As part of the build up for the inaugural Ride Reigate, Pilgrim Brewery helped organise a training trip to Tuscany and sponsored the tour shirts. Basing ourselves in Siena our group of 10 intrepid Reigate cyclists took on 3 days of cycling, while also exploring the food and drink that Tuscany is famous for.
Day one started in the hill top town of Pienza, famed for its 15th Century buildings, from which we took the Strade Bianche (gravel roads) which are well renowned by cyclists in Tuscany, into the Tuscan countryside parts of which featured in the film Gladiator. The route took us through the national park, Lucciola Bella and then we had the long climb up to the medieval town of Montepulciano and a lunch stop. Lunch consisted of local cold meats, pasta and sampling local wines (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano). After lunch, we carried on the Strade Bianche heading back to Pienza via Monticheillo and several nasty sharp climbs before the final climb into Pienza. While the total distance wasn’t that long 45kms, with over 1,000 meters of climbing, being mostly on the gravel paths, the day felt much harder.
Day two was the longest day starting from Siena with a lunch break within the 13th century walls of San Gimignano and then a more circuitous route back to Siena. The roads were long and winding, the scenery and weather were perfect and we had good climbs into San Gimignano and back into Siena. It was all quite uneventful apart from one of the group surprising a sunbathing snake on the road. We totaled 87kms, climbed 1200 meters and ended the day in the Piazza del Campo for a well-earned beer or two.
Day three was unfortunately wet. The original aim was to start in Pianella, cycle to Radda in Chianti for lunch before heading back to Pianella. However, due to the wet slippery conditions we started in Radda and cycled a circular route of 30kms with over 500 meters of climbing and then had a 3 hour lunch.
At Pilgrim we love our cycling and hope to start some regular Thursday evening cycling, if you are interested please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope your training is going well for Ride Reigate on the 7th July and we look forward to seeing you there.