Monday, January 12, 2015

Celebration of 20,000 km last year and a couple of nice rides.

Last night we had the party to celebrate my accomplishing the goal of 20,000 kilometers last year of cycling.  We had a good mixed group.  Around 15 from the team, which you see in the picture below. What fun people to be around and to ride with, I am blessed.  And the women took charge of the picture and made the guys, other than me kneel down in front.  Good jobs, ladies.  We also invited the other people in our building, as they often see me leaving or returning from rides.  Many of the Italians at the party were amazed that we had done this, as I guess it just is not normal here.  Everyone seemed to be happy to be at the party, and the people in the building all seemed to talk with one another, so I guess it worked.  Kate, Nicco, and the kids were there, all looking super cute, then a good sized group of our expat friends (Emily's good friends, but I have gotten to know them), making a nice mix.  Probably around 50% Italians versus expats, which is kind of nice and representative of my time here.  

Emily is so supportive and it was just really nice for her to make the effort to make this party happen. Again, I am blessed.  I love you, Emily.  50 or 60 people in an apartment of less than 1000 square feet is not really my favorite scene, but it was fun, and only a little embarrassing to be the focus of the party.  I was only really embarrassed when Emily, then Lorenzo, from the team, gave toasts to me.  After getting everything ready for the party, I snuck out for a ride in very light rain yesterday afternoon, riding 23 k in 1:12 for an average of 19.1 kph with 506 meters of climbing.  Today, in perfect weather, I rode a favorite, sette ponte.  103.4 k in 4:24 for an average of 23.5 kph with 1390 meters climbed.  Great to be here and be healthy, and riding all the time.  Love it!

Kate used my phone to take this picture of the group from the team who came to the party last night.  It actually made me feel better about having taking time to get used to using the camera on the phone, which I thought was tricky at first.  Great group, and I would guess there were at least another 40 people at the party, which made for a crowded little apartment.  I believe everyone had fun.

The gold gear on the pedestal is from the team congratulating me on 20,000 km, and the bike is actually a pizza cutter, and is super cool.  A really nice present, as even though we told everyone not to bring anything to the party, everyone brought something.  I don't know if the pizza cutter will ever cut pizza, but it will command a prime spot on my desk.  I love it - Thanks, Margherita.

I love the approach to Castelfranco di Sopra, and I always seem to take a picture of this gate.  This is from a little farther away than normal, but shows what a beautiful day it was to ride and be out.

I managed to stop for this picture through an olive grove to the southwest from the strada sette ponte.

I love this road, the strada sette ponte, or road of seven bridges.  I have counted around 20 on the part I really like to ride, but this shows what the ride is like.  A curvy, contouring road that is simply a blast to ride.

A view back toward Rosano from the Sette Ponte area.  What a beautiful day to be out riding.

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