Remember, I signed up for the Tuscan Fantasy Bike Tour through Euro bike & walking tours
. By the way, this is my first bike tour ever. The first time I have riden a bike more than one day in a row. Luckily my personal bike trainer, Chris Sharp went above and beyond trying to get me ready for this adventure. Now we will find out if I am really ready for this.
Instead of bringing a bike, I rented one through Eurobike. I think this is the original bike invented by da Vinci.
This is a bike riding country. On every street in Florence there are bikes as far as the eye can see. I think that every bike ver made in Italy, is still in Italy and being ridden on a daily basis. Crazy.
I met my guide and co riders for drinks & dinner Saturday night. So we have from left to right Dan, Carol, Blue and Tom. Dan & Carol are from Seattle, Magnolia to be exact. Dan has done the STP (Seattle to Portland) 7 or 8 times & in one day. Carol thought the STP was too boring, too flat. BTW, they brought their own custom made bikes with them. Blue is from Manhattan. He works in a very high stress job & decided that he needed to get out of NYC for a break, so he booked this on Monday, last Monday. Though he claimed not to have worked out in a few years, he did grow up in Boulder. CO and used to race mountain bikes on a professional level. Yikes, I'm toast. Tom is our tour guide & my life saver.
Ok ... time to ride. Here I go powering up one of the bazillion hills on our tour. This was one of the long ones. Not as bad as the 1.3 km 13% grade hill that we had 2 mornings in a row (btw, I walked the bike up that one. I figured the company is called Euro bike and walking tours, so I did it all). The way I attacked the hills was ride until I thought I was about to have a coronary. Then I would jump off the bike, do a few chest compressions and then pulled out my camera & take pictures until I caught my breath & could ride again.
Was I the fastest, strongest rider in the group. Heck no. But having more time to gaze at vistas like this, not necessarily a bad thing.