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.

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