The party was fun, and there were around 5 people from the team there along with many other friends of Barbara. I talked to one person, Luca (yes, another Luca) who did a lot of cycling, but during the winter did a fair amount of mountain biking here. He invited me to join his group of locals, and will sometime give me a call. He said he would arrange for a mountain bike, which is really nice. I talked to lots of people, and it was a nice mixture of Italians, mostly Florentines, and expats, mostly from the US. Barbara has been here for I think around 10 years, and has good friends from both groups. It was fun, and although my Italian is always a challenge, it worked reasonably when I needed and wanted to speak with the Italians.
My ride was out the main road to Le Falle, then up to Monteloro, then up to Montefanna, before descending back to Florence through Fiesole and Pian de Mugnone. 36.3 kilometers in 1:40 for an average of 21.7 kph with 596 meters of climbing. Another great ride!
Today is epiphany here in Florence, and the statue animals at the
creshe in piazza del Duomo are replaced with real animals, as you
see here. There is a parade from the Pitti palace to this location with
the three wise men bearing gifts. Also, many people in medieval costumes
and the flag throwers, which is pretty neat to watch. I did not wait for the
parade, as it was coming slowly, with many, many more people, and the
beautiful day was calling out to me to go for a ride, which I did.
A winter view from just above the monastery below Monteloro.
Winter vines above the road to Monteloro.
I took an extra climb today on this beautiful little road to Montefanna.