Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last ride of 2014 even with a little snow.

Even though it was quite cold here today, a high around 36, with snow in town and more snow above, I decided I needed to finish 2014 with a ride.  I have certainly ridden more this year than ever before in my life, and wanted to get one more in.  Who knows if or when I will ride this much again.  For the year around 20,400 kilometers in 289 rides with close to 290,000 meters of climbing.  I am thinking of trying for a goal of 1,000,000 vertical feet of climbing next year, which translates to around 304,000 meters.  We shall see.  Anyway, Happy New Year all, and I will start 2015 off with a ride with my young friend Luca in the Chianti countryside.  It is supposed to be cold, but not as cold as today.  The trend is warming to the weekend when it is forecast to be in the low 50's again.  Sweet!  Today's ride was one of my regular close in rides, as my thought of Montesenario was changed when I saw snow on the side of the road just below Pian de San Bartolo.  I went through Cercina and Careggi then back in to Firenze.  25.3 kilometers in 1:21 for an average (slow) of 18.6 kph with 558 meters of climbing.

Yes, there is some snow in the hills.  Today we had some pretty strong flurries for an hour or so in Florence, and I delayed my ride until afterward.  Emily called me from a bar where she meets a friend every Wednesday for a cafe, as today they had fresh doughnuts for the first time this year.  They are made by the pastry chef for one of the city's really good restaurants, and often they are brought out warm.  Emily and Maryland had them warm, but by the time I got there it was room temperature.  I did have one waiting for me, and all the others were gone.

We really did have a little snow here today, and up higher, here above Cercina, some of it even stuck. There were even a few places where the roads were a little snowy and Icy.  Good thing I have around 59 years of experience with lots of snow.  

Monday night I attended the Big Lebowski here in Florence, in Italian.  A good thing I had seen the movie, maybe 10 plus times, as my Italian definitely could not have kept up.  Here is a pictures of the hosts for the "special event" talking about the movie and it's impact before the show.  I understood enough to get most of what they said, in particular how the movie helped start and nourish the "slacker movement"  Interesting.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Great tour on a beautiful / cold day to the East of Firenze.

It was cold, I think an average of around 40 F on the ride, but what a perfect, beautiful day to get out for a ride.  The winds and recent rains had scoured the skies, making for incredible long range views. I am keeping the tours to around 3 hours when it is this cold, which seems to work for me.  It is best not to get too cold.  I loved the tour today, pretty much everything about it.  I had a great snack and cafe around 1/2 way through in Rufina, which is part of my strategy to stay warm when it is this cold for riding.  The roads were pretty empty, as many locals have traveled for the holidays, and most don't want to ride when the temperature is around 4 C.  I was the only person in the bar, and the very nice woman working the counter suggested an excellent dolce - a homemade cheesecake with a chocolate layer on top.  She made a mistake and made me a cappuccino instead of a cafe machiato, but it was quite good.  I don't think I will take that option often, though, as I have learned to really like the strong taste of the coffee in an espresso, which is what a cafe machiato is - an espresso with a "stain" of steamed milk.

After getting a little warmer, I had a climb to keep the body temperature up, then descended from Diacetto to Pontasieve where I decided to go back to Firenze on the south side of the Arno, to keep the ride a loop.  I love loop rides.  What a perfect, beautiful day to be out.  I am so lucky to be here and have the time and ability to do this.  Loving life today!

An old castle on the ridge just above where the climb to Doccia starts.

Looking back toward Molin de Piano from the climb to Doccia.

The climb from Molino de Piano to Doccia is pretty much like
the picture shows here.  It is steep, 25% in places, but a perfect
surface, no traffic, and really quite beautiful with around 10 
switchbacks in a row on the climb.  I love this stuff!

On the pretty road between Doccia and the windmill, this is a typical
view.  Here, through some olive trees to a bare winter vineyard, with a 
series of ridges in the background.  Che bella!

The view was so nice, I had to stop on the descent to Rufina, the town
in the valley in the picture.  A combination of wind, recent precipitation,
and crystal clear skies made for incredible views.  Here we have Rufina,
and in the background, fresh snow on the mountains around Croce ai Mori.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Beautiful, but cold ride in the Chianti hills.

I had planned a day off today, but the skies were clear, and I was set up for cold riding after yesterday, so I decided on a relatively short tour into Chianti.  It was pretty cool, around 38 F, but by only going out for 2 plus hours, along with a stop in a warm cafe for a cafe machiato, it worked well.  Perhaps when it is this cold, I will need to limit my rides in length.  Makes sense.  Other than just being happy to get out, the highlite of the ride for me was the cafe in the bar in Impruneta.  It was simply jammed with people, local residents just chatting, enjoying life.  As they say here, la dolce vita, or the sweet life.  I was certainly the only cyclist there, but I stop there fairly often, and the owners kind of know me.  Either way, I was welcomed into the spirit of things, and just enjoyed the time waiting for my cafe and enjoying the cafe while watching everyone just do their thing.  Italians really know how to enjoy the moments of their life.  I try to learn from this.  Anyway, it impressed me this morning.

I simply went up through Vacciano to Impruneta, then descended to the Luiano climb, then over through San Casciano to Chiesanuova, then down to Scandicci and home.  52.1 kilometers in 2:19 for an average speed of 22.4 kph with 701 meters of climbing.  Ciao!

One of the good views on the climb to Impruneta, and if you look hard, there is a fair amount of new snow on the mountains from just above Pistoia to the Garfagnana, above Lucca.  

Looking back to the Northwest on the climb to Impruneta.

After my cafe machiato, at a favorite bar in Impruneta, on my way to the 
descent, I saw this skating rink.  Quite a surprise to me.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cold team of one ride, but fun, and always good to be out.

Up for the team ride this morning, and the predicted weather had arrived.  It was quite cold, for here, around -2 C (28 F) at 7:30, but hard rain was predicted for later, and tomorrow did not look better.  So, I was at the meeting spot at 9:25, for a 9:30 departure.  No one else was there, which was not really a surprise, as it is a little cold for riding at that temperature.  I waited until 9:35 and took off on the suggested tour, which sounded fun to me anyway.  Also, if the predicted rain came earlier in the day, the tour allowed for a pretty fast return to Florence from anywhere on the route.  Our team has a Facebook page, and of course, other than me, it is pretty much all in Italian.  I had noticed that it sounded like some of the people who might normally have showed up were opting for a shorter and later tour, which checking later, happened.  I was happy doing the tour I did, when I did.

Out on the south side of the Arno almost to Rosano, then over the bridge to Pontasieve, then down the road to the Monteloro turn off.  Up the sweet climb to Monteloro, and the occasional clunks and misses that have been happening with my new chain on the process of settling into to the corsets, came back for the first time today, and they are definitely getting less frequent, which is what I want.  I may need a new cassette and chain ring, but we shall see.  While climbing, it was definitely not too cold, and after I joined the road to Olmo, I continued up and over toward Bivigliano, turning off to descend to Pratolino.  A planned stop there for a cafe, where the proprietors were both saying it was too cold to ride.  Other patrons joined in the chorus, in a typical Italian way, but I did not understand everything, and simply enjoyed the cafe and warmed up a little.  From Pratolino I climbed to Monte Morello, then descended to Sesto Fiorentino.  This is when I really did get a little cold, but really only one finger, as I had my heavy riding gloves on.

Overall, I really enjoyed the ride, 64.7 km in 2:59 for an average speed of 21.6 kph with 959 meters climbed.  The weather has really gotten worse, as predicted, so tomorrow would not be a good day to ride, so I am feeling pretty good about my decision to go this morning.  Ciao a tutti.

One the way to Monteloro, the light was showing the multiple ridges in the distance, so I stopped
for a picture.  I am very happy with the result.  It doesn't hurt that this is such a beautiful spot.

Almost at the top of the hill above Monteloro.

Not cycling related, but Emily and I were at the movies last night, 
and I saw this poster for one of my favorite all time movies,
The Big Lebowski.  It will be in Italian, as the poster shows,
but I will try it anyway.  Monday night! Dude!

Friday, December 26, 2014

My version of Giro de Mugello on a beautiful day.

Back in the saddle today, although I did a short ride on Christmas eve and did not post on the blog.  I just needed to ride a little and make room for the huge Christmas Eve feast we enjoyed at Nicco's sister's house.  The weather, as you can see from the pictures, was very nice today.  It is turning colder, though, which is to be expected, as it is late December.  Tomorrow it is forecast to become much more normal for here, with a high around 45.  It is also predicted to rain starting around 1 or 2, so I will get out with the team in the morning.  Today, I rode up to Fiesole, taking an old route to San Domenico, which has new pavement, a nice surprise.  I went to Fiesole on the main road, then up to Olmo and over to Bivigliano, so I could enjoy the descent to Vaglia.  It is really sweet, pretty steep, with seemingly innumerable switchbacks.  Super fun on a dry road.

From Vaglia, on the main road to San Piero a Pieve, then to the cut off for Sant Agata.  I really like the ride here, and it is one of the reasons I do this ride.  I had a nice stop in Sant Agata, and it was good to see the cafe open.  After a machiato, back on the bike, over to Galliano, then to another main road, before turning off to ride another favorite through Bosco ai Frati to San Piero a Sieve.  From there, main road to get to the climb to croce alle Vetta, then the very nice descent to Firenze through Caldine and Pian de Mugnone.  Excellent ride - 85.2 km in 3:47 for an average speed of 22.5 kph with 1343 meters climbed.  Ciao.

Nice not to be thinking about the 20,000 anymore.

The town of Sant Agata, where I stop for a cafe, and usually a 
pastry, but today, cafe machiato only.

There are hills, some of them pretty big all around the valley
that Sant Agata is in.  This view is back toward where I will
climb eventually back to Florence.

A view on the way from Sant Agata to Galliano.  So green
and beautiful.

A view of one of may favorite roads between Bosco ai Frati
and San Piero a Sieve.  Che bella!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hooray! 20,000 kilometers completed for the year!

20,000 kilometers!! Finished today, and I am happy to be done with this goal.  It has been interesting.  Mostly, a great time riding in a beautiful place with many wonderful people.  I did learn something about myself when I set the goal, I became a little single minded and let the goal at times, overpower the shear pleasure of riding.  Anyway, it is finally done, and I can return to simply riding where and when I want until the guiding season returns in the spring.  Lorenzo and Filippo, from the team, met me to ride together, but both of them needed to be back for work, and they rode around 20 kilometers with me, then turned around.  It was really perfect, as around 1/2 of my riding is with others and 1/2 alone, so today was pretty representative.

Neither of them had been out to Signa the way I normally go to avoid traffic, and they both liked the route.  The did the climb to just above Signa with me, then turned to go back to town.  I continued to Pinone, a favorite climb, then had a cafe and fratelli, little kind of like doughnut holes with a sweet rice filling.  The place in Pinone makes them very well, and they were fresh today.  Yummmmmmy.  I finished the goal on the descent to Limite, but waited until Montelupo, where there is a nice town square that I know well, to open the champagne that Emily bought for the purpose, and enjoy the accomplishment.  I phoned both Emily and Kate, as they both expressed interest in me doing that.  After Montelupo, I rode to Ginestra, then climbed to Inno, through Carchieri, a new favorite road, to Vigliano, the up to Santa Maria a Marcialo, then down to Scandicci and home.  Great to have this complete, and I feel very lucky to have had the energy and opportunity to have done this.  It doesn't hurt to be able to do it in one of the best, most beautiful places in the world for year round road cycling.  Ciao a tutti!

The beautiful valley of the Ombrone, super green on December 22!

A different view of the valley looking toward Artimino.

On the way to Pinone, the views both close in and the ridges
in the background are excellent.

Finally!  20,000 kilometers for the year is complete.  I waited 
until the town square in Montelupo to open the small bottle of
champagne that Emily bought for me to take along to celebrate.

Sitting on the bench, drinking the champagne, this is one of the 
views of the town square in Montelupo, a beautiful little town.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Domenica con squadra - perfect weather.

A nice team ride this morning and when we were not in fog, it was totally beautiful.  We had fog for probably around 1 hour or more of the 3 hour plus ride, which was interesting.  It hung in the valleys, which is to be expected, but was also present at the top of the pass we climbed today, passo de sugame.  We had a nice group of 6 for most of the time, although we split into two on the return around Strada, where 3 of us went through San Polo to Grassina, and the others took the more direct route through Strada.  Fun day and we had a new person with us, Allesandro, who is only 17.  Wow, does that bring back memories.  On the descent from La Panca, Fillipo told me about a castle a friend owns where they had high school parties when he was that age, around 30 years ago.  Great ride and day, all.  I think tomorrow I will officially make my goal of 20,000 kilometers as after today I only need 38 kilometers to finish.  It is feeling good now.  A small bottle of champagne is in the fridge for me to take along to celebrate.  I posted the time and place where I will start so teammates can join in if it works.  It is a Monday before the holiday season, though, and I am the only retired one in the group, so I am not expecting anything.  We shall see, but either way, I believe it will be done tomorrow.  Ciao a tutti.

Fillipo and Francesca at the bar / cafe in Greve.  Fillipo has only been
with the team for around 6 months, and his transformation has been 
amazing.  He was slow, but determined when he started.  Since then,
he has stayed determined, but become strong and fast.  Also, he 
has lost a pretty amazing 20 kilos or 44 pounds.  Wow.

This is outside the bar, and you can see some of the many cyclists 
that were there this morning.  Beautiful morning and fun scene.

We had a nice dinner at some friends house, and after dinner when the
after dinner drinks were brought, Karen, our hostess, talked about a drinking
game she used to play with co-workers when someone received a promotion.
It is called statue of Liberty, and involves Sambuca and fire.  Emily was an
amazing sport and not only gave it a try, but did it.  Awesome.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday with the team - great weather, great tour.

Nice team ride today, and even with it being holiday time, we ended up with 5 for a nice ride.  On the way to Montelupo, we picked up a 6th, as we caught Moreno who then joined us for most of the ride. He is still working his way back from a bad injury a year ago, and was going for a shorter ride than we planned, but then joined us and was strong.  We rode over to Cerbia then up to Chiesa Nuova together, then Agnese and Moreno returned, while Paolo, Pietro, Lorenzo, and I did a longer tour.  Lorenzo wanted to get me more kilometers for my goal, as usually at this time of year, the team rides are shorter.  Paolo turned off to return to town through Luiano, leaving three of us riding to Quattro Strade, then down and back to Ferrone, then climbing to Strada to return to Florence.  On the way back, Daniele and Luca Durazzi caught us and we rode in together.  After today's ride, only 117 kilometers to go, which should mean Monday for the big day of meeting the goal.  Ciao a tutti!

As it is Moreno's birthday, we stopped for a cafe in Montelupo.
Here he is with Lorenzo.  Buon Compleanno, Moreno - Auguri!

Moreno with Angnese in Montelupo.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nice recovery ride, and getting closer to my goal all the time.

I was pretty tired after yesterday's ride, and within 5 minutes of finishing my blog post after the ride, Emily and the grandchildren were here, which is quite nice, but not relaxing.  After a couple hours of play, then a bus adventure to the neighborhood where Kate's apartment is, we met Kate for pizza at a place in piazza Santa Spirito.  There is an amazing installation there right now, and drawings, designs, and digital pieces are being screened on the facade of the Church.  Each one has probably around 30 seconds, then changes.  It is really cool and fun to watch.  I met a client early this morning to settle up for the year, then was back home for my regular breakfast before going out for a 50 kilometer recovery ride.  I managed to do a different route again today, which was fun.  I really like the climb from Sieci to the Molino de Vento (windmill), but don't really ride it that often.  I included it in the ride today, along with the Pope's road for a very nice 2 hour plus tour.

Today's ride was 50.2 kilometers in 2:21 for an average speed of 21.3 kph with 521 meters climbed, which leaves 204 kilometers left for my goal of 20,000 kilometers this year.  I am thinking either Monday or Tuesday I reach the goal.  I have been thinking of a goal for next year, and it is not realistic to assume I will ride more kilometers, but I am considering 1,000,000 vertical feet of climbing as a goal.  This would be 304,000 meters and this year I have 276,000 and will probably make 280,000 for the year easily.  So, a different but doable goal.  First, I need to finish this year's goal, but it appears to be close to a done deal, even if the weather does not cooperate.  Emily gave me a small bottle of champagne to take with me on the ride that I hit 20,000, and it will be fun to enjoy that.  I did tell her of a dream I had after some teammates posted on Facebook that they wanted to be able to ride with me on the ride I hit the goal, that had me with a glass of champagne along with my teammates toasting the accomplishment.  A little bit like the Tour de France victory celebration, and perhaps as close as I will ever get to something like that.  Anyway, Emily picked up on the dream and got the bottle of champagne that will fit in my pocket and it will be nice to toast the event.  Ciao.

Sometimes it is hard to believe it is December 19.  To me, the 
field seems to be "spring" green.  Beautiful at times today.

I love this little road climbing from Sieci to the windmill above.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Classic Chianti tour to Radda and Castellina.

Beautiful day and a great, classic tour for me today.  In pursuit of my goal, I put in another relatively big day of 113 kilometers on what I call the classic Chianti tour.  Out through Grassina, Strada, Chiocchio, Greve, Panzano, and Lucarelli to Radda.  Back from Radda through Castellina, San Donato in Poggio, Sambuca, San Casciano, Chiesa Nuova, and Scandicci to Firenze.  Only 254 kilometers left for my 20,000 km goal.  Great cafe and two sort of mini pastries in Panzano at my now go to bar there, the Bar at the curve.  One sugar doughnut (ciambella) around 1/2 normal size, and one bombolone, a kind of doughnut without the hole, and filled with cream, along with a cafe machiato, the perfect fuel to keep me going strong.  I have to admit to being pretty beat in San Casciano, but one of my emergency "pocket coffee" candies and I was ready to finish the day.  Ciao a tutti!

The view of Panzano ahead on the hill, just after the difficult
part of the climb is over.

A view to the West from the backside of Radda.  What a 
beautiful day to be out. 

If you go to the west of Radda to skirt the old town, just
around the old wall, there are great views on this little
promenade.  Che Bella!

The views from the ridge descent after Castellina and huge in both directions.
This view is to the South.  Nice day to be out.

Yesterday afternoon, we attended Torrio's Christmas show (Saggio)
What fun, and they pretty much all kept it together and sang 4 songs
in two languages.  Nice for 3 to 5 year olds.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A ride, the Antinori wine center, and Viola's Christmas show.

Lots of pictures from today and yesterday, so I will let the captions do the narrative.  For the record, after today's ride, 19,633 kilometers ridden this year, leaving 367 for my 20,000 kilometer goal.  I am feeling pretty good about making the goal now, and will taper off some of my mileage when life dictates that I have less time available, like today.

I had a nice two hour plus ride today and with a little creativity, I linked
a bunch of different roads for a new loop.  What a pleasure it is to have so 
many options to be able to do this.  This picture is from above Fiesole riding
toward the turnoff for Monteloro, around 8 kilometers ahead.

Another slightly different view from the same spot above Fiesole.

Yesterday, after Viola's school concert, I accompanied Kate to the 
Antinori wine facility around Bargino.  A very rainy day, Kate drove
out there to pick up a rare bottle of wine for Nicco's Christmas present.
I have ridden by the new facility many times, but never actually gone
up the road to check it out.  It is a beautiful, state of the art, modern piece
of art.  I loved the spiral staircase, which had the radius of the staircase
decrease as it climbed 4 levels.  Try to figure that out without a computer, 
which is what I was thinking, as for the first 8 years of so of my Architecture
work, I did not use computer drafting.  Anyway, quite a beautiful staircase.

Here is Kate at part of the tasting area waiting for the special
bottle of wine to be brought out.  It is a very small run, from a 
specific vineyard in Bolgheri, and they only do around 2000
bottles every two years.  Kate was only able to get a bottle due
to a friend in Florence being an old friend with the person 
who runs the enoteca at Antinori.

My favorite view of the staircase with some of the Chianti hills
in the background.  Most of the facility is below grade with views
stepping with the hillside as you see here.  Newly planted vineyards
in the middle ground are actually on top of part of the building below.

Yesterday started with Viola's school Christmas concert, which was 
simply beyond cute.  Around 25 - 6 year olds singing Christmas carols
in English, as they are all working on their English now.  Viola is at an 
age where she just glows with happiness in a situation like this.  It makes
me feel so good about the decision to be here while they grow up.

A sign of the times - as the concert started, I took this picture of the parents
all with their camera / phones recording the event.  I always remember the 
quote from Steve Jobs when convincing Sculley to become president of Apple
which involved leaving Pepsi.  "Do you want your life to be about selling sugared
flavored water, or do you want to change the way people live."  When I see a scene
like this it really emphasizes how Apple and smartphones have changed the way 
people live.  Amazing change in a few short years.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recovery ride - Seano, Carmignano, Signa, Firenze.

The weather got the better of me today, but I still enjoyed getting out.  Forecast was for cloudy, which it was, but with only 5 to 10% chance of precipitation until 5 or so tonight.  Well, it showered just before I started, and there were showers / rain on and off the whole ride, but I enjoyed some sunshine as I returned to Florence.  A little bit of everything.  We had a team holiday dinner last night, which was fun.  Lorenzo has started a thing on line where team members can vote on when they believe I will get the 20,000 done, or even vote that I will not make it.  It is kind of fun that so many are following my interesting goal, which has taken on a life of it's own.  I am pretty confident that I will make it now, even if the weather does not cooperate.  Anyway, a nice recovery ride today, and I did a route that I really did for the first time a little over a week ago.  Nice ride, with only 310 meters of climbing in 56 k of riding.  It is also pretty up on the hill in Carmignano.  I am still searching for my favorite cafe / bar there, so I have more research to do.  Only 416 kilometers left for 20,000 this year. Ciao.

Pretty spot on the road from Comeana to Signa.

Looking back toward Carmignano on the descent.

A view of the hills to the south from above Comeana.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passo Muraglione with Luca.

Luca texted me yesterday to set up a ride for today, and he was flexible enough to start at 10, which allowed for my late night last night.  Emily, Kate, and I saw a wonderful concert at the opera house with the symphony, Zubin Mehta conducting, and Anushka Shankar (Ravi's daughter) on the sitar.  Really a special concert, but we did not really leave the concert hall until 11:45, then had a very late dinner.  So, basically in bed and sleeping around 2 am, which explains the late start.  I suggested Giro de Mugello, and Luca said he wanted to add in Passo Giogo.  He had mentioned a new road and pass for him a month or so ago, so when we met, I suggested that pass, the Passo Muraglione, or the pass of many walls.  I love riding new roads, and this one was really special.

The pass is a pretty direct climb from Dicomano of around 800 vertical meters.  The first 13 or so kilometers is quite gradual, and even a little up and down, which Luca told me that Italian cyclists call this Mangia a Beve.  I said I thought that meant eat and drink, and he explained that it did, but with a cycling road it meant it rolls up and down, allowing one to eat and drink as you ride.  New expression / idiom for me.  What a beautiful climb and wonderful road.  Excellent surface, for here, it is a relatively major road, but in mid December there was almost no traffic.  I think on the 18 kilometers up and 18 back down returning to Dicomano, I saw less than 10 cars.  Sweet!

Cafe in Dicomano on the way, and at the top, we met a guy who had ridden up there from Dicomano where he parked.  He was 70, and quite fit - something to shoot for.  It is not an easy pass.  He was super friendly, and insisted on buying us another cafe at the same bar when we returned to Dicomano.  Cycling everywhere is a very inclusive group of people, and Andrea, the guy we are now friends with, was even talking about joining our team.  It would make me the second oldest, which would be nice.  So, great ride.  120.3 kilometers (74.3 miles) in 4:49 for an average speed of 25.0 kph (15.5 mph) with 1478 meters (4894 feet) of climbing.  19,529 kilometers for the year, leaving 471 for the big 20k goal.

We needed water on the way to San Godenzo, and found this very
nice water source roadside.  One of the great things about the bigger
mountain passes is there are usually a number of these "fountains'
roadside on the way.  

When we reached the top, this fellow was here, Andrea, who lives 
in Strada in Chianti.  He drove to Dicomano, then climbed the 
pass.  At 70 years young, I loved seeing him and meeting him.
He was super friendly and I even was able to communicate 
with him in Italian.   He called me his new "American friend"
He may check with the shop about joining the team.  

Luca and I at the top of the Passo della Muraglione.  The 
Italians love to put stickers all over the signs.  Muraglione
means many walls.

A bad attempt to capture the view from the top of the pass.  
Look hard and you can see multiple ridges in the distance.

Looking up to where the bar is at the top where there were a 
group on motorcycles.