I got my bike functioning again with my old wheel as detailed in my previous post. I cleaned her up a bit, and while I was at it, I oiled the chain. After some debate, I decided to attempt the ride I wanted to do on Tuesday. I was hopeful that bad luck would not strike twice.
I did not push as hard on the climb up to Castellina, knowing I was in for a decently long ride. When I arrived in Castellina, I took the stupid steep hill into town avoiding going the wrong way against traffic. I chose to not stop and I rode the ten or eleven kilometers over to Radda in Chianti. In Radda I stopped briefly to chomp down an energy bar. From here on out I would be unfamiliar with the roads.
Leaving Radda, I dropped down into a valley. I took a small detour and rode up to Gaiole in Chianti. I had seen pictures and wanted to check it out myself. Gaiole seems to be a small charming little town, a few touristy restaurants but not much else appeared to be going on.
Doubling back, I continued on SP408 heading south. After riding through scenic landscapes dotted by puffy dark clouds, I came across SP484. I turned left and followed this new road east.
This road would take me to Castello di Brolio. At the entrance to the castle grounds, I was greeted by an old narrow road which switchbacked its way up to the top where the castle is perched. Two thirds up, the road turned to dirt. They do not allow bicycles and cars up to the front gate, and, of course, you had to pay to get in. I pulled into the small gravel parking lot, ate another energy bar, used the facilities, and conversed quickly with some American tourist. I guess the Queens, New York on my jersey gave me away.
Leaving the castle, I turned West/Southwest. The road followed the rolling hills present in this area, taking me through small towns or hamlets. I came across other cyclists enjoying the a day out on their bikes. The wind was picking up a bit. I picked up SP408 and headed back west towards Siena. I exited the country side and was promptly dumbed in front of the train station in Siena. This area causes my stress levels to go up a bit. Cars, busses, motorbikes, and scooters are all jockeying for the limited road real estate available, and none of them seem to have any patience.
I stopped at the train station and took a seat on a bench to eat my last energy bar. From here it would probably be about an hour or so before getting back home. I did not want to get to cold so I decided to move on. Of course, with my now tired legs, I had to climb out of the valley that the train station is nestled in. From here, I continued on towards Monteriggioni, Staggia Senese, and then Poggibonsi. I rode right over to get a well deserved gelato. Well deserved after sixty-six miles, and around five thousand feet of elevation gain.
Back at home, I showered, so my sister and I could head over to Gaia and Nicola’s place for dinner. They invited us over along with Gaia’s parents.