We awoke to blue skies today, despite it still being 4 degrees Celsius at 9 am. The breakfast spread was impressive and after the Manager insisted on taking our photograph (as he had never met anyone who had ridden over 2000 km in 3 weeks) we walked up to the tower behind the hotel to see what the view was like.
The manager offered to give us food to take with us (little does he know most of us do that anyway – today being no different – but it was the first time any hotel has offered that). He will get an awesome Trip Advisor review from me.
Leaving San Gimignano we were scheduled to do a 79 km ride through the Colle di Val d’Elsa, down to Monteriggioni, then heading up towards a series of towns in Chianti.
We rode through Poggibonsi where a man cheered us on from the side of the road. He was obviously a BMC supporter as that is what he kept calling out and clapping. We laughed. About 5 km past this point Tony said that faithful Garmin said we had 130 km to go. Hmm…that was weird so we stopped and found that he had two different Gpx files for today’s ride and they differed. We pulled up my file ( we had on both Garmins as back up is one failed) and I only had one.
Either way, we were not on the original planned route and were on an ‘alternative’ route and well off course. The good news was that I could see that we were heading in an easterly direction that should intersect with Castallina in Chianti and bring us back on course, but losing around 18 km in the process.
The downside was that this road had serious hills. There were three sections warning of 15% climbs. Not too bad with no luggage but the extra weight made them hard!
The area was nice interspersed with olive trees and vineyards.
Eventually we arrived in Castellina in Chianti and had some lunch noting some of the unusual cars the crazy Italians drive.
After a nice break car watching, we headed off towards Radda in Chianti, my favourite for the day. Scenic, nice views, rolling hills to ride over and a great little art gallery where I made a purchase, direct from the artisan, which he is shipping back to Tassie for me. Wish I had photographed it, but he uses the curved panel from an old wooden wine barrel and attaches a miniature metal bike he hand makes, along with a couple miniature metal handcrafted Tuscan trees. It will be a nice momento.
We arrived in Montivarchi disappointed to have left the beautiful Chianti countryside as Montevarchi seems a bit daggy. But we did find a few little gems including this church of San Lorenzo.
Starving hungry we could not find one restaurant. The hotel staff told us of one that opened at 730 pm!!! A few hours away. So we asked where the nearest supermarket was. I was happy to find something I like to eat.
So tomorrow is our final day riding. We head back to Florence on a scheduled 74 km ride, with over 1000m climbing for the third consecutive day.