We arrived in Arezzo on Saturday and built our bike while rain clouds threatened and kept getting closer.
After our first dinner, “radar watch” began and things did not look good. Sunday ended up being a complete wash out, no riding.
People scattered and did some sightseeing in surrounding towns. We went for a walk and did something we don’t often do: relax.
On Monday we took a three-hour group walking tour of our host city. Did you know that at one time Arezzo and nearby Florence were constantly at war with each other?
That explains the wall around the city.
The tour guide was fascinating and we got the inside scoop on the walled city, the constant battles for power with Florence as well as the famous paintings in the Arezzo cathedral.
For those still looking for ice cream pictures, it was too cold and misty for gelato, but we found time for hot chocolate and cookies on our rest break.
There was an afternoon break in the rains and enough time for us to get a 10 mile shakedown ride in before our scheduled wine tasting.
The Villa Ripa is a winery housed in a historic house (circa 1558). We got a history lesson and tour of the premises in addition to wine and olive oil tastings.
On Tuesday we all set out on our first group ride. The thought was that we probably had until early afternoon to complete a 42-mile ride from the villa.
Unfortunately, the rain came around 11:30am, just in time for our big descent.
The rain continued as we approached the un-advertised off road part of the ride. We never should have followed the group around the building and onto the walking path, which turned into an unpaved road with huge holes and puddles.
Yes, we did see the pretty waterfall, but after that things went from bad to worse when we got to the river crossing…we were one of the few teams to refuse that part of the adventure and find an alternate route back to civilization.
We were soaked, chilled and not too happy. The bike was a mess.
Up Next: Wednesday’s rainout activity and the skies finally clear.
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