The Subettica has a magical carpet of wildflowers at the moment. Dog-walking each morning, from Cortijo las Rosas, is a positive pleasure: swathes of Marguerites and Candytuft; Borage,
Vipers’ Bugloss and Asparagus Pea; Chamomile and Daisies proliferating under the olive trees…… Yellow spikes of Broom are everywhere, contrasting with purple Gladioli and Antirrhinum punctuated by pillarbox-red Poppies………Getting out of bed is made much easier!
A beautiful day and cooler air temperature, perfect day for a ride.
I loaded up 3 bikes on the rack behind the car and our two young guests and I drove down to Iznajar to meet up with my two local cycling mates.
The initial hills of this ride always take all my puff but our young guests were completely untroubled by the gradient…..grrrr. The cooler weather is bringing out the Spanish cyclists now so we encountered a couple of quite large groups on our route to the dam.
We all stopped at the dam to marvel at its feat of engineering and the large fish swimming at its base then pushed on up the long drag to a coffee stop in Rute.
For me the best part of the ride is the fast downhill section from Rute towards Iznajar.I managed to reach 75kmsph, the quickest yet! It could have been more but I was impeded by a car! I’m getting closer to my target of one day reaching 80kmsph.
Finished off the ride with cold beers at a bar by the lakeside….perfect.
Woke early in order to load a bike into our car and drive to our local town to meet my cycling chums for our twice weekly ride. We start at 8am because by 11 it’s too hot to ride with any comfort.
The cafe wasn’t open so we set off without a caffeine fix…not sure it actually improves our performance but it’s certainly a help psychologically. We had decided to ride around the local lake which is always testing but offers wonderful views and the dam at the far end of the lake offers interest either from the nature of the detritus washed up against it, the numerous fish that can be spied in the water and the power of the vibrations that can be felt when the turbine is operating.
It’s then a fair climb up to the next town but we know we’ll be rewarded by a cafe that’s open and the wonderfully long downhill on the way back to the start of our ride where we enjoy speeds of over 60kph! This is followed by a road closed to all but the traffic of folk who have no other way of reaching the few houses on this stretch of road…..but bikes can easily navigate the barriers and the partial subsidence of the road which is the reason for it’s closure to ‘regular’ traffic.
We get back to the now open cafe having ridden nearly 40kms and avoided the main heat of the day.
Later I walk to my nearest village which has a municipal swimming pool and cafe for lunch. I struggle to make myself understood in my very limited Spanish but beer and ham egg and chips arrive at my table so my vocab’ and pronunciation must be improving.
On the way back home I walk past a quite large snake on the road basking in the mid afternoon sun and I pick and eat some ripe figs from a tree at the roadside but seemingly not on private property.
I arrive back at the house tired with a full belly and content
my two stalwart cycling chums and I set out on a large lake loop ride last Saturday. The maximum distance we have ridden in one go to date has been 40kms so Saturday’s jaunt of 60kms was quite a step up for us. We completed the loop at an average speed of 13kms per hour. Both distance and speed sound pathetic….I often rode much further and faster in the UK but the terrain hereabouts is extremely testing so I’m happy with our first attempt at a longer distance.
I brought a bike from the UK which I used for commuting from N London to and from my office in Knightsbridge which was perfect for that job. However, the gear ratios were for too high for the Spanish hills so I bought a larger cassette on line and fitted it yesterday. First time I’ve done any ‘major’ work on a bike for many moons but having invested in a bike toolkit this simplified the process enormously. I used the bike to ride to the local village to buy bread today (would have been impossible with previous ratios) and all’s working well.
We have a couple of young chaps staying with us for a week or so who have expressed an interest in “a bike ride as long as it’s flat”. So, I’ll take them to ride the Via Verdi (a former railway track) on Sunday….the flattest track in the area
Richard and I cycled to the dam and back again Saturday….it’s a convenient, picturesque and testing ride for us. The dam has become a tourist attraction as the lake has filled with the copious amounts of rain we’ve had recently. The turbines are running and water is being released, as can be seen from the photo
My two cycling chums and I went for a ride Saturday along a route suggested by Richard.
We all knew the terrain of the first part as it’s a ride we’ve done many times. A shortish sharp lung buster. However, we were soon into cycling territory known only to Richard whereupon he announced, ‘the first time I rode up the coming hill alone it took 40 minutes and I threw up’ Well, B and I like a challenge but this sounded pretty hard core! In the event we all made it to the summit without regurgitation and in just 30 minutes but it was very tough going. It does prove friends riding together encourage and push each other to greater efforts
My cycling chums were busy working yesterday and couldn’t join me for our Wednesday ride. I had a few things to do too so I thought I’d do a local, partially off road, loop which usually takes about 40 minutes. However, it had rained Tuesday night and once I left the tarmac I hit ‘treacle’. The mud was SO thick and glutinous I couldn’t stay on the bike but pushing it along the track was impossible too….the wheels were so gummed up they wouldn’t turn!. I had to carry the bike loaded with mud and my shoes felt more like divers boots. Eventually, the road was a very welcome sight to this creature from the swamp. Needless to say this ‘ride’ took much longer than usual plus nearly an hour cleaning my bike.
Light rain overnight , more expected later in the week but looks to be a ‘dry window’ Wednesday afternoon for a bike ride.
I snapped a chain on Sunday half way along the lakeside track to the dam….it was a long walk back to the car so I’ve added a link extractor to my bike’s tool kit. I’ve ordered a video camera which will fit on a bike so future blogs (March) will contain shots of the stunning scenery hereabouts