|Let the adventure begin...|
Side note....When you drive into these Tuscan towns, the look a bit...hilly and high up...as an FYI, THEY ARE!, but more on that later.
We got on our road bike, which is similar to what many of us rode in the 80's growing up...we used to call them 10 or 12 speeds. A friend informed us that these are much lighter than the hybrid bikes we tend to ride around the city. Sadly, with a 200lb frame of my own, I wasn't sure if it made a difference as my body wasn't ready to be hauled.
|Amazing Vino Nobile vineyard in |
the bowels of Montepulciano
side note #2....When your heart rate goes from 90bpm to 180bpm in 45 seconds...something ain't right.
It was clear that my pride vs. my abilities were coming into play. The day went on with a 14 mile ride that included many hills and a couple downhill spots. The good news was it was challenging and exciting. The bad news came at mile 7 when we were told that we were going to drive back the same way we came. This means that all those downhill spots that were great for getting my sea-legs would quickly become my nemesis.
We finished off our day with me questioning everything:
- why did we do this?
- how can I keep up?
- should we have done a different tour?
- am I so out of shape and weak that I can't ride a silly bike?
- how will I be able to walk in the morning?
|Day two begins|
After taking the 2-3 hour of downtime before dinner questioning myself, and then doing more of it walking to dinner and also sitting in the car on our way to a vineyard....I decided to sleep on it.
This morning I woke up feeling fine, outside of the extreme soreness in my bum from the seat. After a light breakfast we got back on that horse, we started at the top of the road and began our journey for a little over 26 miles. Yesterday we had climbed 900 feet, but today we had to climb over 2400 feet. It was hard, it was really hard, but every time that van stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride I thought about if I was trying my best and was 'that' best good enough. At mile 19.5 we reached the Tuscan town of Pienza, the final climb to the city was frustrating and exhausting. Every turn up hill seemed to be the end, but it was not. I eventually got there where we walked around and had a great lunch over looking the vast area. Once done (with the wine and lunch), we were told that we only had '6 miles left' and the day would be complete. A brief while later we returned to our home base in Montefollonico. Both Mimi and I were happy to be done, but also full of great positive energy from such a spectacular accomplishment.
Tomorrow will be another day of fear, butterflies and new experiences and the blend of today and yesterday definitely taught me a great deal about myself. It is so important not to be too proud, but it is also important to do the best you can and ensure that you are not cheating yourself. Getting in the van....its ok, but its only ok after you try and try DAMN HARD!