Ciao da Italia!
Vaiano is a small town just north of Florence. It is in a valley surrounded by small mountains. Our house is two stories and has a very Italian feel - from the religious relics to the unlimited pints of tomato sauce in the pantry. I will be staying in a room with two other girls on the team, Lija (from Lithuania) and Ewelina (from Poland). They both seem like great people and I am learning many different languages!
Unfortunately due to the weather (and partly because our bikes are still being built), we have not been able to ride yet. This is probably best for me because of a nagging cough I have had since I left Miami a few days ago. The first night I arrived it was probably 50F in our house, seriously. I could barely sleep I was so cold even with all of my warm clothes and a blanket on. My checked bag was still somewhere over the Atlantic so my clothing layers were limited to the few items I had in my carry on.
On my first full day here we took a trip to Renato's house for lunch, one of the past mechanics for our team. He has an entire garage full of vintage bikes which he restores and rides...at 72-years-young! It must be something in the delicious Italian food that he and his wife prepared for us because neither of them looked a day over 58!
At night (and after our delicious five course lunch) we had our first trip to the team doctor. He only speaks Italian and some Spanish but with the help of Lija and Google translate I was able to communicate to him about my allergies and Epipen. I also brought a picture of what I look like with an allergic reaction (this picture will not be posted as it may scare small children) and I think that helped to get the point across.
The doctor sounds very knowledgeable and, considering that his office was filled with old cycling trophies and jerseys, I would say that he knows a thing or two about cyclists.
Then the dreaded part of the visit arrived - stepping on the scale. I had to take my pants off which totally freaked me out, as I only had my undies on underneath (note to self: wear shorts next time). I awkwardly stood there while he used the body fat calipers to pinch my skin and tell me exactly how little pasta I was allowed to eat from now on (kidding...well actually, not really).
In the end it was not so bad and I feel like a science project in the doctor's eyes. Let's just hope I get to ride my bike before the next doctor visit!
Today it is snowing up in the mountains and raining down in the valley so I will have plenty of time to continue my Duolinguo Italian lessons. I am currently watching the Dubai Tour in Italian on TV with only 25km to the finish, will Cavendish do it again??
Until next time...arrivederci!
Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.