Sunday, April 26, 2015

Don and Kay, day 9 - beautiful ride into Chianti before the rain.

A slow start today with Don and Kay, as we all have had a few good days in a row.  Also, rain predicted for later and lots of rain in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon.  I have a tour tomorrow, but thank goodness, it is van supported, so we will have the option of refuge as needed.  Today, we were on the road around the crack of 11:30, which was fine.  I have become accustomed to the rhythm that Don and Kay are on for riding while on vacation, and whereas it is quite different than my natural flow, it is working fine this year.  Last year on their visit, it threw me for a loop a little, and I struggled to adjust.  Don and I discussed routes, and I came up with a different loop that would bring us back in 3 hours or so, with the rainy forecast.  

We went out a normal way past Piazzale Michaelangelo, then down to Galuzzo on the main road.  We hooked up to the main road through Tavernuzze to Ferrone where we turned off.  We had a nice climb to Strada, where an Italian and I dueled for a while before, surprisingly, this old man dropped him pretty good.  Definitely do not want to get a big head about it, as I know there are very many who can and do drop me like a sack of rocks, but it felt good.  I waited for Don and Kay at the roundabout, then we went over and hooked into the road to San Polo.  Great ride down, then up this road, and we stopped for cafe and snacks at my favorite little spot there.  I go there enough now that the Señora, the owner, recognizes me, and is always super nice.  Back on the bikes for a wonderful return to Firenze on another favorite road of mine to Cappanuccia.  We branched off to add a short climb and dropped in a back way to Grassina, followed by a route into the center so we could have gelato at Neri, a favorite gelateria of Don and Kay's.  Home to finish another fine ride.  57.6 kilometers in 2:45 with 645 meters of climbing.  Ciao.

These trees were absolutely going off with almost white, pale yellow flowers.
Much more impressive in person, but you get the idea.  

Don and Kay at my favorite stop in San Polo.  The proprietor,
an elderly lady is always super nice and welcoming.  As always
here, excellent espresso and pastries.

I loved the forced perspective the vineyards made here, looking toward Le Torre, on the way
to Grassina on a tiny back road.

Vineyards above Grassina on the way home.

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