Sunday, October 18, 2015

A couple of wet weeks cycling mostly in Chianti.

It has been a couple of weeks, and mostly the weather has been pretty marginal.  Rain on and off, but with my retired schedule, I can get out when the weather allows, and have been riding most days.  The Eroica experience is still with me, and for a few days after the event, I was tired from the effort.  It was not that long a ride, but with the old bike, the rain and resulting mud on the dirt roads, it was really taxing.  Speaking of taxes, we have finally had our returns here finished and I learned to pay installments online.  Another step in becoming part of the place where we have chosen to live.  I had my birthday last Monday, and took a favorite ride on one of the nicer days we have had.  We had a couple of dinner parties in the last two weeks.  Kate expanded her business, I think for one occasion only, to plan a dinner party for four people celebrating birthdays together.  One was a good friend of hers which is how she became involved.  We were invited as we knew the couple who were her good friends, and it was really nice.  Of course, babysitting a couple of afternoons a week at the minimum continues to be a big part of our lives here.  And with 14 days of cancelled tours in October, I am back to being mostly retired, although some friends have asked me to design and build a treehouse for them and their kids, which I think I will start on soon.  It should be an experience.

Super fun ride today, a raduno sponsored by the San Donnino cycling team, which benefits Meyer, the outstanding children's hospital here.  It works different from most of the events, as you simply show up cycling at two check points, then pay your inscription at the end where they tally the different team's points.  Nice, basically mellow ride, and we had a great group of 9.  We rode basically the opposite direction of most everyone else, which turned out to be nice, as we got to see most of the other riders.  Very good turnout, as I would bet I saw 300 riders going the other direction. I will caption the photos below, which are some of the best from the last two weeks for the remainder of today's post.  Ciao a tutti!

On the way home from dropping the kids and spending some time 
with them, I stopped on Ponte alla Carraia with this beautiful scene
in front of me.  I posted this on Facebook and got some of the best
feedback I have received in a long time.

The vineyards are starting to show fall colors, and the weather has 
definitely changed.  This last week, I have used my lightweight tights
four days in a row.

On a beautiful day, I rode up to Monte Morello, after doing a few 
other hills on the way with this wonderful view awaiting me.

My attempt to show the fall colors coming on the 
road to Monte Morello.

On my birthday ride, I stopped at a new place for cafe and pastry.
My favorite in Regello was closed on Monday, and with a little
searching, I found this Circolo in Donnini.  Great place, with excellent
pastries, good cafe, and fun to be around all the guys hanging out
talking and playing cards.

On a wet and cloudy day, with only a little rain, I rode one of my
favorite close in rides above the apartment, here on the way 
to Cecina.  Che bella!

Another attempt at showing the blossoming fall colors, but the
gray day did not help the picture.

Finally, both sun and good fall colors on the way to Luiano.

My favorite picture of the last couple of weeks, another shot of the beautiful landscape around
Luiano with the Chianti countryside looking perfect.

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