwise.  Great idea!

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