Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Spain - Day 8

The final leg back to Santander, fuelled once more by cafe and tortilla, and via the medeival town of Santillana de mar where you would expect the Spanish inquisition! Fiesta today as it is a public holiday...might have to visit the bank.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Spain - Day 7

Today we returned to San Vicente en route back to Santander. Glorius sunshine and two roadside stops for cafe con leche and tortilla eased our progress to Playa de Oyambre and our rustic cabin. The sandy beach stretches off in both directions...ideal.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Spain - Day 6

Today the sun shone so 3/5 of the party set off to Treviso in the mountains. We climbed 1000 m to Sortres, with the last part a 25 % gradient, so we decided to stop for lunch and partook of bean & chorizo stew, escalope of pork and ice cream, washed down with vino blanco de la casa...then some Welsh git suggested we go just a bit further to the next ridge to get the view. STEEP.... 25-30 * gradient for 4 km up to 1350 m. Just as well it was mostly downhill on the way back! But the curious thing was that, at the top of the hill, there were a bunch of stone shacks from which an old woman emerged and sat down near us knitting a pair of what looked like leg warmers. Clearly she knew that the weather could change in an instant at such high altitude because, identifying us as cyclists sans warmers, so to speak, she tried to sell them to us. Given that the weather was so clement we declined her offer, but later regretted not taking the opportunity to make such a unique and memorable purchase.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Lagos de Covadonga

The 1100 m climb was worth the view...

Spain - Day 5

We went to the top of the mountain. It was raining, it was foggy, it was cold at the we came back down and are watching La Vuelta it on the telly....

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Spain - Day 4

Today we went up a big hill, the down a very big hill, then up a v big hill, then down a v big hill....well, you get the idea!! Went to Llanes on the coast, a relatively short 40 miles to rest up for the v v big hill to Lagos de Covadonga tomorrow. Luckily there is an outdoor swimming pool for de rigeur cold water immersion to aid recovery...followed by cold isotonic recovery drink (cerveza)...

Friday, 10 September 2010

Spain - Day 3 (later)

Met up with the 'lads' at Las Arenas after a scenic ride along the Rio Cares in a steep sided gorge. Too early for lunch so we pressed on up the big hill (then down so zero sum game) to the campsite, so felt in need of 3 courses with vino - well we have to carb up for Covadonga mountain top Vuelta finish on Sunday.

Spain - Day 3

I awoke to a beautiful day with a view on the breakfast terrace toward the edge of the Pecos mountains to the SW, and N out to the Atlantic Ocean. I can get on my bike and go wherever I want, but today, to coin a phrase, I'll be going 'West of the Pecos'. 'Wagons 'ho!'

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Spain - Day 2

Somewhat stiff necked after a night stretched out in the restaraunt, the day har started brightly as I approach the Cantabrian coast. I have noted that the passengers split into distinct groups: families with young children (few now that school is in); older couples and groups (vast majority) presumably on 'saga' experiences; bikers, who amble around like latter-day 'Billy the Kids'; truckers, who I have yet to figure out how to distinguish from the bikers; and cyclists like myself, who cover the range of age, equipment and grades of insanity...

San Vicente

Don't know if this has worked but should be a picture of San Vicente

Spain - Day 2 (later)

San Vicente...a bit like Newquay, except with sun and ambient, alfresco waterside dining with cheap wine, and without the drunks....oh well, the descent down the hill reminded me of it anyway!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Spain - Day 1

Having successfully negotiated the British transport system as far as the Santander ferry at Pompey I settled down to my first 'continental' nosh, namely a pain au chocolat and machine derived cappucino (ok, so I'm still in the harbour at this point...). Bike storage facilities were exemplary below decks...a corner full of cleaning utensils and superannuated chandlery. Oh well, lets hope dinner steps up to the plate (apalling pun), and the rain is at least outside!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Alternative training on cake and tea

Eschewing the delights of the Tour of Britain and Peak Hill, I took myself off to the South Hams Audax on Sunday for the alternative version, which included a leisurely ride down to the sands (pebbles?)at Slapton and numerous large pieces of cake and cups of tea - now that's what it's all about! It ocurred to me that my audax record in the company of my riding partner (aka spouse) is fraught with incident: attempted 6, completed 5; with 1 punture, 1 rim failure (necessitating a change of wheels and time-trial through deepest Cornwall to get the car) and 1 medium speed 'off' with skin left on the road.

I'll be joining the 'lads' in Spain in a couple of days, who will be 'enjoying' the weather on the Cantabrian coast as I write. The forecast is for Sun later in the week so my ploy of delaying departure may come off...

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Riding without contour lines. Part 2

Well, that was interesting; don't try this yourself. That was the definition of lumpy and I took everything Cornwall could throw at me, cycling through the depths of 'deliverance country' south of Bodmin Moor, shrouded in fog and in the pouring rain. I also noted that 'temporary' is the new euphemism for 'crap', as in the phrase 'Temporary road surface'. If you are the least bit interested in repeating this madness the route is here:

Friday, 20 August 2010

Riding without contour lines

It occured to me, while plotting a route for the Garmin, that most effort goes in to avoiding crossing tightly packed contour lines or finding alternatives to the echeloned lanes. For a change, why not just draw a straight line on the map and go with the closest route it throws up? Tomorrow I intend to put this to the test by following the most direct route from Polzeath to Plymouth....

Mobile blogging

Just a test to see if this mobile blog post works...