The highlight of the morning was our group grape stop supplied by some local grape harvesters, who posed with us for pictures!
At our lunch stop in Radda, Peter stayed to sketch while I rode another 24K extra to and from the town of Castellina in Chianti. We met back in Radda for late lunch and then rode two glorious downhills of 10K and 6K, split by a 5K uphill climb. I have never done a ride so amazing! Ended the day at just over 80K and felt great. We enjoyed an evening of wine tasting and dinner together on the outdoor terrace of our hotel in Greve.
The final day's 50K ride was tougher than we expected - we think the psychological burden of the last day combined with heat and hills made us work much harder than anticipated. But, it was awe-inspiring to see Florence in the distance and, powered by gelato, we arrived at the Piazza Michelangelo for out final guided bike route to our hotel on the Arno. We had an incredible (again!) farewell dinner and all of us were sorry to see it all end. The group was wonderful to bike with and we are already looking forward to our next - and eighth! - Experience Plus bike trip in 2012...
View from Hotel Ste. Catherine Terrace in Siena foretells a fantastic biking day.
Our amazing guide Michele awaits our departure from Siena - he and Stefania made a great team and we were so well cared for.
I gave my EP hat to the breakfast server - she brought me a second cappuccino and said "I was too young to get the shakes from it".
Grape harvest for Vin Santo production (a sweet dessert wine).
The group has a legendary "hat moment" with 3 grape harvesters who also gave us grape samples!
Peter enjoys a post-perfect-ride-day Morelli beer on the terrace of our room in Greve.
This is the only way I will ever get to pet a cinghale (wild boar)
Enjoying the wine, cheese and meat tasting before dinner.
Dining pleasure in Greve.
The final ride to Florence included a gelato stop in Impruneta. Jill and Peter posed for "Team Chianti Classico"!
Florence and the end of our bike tour looms ahead.
The bittersweet arrival for Peter, June and Jill.
June bikes the last 3k to our hotel beside the Arno River.
The farewell dinner and happy/sad bikers.
Packing up to say goodbye to Florence and Italy.
Hoping that all roads lead to our next bike adventure.
Ciao and Bon voyage!
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