Sunday, 13 June 2010

You can't tell from this picture ...

... but the road riding in this area of Spain is completely kick ass! No seriously bear with me. Ok so the hotels aren't really equipped to deal with cyclists and frankly eating chorizo at 9pm isn't the kind of carb loading I had in mind. And if we're honest, the smell of manure can hamper performance a tad. BUT. The roads are AMAZING, no cars, smooth asphalt, nice climbs (nothing too brutal so you could seriously hoon it) and I'd imagine nice weather. But I can't confirm that.

Also this place: Villa Maria, in Fuentes de Bejar is awesome. Run by Liz and Javier it smacks of Cuba circa 1970, they offer museli as well as toast in the mornings and the rooms are just lush. Having said that it is in a really rather ugly little town, next to an even uglier town, nestled in the middle of sweet fanny adams nothing except great roads.

Untapped potential people, untapped potentail. Who's game?

Friday, 11 June 2010

The rain in Spain ...

... like, totally falls wherever I appear to be riding.
Apart from in this picture:

So I get accused now and again, mainly by my mother, of being so into bikes that she can never now go riding with me as I'd completely kick her ass. This is true. I would. If we were racing. But I decided to prove to my beloved mother, what gave me life, that I can remember how to have fun and tour on a bike too. It's the journey after all. So we've come out to Spain to do a piece on a cycle tour from Avila to Salamanca staying in Casa Rurals along the way. When we got to the start point the temperature was 32 degrees. Since we started riding it has plummeted to 13 and is raining. Constantly. It's day three and I have so far drunk my body weight in rioja at least three times. Which makes kicking her ass very difficult. Especially on the world's worst touring bikes. I'm sorry but front suspension MTB on the road? With seized up front suspension? Not good. Why oh why didn't I bring my own bike?

When the sun does come out it is beautiful - the Gredos mountains were our first outing and we leave Candelario today, after a stay in the rustic cobbled town. So far the massive highlight has to be mum telling every man she meets: 'you're the Juan that I juant.' Englsih language is a rare commodity here so we've emerged unscathed from that each time.

But it's all good being on a tour again. And you really are away from the tourist trail here, following the Roman Via de la Plata. It's a cultural challenge alright. Thank god they have Snickers.