Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Almost a weeks worth of rides, etc.

It has been a while, and I have ridden most days, but am just getting a little weary of posting in the blog every day.  So, for a while, I will try to check in weekly and do a collage of pictures.  I am posting pictures daily on my Facebook company page, Riding with Cosimo.  If my weekly posts are not enough, please go to Facebook and like my company page and you can see as many pictures as I post.  One day off last week, on Friday, and Emily and I went to Villa Rondini, a 15 minute bus ride up the hill from our apartment, but definitely out in the country.  You can do a day pass for the pool, which is nice and super relaxing.  Good food and just and excellent, relaxing day.  For me, I just read my book and dipped in the water at least once and hour to stay cool.  Even with the pool, I stay in the shade pretty much all day.  

Saturday, I did a nice van supported tour with a great family from the Chicago area.  Fun day, nice family, and a great lunch at the end in Monteriggione, one of my favorite towns with totally intact medieval walls.  We rode from Chiesanuova to San Casiano, then down through Luiano to the road in the valley and up to Greve, where we loaded the bikes in the vans to be on time for lunch.  Dominick met us there and it is always a pleasure to watch him work his clients.  He is the owner of the company that I do the van supported tours for, and is a super natural, nice salesman.  Very different than me, so it is a pleasure for me to see him in action.  

Sunday, a great team ride to Vallombrosa, then passo della Consuma, then down to Stia.  We had two of 10 return to Florence from Consuma, and 8 of us continued to Stia where we had and excellent picnic / break / swim.  Up to Croce ai Mori, and at the top, 4 were waiting for me, and told me that Agnese had told them not to wait, so we all descended together to Londa.  Marco, Agnese's boyfriend was with her, and I waited to make sure they were together around 1/4 the way up the climb.  Almost all of our team rides are no one left behind rides, so we happily do some waiting.  A friend of one of the members was a champ pulling us almost all the way back to Florence from Londa, around 50 kilometers, keeping a very fast pace.  I think I was the only one who gave him a break, and it was only for around 5 minutes.  Long day, around 145 kilometers, but really fun.  

Monday, a nice Florence by Bike Chianti tour, but the heat had returned and appears to be ready to stay with us for another week plus with temperatures in the 95 to 105 range for daily highs.  So, with a tour group, in particular for a whole day tour without a van, one has to be a little careful.  The day was fine and the group was fun.  Tuesday was a busy day of simply catching up, getting in a short ride in the middle of the day, off to one of the public pools to swim / cool off, then a few hours helping Emily babysit the grandchildren.  Today, up early for a beat the heat morning ride, which was very nice.  Not too long, as I am believing keeping rides less than 4 hours is good for the warm temperatures.  Home before 10, so it had not really gotten hot yet.  Haircut, then a meeting with Dominick, who is believing that he will more than double business next year, then a few hours of babysitting the grandchildren solo.  Ciao a tutti!

The squadra at Passo della Consuma, after stopping and regrouping
in Vallombrosa.  Beautiful day.

After Consuma, 8 of us continued to Stia, where we went to a 
park on the Arno river, near the headwaters, where there are 
multiple swimming holes.  We stopped and had a swim, as 
everyone knew this was the plan and brought suits.

I had thought the plan was to go to a restaurant, but Lorenzo's wife, 
Lia, drove up with their daughter, Laura, and brought a huge picnic.
Super nice of them, and if I  understood Italian better, I would have
understood this was the plan.  Lorenzo stayed with Lia, their daughter,
and Lorenzo's parents who also came with more food.  That left 7 of 
us for the 75 kilometers with one pass to return to Firenze.

Monday, I did a Florence by Bike Chianti tour with a very nice family
of 5 from Providence, and a fun woman from New Zealand.  Even with
the heat starting to return, with a high around 95, we had a great time
and everyone was a great sport.  It doesn't hurt to have a 2 hour break
at Monteoriolo with Eleonora as our super nice hostess and chef.

This morning, after a short ride yesterday in the real heat of the day, hence
no picture stops, only water stops, I had a nice 2-1/2 hour ride in the 
Chianti countryside, returning home around 9:30, before the heat set 
in for the day.  Beautiful ride with some of my favorite scenery.

On the way from San Polo to Cappanuccia.

This beautiful little house on a nice property is on the way to 
San Polo from Strada.

What a pleasure to ride these amazing roads.

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