Monday, October 6, 2014

Day 1 with Pete and Gail - Castelfranco, Vallombrosa, Pelago, Firenze

Excellent first day with Gail and Pete, who are staying with us for 6 nights and riding 5 days with me from a promotion I did with the Crested Butte Nordic Center almost a year ago.  They are very fit, strong riders, and we had a wonderful first day out.  We decided on a relatively long, hard day for the first day, and I choose Sette Ponti and Vallombrosa.  We rode out through the city to Ponte a Ema, then took the back road to Osteria Nuova.  They really were full of adrenaline and excited to ride through the city traffic.  When you get used to it, it seems like nothing, but they said it was "big league" city riding and were quite high on the experience.  We continued up to San Donato in Collina, then descended to the turn off for the malls, crossing the arno, and riding over to the approach to Castelfranco through Matissino.

We stopped in Castelfranco for some photos, and they both were totally fine staying with me on climbs.  I could have gone a little harder, but not much, so it will be a fun but tiring week.  Gail is a little slower on the descents, but I assume that will change with some time.  Anyway, the week is about them having fun, not about going any particular speed.  We enjoyed the strada Setteponti to Regello, where I planned a cafe and pastry at my favorite spot.  Alas, it is closed on Mondays.  We continued over to climb to Saltino, and I saw a bar right before the turn off in Pietrapiana which turned out quite good.

We rode the hill pretty fast and easily and stopped for the view in Saltino.  They were both super enthusiastic, which makes my work much more rewarding.  We rode up to Vallombrosa and stopped at my favorite spot for water, then descended down to Tosi, then Pelago, then Pontasieve.  Fast, fun descent.  From Pontasieve, I led the way in to town, then more exciting city riding on the way home.  Just back from a beer and cheeseburger for some extra fuel.  Great day!  Here is the garmin link:

Gail and Pete, day 1 - Castelfranco, Regello, Saltino, Vallombrosa, Pelago by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

You have to take a picture here at the old gate to Castelfranco
di Sopra.  Gail and Pete are in there if you look hard.  

One of my best over the head, behind me shots of Pete and 
Gail on the strada setteponti.

With my favorite cafe / bar closed in Regello, I was looking
for something on the way to Saltino.  This bar was right before
the turn off to Saltino in Pietrapiana.  Great cafe and quite 
good pastries.  I liked the beer sign on the wall.

Pete and Gail at the top of the hill, just before Saltino, our
biggest climb of the day.

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