23 April 2011

Giro in Bicicletta / Bike Ride

I used to be pretty sportive, but life got busy.  Always more work to be done, other responsibilities that require my attention. I got tired of working to pay the rent and having little energy and less money left over to do the things that really mattered to me.  We do not realize how much we miss a certain something when we have not done that something for a long time.  We wake up one day and wonder what the hell happened to our dreams.  

That is what happened to me.  And that has everything to do with what brought me to Italy, a grand dream of mine.  I live a much less complicated lifestyle now, and lessons are regularly presented to me to learn how to live in a new, different, and more meaningful (to me) way.  I never had dreams to become a professional cyclist, but I had, and still have, other dreams.  It has been way too many years since this girl rode a bicycle, but I did these last couple days ... and it felt great.

My friend and I have talked for a good long while about doing some cycling together. She has a few days off from work for spring break, and so we ventured out on the bicycles.  The first day we did a flat ride through the park to Signa. Yesterday we first cycled out of town to a bike store where a very cute guy helped fit and sell me a helmet.  Buying a helmet was a smart investment since we decided to tackle the hill to Fiesole, which is about 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet) uphill from Florence -- straight uphill to Fiesole and then straight downhill to Florence. Surprisingly, I did well aerobically.  It was my out-of-condition muscles that were screaming at me as we climbed that long hill. Technically, we went to Fiesole, but truth is we decided to end our climb in Maiano and eat a panino (sandwich) at Fattoria di Maiano, about a third of the distance shy of Fiesole proper, because the traffic became heavy and the road got steeper.

Today was to be the third day of our cycling trilogy -- cycle to Greve in Chianti, one of the closer Chianti towns to Florence -- but we decided to postpone since it was raining this morning and the streets were wet and slippery.

I smile contentedly as I follow my heart and do good things for myself.  Perhaps a bit saddle sore, but that pain is temporary and more than offset by a wonderful friendship that continues to blossom into an even deeper friendship.  

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