Today was officially my "big ride back" with my repaired Bianchi. I didn't bring a camera with me, so I'm using pics I find online of where I rode. Sorry.
The guys at Florence by Bike really did a great job fixing the bent front wheel and severed fork of my bike. You can find pictures of that here.
I ended up getting a slightly lower quality wheel and a used carbon fork. I can only afford so much. I think it's kinda funny that the bill to fix my bike was actually more than twice as much as my hospital bill. (73 euros for me, 170 euros for my Bianchi)
I picked the bike up Friday, and Ged and I headed out for a short ride around Piazza Michelangelo, but once we started climbing I noticed a strange sound. I told Ged about it and he hopped on and rode it for a few minutes before deciding that there was not enough tension in the spokes of my new wheel. We both thought it would be a good idea if we went straight back to the bike shop and had the problem fixed immediately. I heard no strange noises today.
We started in Florence, headed to Fiesole then grunted up to the monastery Monte Senario, shown in the picture below. The driveway up to it was a real bitch. Excuse the language.
Then we kept on toward Monte Morello where we could see Florence Airport beneath us. We watched a tiny speck of a plane take off, then it was back on the bikes!
Then came the downhill bit. I kept getting flashbacks of my crash and I felt like I couldn't trust myself or my bike. Needless to say, I got a lot of practice with using my brakes today.
I feel like a complete wuss for admitting this, but at one point during the descent I had a slight "freak out."
I watched Ged blast away at 88 km/hr (his new personal record he tells me) and then I lost it. I dismounted, stood at the side of the road and cried.
After five minutes of that, I got back on and told myself that I needed to finish this damn ride. I rode further down and there was Ged, waiting for me and wanting to know if I was O.K. I told him about my "incident" further up the hill, and he then told me that this ride probably wasn't the best choice given my recent accident. "This is the steepest downhill in Florence" were his words. Great.
The rest of the ride wasn't bad. A few hairpin turns and then back into traffic.
We rode around 60 km (38 miles) in two hours and 50 minutes.
I'm really happy I did a longish ride today, but I'm not sure I was ready for the steepness of the roads.