Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tuscany day 1!

Or is it day 2? Very hard to tell. Lauren and I left Boston early Wednesday evening, now it is approaching 8pm on Thursday, 6 hrs ahead. The flights were uneventful, except for a slightly hair-raising dash across Charles de Gaul airport to the new terminal G2 for our connecting flight to Florence. But all was fine in the end. Of course, I didnt sleep one single wink, so I was already pretty tired.

After Davide picked us up and took us to the Ciclismo HQ in Montevarchi. We relaxed there for a bit, then the three of us plus Suzie headed out on a ride. And what a ride! We headed out to Radda in Chianti and then to Castellina before turning around and riding back. Davide and Suzie had some work to do back at the office, so Lauren and I sought out a lunch place in Radda. We wound up at a little bar, where we gorged ourselves on sandwiches, gelato (Lauren had two cups!), and coffee.

The ride itself was perfectly breathtaking. All typical Tuscan scenery, with beautiful rolling hills, villas, cypress trees, olive groves, and vineyards. Radda was also wonderful, and I recognized it as soon as we rolled in. I had already been there with Lauren, probably 15 years back.

Apart from the scenery and the company, the most remarkable aspect of the ride was the HILLS. From Montevarchi, there is a climb of about 10 miles, varying steepness, but not insubstantial by any means. There were more hills after that as we headed in and out of Radda, but this long one is quite different from the short, sharp climbs I am used to in New England. In any case, heading up was not too bad at all - but the ride home was nothing short of awesome! There is simply nothing like cruising through all those switchbacks!

The other remarkable thing is that I did all this using energy from who knows where - I still have not been to sleep!

Now we are off to dinner, then with any luck, I will have a normalish bedtime and be all aclimated for a great day tomorrow.

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