Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuscany Touches

Chris and I have been debating the next and lasts days ride.  Between us and Florence are the Apennine mountains and the scheduled route means that we catch a train under most of the bigger peaks and have a 'leisurely' roll downhill to Florence.  Well that’s what the guide book claims.  The question was whether our bike bravado would let us do the sensible thing and catch a train or try to figure a way to ride over 100km of vertical terrain without a coronary episode. 

Since riding from Feinza I have (understandably) been bike snubbed by a few roadies and was keen to re-establish my street cred.  Chris was also keen to find a way over the mountains but I am glad to say that common sense prevailed and we dutifully arrived at the train station the next morning. 

at a train station but still trying to be cool.

Once off the train I was so incredibly thankful we had opted for the 'easy' version. We had traded fields of corn for plantations of kiwi fruit and vineyards. 

oh the hills!

please note that this was the rare flat section of road.
I really would love to spend more time here with my family one day.  So very beautiful and lush with small villages and breath taking hills.  Then things turned a little more vertical.

i'm pretty sure that the sign is not exactly to scale.

i too was thankful there were no brass instruments

If my bike cred wasn't already in tatters it was totally smashed when I couldn’t handle the egg beater gears and walked the last few climbs.  I may never live down the shame. We had finally struggled to the top of the 13% climb and were taking in the views when a young woman literally flew up the road behind us on a mountain bike.  I was both stunned and appalled.  As I was about to give up biking riding for the rest of my life, she pulled in beside us and had the good grace to point to the motor powering her wheels.  On to Florence!

the first glimpse

Arrived at the hotel with plenty of time to spare to walk into town and visit the  Ponte Vechio.  The ride is over but there is still Florence and then to Switzerland.

Ponte Vecchio

they had done a good job 

i have been looking for these little signs in my sleep to follow the route. 

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