Saturday, April 30, 2011

Polenta before Impruneta

Last night I cooked an incredible Polenta and Spinach pie from this cookbook.

It's so nice to have an oven in Italy...

This morning, a short bike ride was in order.  But before we could hop on our steeds and head out, I had to take care of a slight problem.

Wow.  I can't believe I rode with this last summer.  No wonder my chain wouldn't stay on the middle ring.  I knew something was up when I went for a short ride to Fiesole on Wednesday and the chain was skipping and wouldn't stay on the middle ring, no matter how I pleaded with it.

The skies were a bit hazy earlier today and it did end up drizzling on us a bit.  Still, a beautiful 20mi (30km).

On the way back, Ged took me up to San Miniato al Monte, a church overlooking Florence.

Riding back through the busy streets of the city was fun.  Weaving in and out of tourists is almost like a game.

Enjoying the fresh air and sunshine before tonight.  Notte Bianca is bound to be amusing.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First climb of Eurotrip 2011

Hello from beautiful, yet slightly overcast Florence.

I arrived yesterday after a nine hour plane ride and a two hour train ride.  Went a little something like this:

Gainesville-->Atlanta-->Milan-->wait for Italian train...-->Florence

I really wanted to see how I would fare on the bike now that I'll be riding up hills/mountains, so I decided "What better way to fight jet lag than to go for a bike ride!"

Friends, I still suck at climbing.  Even though I've been riding road bikes since September 2009, I ride at a turtle's pace up hills.

I managed to snap a picture during the climb as I was trying to keep my heart from exploding and my lungs from collapsing.  [no exaggeration here]

Shortly after this picture was taken I got passed by a mountain bike.  In my defense, I did pass him later on (on a downhill section).

Of course, the view at the top made the fire in my chest worth it.  A bit hazy, but still spectacular.

I'm declaring today an official rest day.  In the past 48 hours I have donated .5L of blood, traveled across the Atlantic, rode up to Fiesole and stayed awake until 11 p.m. that night.

Peace and Love,

Monday, April 25, 2011

TDF techno song. Say no more.

This will get you on your feet.  I know it's really old (circa 1983), but I think it's timeless.

Enjoy (if you haven't seen this 100 times already).

Back to packing for me. Gainesville-->Atlanta-->Milan-->Florence. Bring it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoeing it up

Visiting mom in South Florida before I leave for Europe, and I convinced her to start a vegetable garden.  Hopefully she'll be munching on summer squash, okra, cucumber and bush beans this summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In one week I shall be in ITALY

To-do list:
  • Giro d'Italia
  • Tour de Suisse
  • Tour de France
Life can't get much better, my friends.

Now it's time to pack:  jerseys, shorts, pedals, saddle, helmet, gloves, sense of adventure.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I don't always look at my Cateye computer.

There are days when I'd rather look around me.  Yesterday, I didn't care about numbers and it felt nice.