Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two rides, one post. It's springtime here!

One post, two rides.  Yesterday, it was a very busy day, but I was able to get out from around 3 to 5 and rode the route I proposed for the new Florence by Bike tour into Chianti, which will feature a wine tasting at Villa Le Corti, a Corsini castle, where an actual prince still lives.  After talking with Kate, it seems that Nicco, my son in law, is good friends with the prince, which puts it into perspective.  Still, for the normal North American tourist, which is what most of the clientele is for the Florence by Bike tours, a wine tasting and lunch at the villa where a prince still lives is pretty much what they are looking for.  Anyway, I did the ride we proposed when I drove this with Marika last week, so she could have a Garmin print out of the profile, map, etc.  It is a little harder than the tour we have done the last few years to Monteoriolo, but the villa there did not have a wine tasting and Marika is sure this tends to eliminate at least 50% of the potential clients.  We shall see how it works this year.  I already have 3 days reserved for these tours, and expect more in the future, as they seem to be coming to me first or second this year, as I think I was sort of the last choice last year.  A nice route to Galluzzo, then up the switchbacks to the excellent ridge ride through Chiesanuova, Spedaletto, to San Casciano, then to the villa.  Back by way of Falciani, the through Cinque Vie after Galluzzo.

Today, I met Nicola, a visiting Canadian, who is here for 9 months and has been riding with the team often for the last 4 months or so.  We left Piazza Liberta, then went out through Ponte a Ema, then up Via Carota, one of my favorite roads to Via Roma, then up to San Donato in Collina, descending to Cellai, then turning off for Bombone.  Another of my favorite roads here, and we enjoyed the ride to Bombone.  Back on a more main road, and also into the wind, as this part of the ride is pretty open.  The wind was surprisingly strong, and we stopped just past Rosano for a cafe and pastry.  This is a great spot, although I have only stopped there a few times, but excellent cafe and really wonderful food.  We shared a slice of cake - chocolate / Ricotta, which was great and two different types of Fratelli, a traditional pastry for this time of year.  Anyway, really great, and the two guys behind the counter, cousins, took the time to give us a little history of the place and their family has been running this incarnation of the building / business for over 100 years.

We enjoyed a tail wind on the main road to Sieci, then turned off to climb to Monteloro, then decided to climb a little more to Montefanna before descending to Fiesole.  From Fiesole, back into town taking a nice little road from San Domenico to Le Cure.  Fun to ride with Nicola, as she is a strong rider, a very nice person, and very enthusiastic about the riding and the routes I take her on.  Today's ride was 63.3 kilometers in 3:09, averaging 20.1 kph with 1252 meters climbed.  Yesterday was a little over 50 k in a little over two hours with around 500 meters of climbing.  Good couple of days.

A grey, but nice afternoon yesterday.  The hills and a couple
of villas in the San Casciano area, after starting the descent
to Falciani.

What a beautiful day for a ride.  The countryside just after the turn 
off to go toward Bombone.

Love the way the trees frame this villa in the countryside to the
North of Cellai.

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