Sunday, October 19, 2014

First day of 5 or 6 with Art and Richard in the Chianti hills.

My third day out with Richard, but our first day together with Art, who was an acquaintance when I lived in Colorado and is a long time, good friend with Richard.  Art was one of my first clients in the first season when I struggled to get my name and service out there.  So, I guided Art, his wife and another couple in September a couple of years ago.  At that time he was coming off back surgery and a very difficult year with personal items, and was a little slow.  Today, he was at least twice as strong and we all three had a great ride.

I decided to do my standard expandable / contractable Chianti ride, as I was unsure how long Art would want to go and how fit he would be.  He also traveled all day yesterday and was battling jet lag.  We ended up doing 3/4 of the total options and it all worked great.  We had a slow start, but all three of us were on the bikes and on our way out of town by 12:00.  We made our way over toward Grassina, and turned off to climb through Vacciano.  The weather earlier was a little foggy / cloudy, but it really cleared by the time we got going.  Great climb through Vacciano, and just by doing this climb it was apparent to me that Art was much stronger and fitter than the last time we rode.

We continued up through San Gersole to Impruneta where there was a huge market / town fair going on.  Fun, but not conducive for a cafe.  We rode down to the road to Ferrone and quickly turned off to climb through Luiano to the road above Mercatale.  We had our first real decision point here, as I realized that everyone wanted to continue when we were at the start of the Luiano climb.  Art was up for continuing, but wanted some food soon.  We rode down then up to Montefiridolfi, but the bar was closed, which did not really surprise me.  We went along the ridge to Bibbione then down to the valley below, starting the climb to San Casciano, but turning off to go to the bar / alimentary in Ponte Rotto for some really excellent panini.  A favorite stop of mine, I had never had a panini there before, but probably will again.  After our lunch stop, it was a climb to San Casciano, then the descent to Falciani, coming back to Galluzzo on the main road.  We branched off after Galluzzo to come home through Cinque Vie, ending up the day on the Viales to the apartment.  Great ride today, guys, and thanks for "Riding with Cosimo"

Art and Richard - day 1 - Chianti hills by ridingwithcosimo at Garmin Connect - Details

Art nearing the top of the first climb above Vacciano.

Art on the climb through Luiano with the Chianti hills in the background

Richard didn't want his picture taken much, but I caught him taking 
a picture of Art when we were stopped below Luiano.

Art in the beautiful little valley between Mercatale 
and Montefiridolfi.

One action shot of Richard on the ridge between Montefiridolfi
and Bibbione.

Art riding ahead on the same ridge.  Che bella!

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