Friday, May 22, 2015

5 day van supported tour with the Bennett family - great week!

Just finished 5 days with a super nice family from Vancouver, the Bennetts.  Everyone was a pleasure to guide, but both the van driver and I were most surprised by the two children, Hanna, who is 11, and Nathaniel, who is 15.  Both rode almost the whole route every day, and neither ever complained.  It was fun to see how Chris and Christine managed this so well.  On difficult climbs, Chris would ride with Hanna and talk to her or play something like 20 questions.  I only helped her by pushing her up a hill on a difficult climb on the Radda loop to San Sano.  At the top of hills, we would typically take a break for pineapple, which Hanna in particular really liked, and one of the parents would hand out a previously agreed upon number of gummy bears.  It worked!  

Hanna was pretty much the chatterbox of the group, and was quite funny at times.  Whenever we started a downhill, she would shout, "woo-boo"!  Nathaniel, Chris, and Christina would then chime in.  Sometimes on downhills she would start to tell me a story, which as we went faster and faster I could not hear, as I crept ahead.  This did not deter Hanna, who would simply continue with her story even if no one could hear her.  When we would stop, I would tell her I did not hear the second half of the story, and she would just say, it doesn't matter.  Nathaniel was a total good sport the whole time, and never resented the attention his sister received.  As the week went on, Chris and Christine would send Nathaniel up to stay with me on climbs giving him some time to work out a little harder.  

Again, a very nice family and a good 5 day van supported tour.  Riccardo, our van driver was excellent.  Having van support, although we did not really need it that much is very helpful with most any group.  Great 5 day tour with Dominick's company.  They do a great job with the logistics, hotel selections, and pretty much everything.  Ciao a tutti!

Monteriggione, where we waited out the rain in the cafe straight ahead.
Our last day, and we rode from Siena to Casole Val d'Elsa.  Rain 
over, sun is out, time to ride.

A nice break in Rapallo Terme on the Siena loop day.  Beautiful 
centro in the town.

Lunch break in Castelnuova Berardegna where we waited out
the rain and had lunch.  I had not eaten in this little town before,
and this was not my most inspired pick for cuisine, although it 
was ok, and the timing for the rain was perfect.

Here is Nathaniel in the Crete Sienese on our Siena loop day.

In the Crete Sienese on our Siena loop day.  A little
rain but we waited it out at lunch.  This is Hanna, a 11 year
old who just kept going the whole 5 days.  Very impressive.
Her dad, Chris, is right behind her, and kept her occupied on 
hill climbs with things like 20 questions.

A quick stop for a picture on the "white" road climbing
to Castello Brolio.

Here is the family at Castello Brolio on our second day riding
the Radda Loop.  Great day.

A few pictures on our first day, climbing to the top of the hill
above Chiocchio on a perfect day in Chianti.

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