Thursday, September 11, 2014

Great Radda in Chianti tour in improving weather with Michael and Amy.

I awoke to thunder and truly pouring rain around 5 this morning and was getting pretty discouraged about todays tour.  Amy and Michael have paid for a 3 day guided, van supported tour through Dominick's company, and you just have to go with the weather you get.  Robby picked me up, and although the rain had stopped in Florence at that moment, it really poured and only seemed to increase on the way to Radda, where they are staying last night and tonight.  The forecast had the weather improving, and as we approached Radda, we saw some clearing skies to the west.  Hopeful at this point.  We had some alternatives in mind, but did not need them.  I met Michael and Amy in the breakfast area, and they were saying, well, let's see.  They related that it had been pouring hard there since around 4am and were surprised when I said there were only light sprinkles when we arrived.

We left breakfast, and checked the outdoors, and they were up for the ride.  It was cool and cloudy, but the precipitation had stopped.  I told them the weather was supposed to improve as the day progressed  as well.  We got everything set, them suited up, and were off on the tour.  I did not know the route super well, as I had only ridden most of it a few times and a small part I had never ridden.  Robby, the van driver and owner of the transport company, is a total pro and totally knows the area.  He was parked at any stop or turn off, so it was easy.  We started descending toward Gaiole, with a little climbing thrown in, and stopped at a ceramics place called Rampini.  Amy and Michael loved it, and purchased and had shipped gifts for both sets of parents and some for themselves as well.

We continued down and took the turns to go to Castello Brolio, where the option for a wine tasting was set up.  They enjoyed the wine tasting, but I just hung around, as I was assuming wine with lunch, which was pretty much right after the tasting.  We rode a kilometer or so to the restaurant, Carolia d'Oro, and it was super.  A little confusion with the date of the reservation and the set menu, but all turned out well.  All the food was simply excellent.  A cafe after the food, and we were back on the bikes to return.   Robby told me to go a different route than planned, and the road he suggested was amazing.  The skies had cleared, the views were amazing, and we had the gently descending road to ourselves.  After hooking up to a more main road we had a nice, very gradual climb to the turn off for Lecchio.  The climb gets a little serious here, but all hung in there and kept going.  After a couple of kilometers Amy opted for the van, but Michael stayed with it for the entire climb back to Radda through Lecchio.  It turned into such a nice day for us all.  Here is the garmin link:

Great giro from Radda with Amy and Michael in improving weather by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Improving weather and on the descent to Rampini, a wonderful
ceramics manufacturer outside of Gaiole.

We stopped for a wine tasting at Castello Brolio, a Ricasoli
vineyard and operation.  Very nice spot.

The happy newlyweds with views and weather for a nice picture.

Beautiful roads and views on our return.

The beautiful countryside returning to the Lecchio cut off, then Radda.

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