wow ok so blogging..hmm this is something new..i probably should apologise in advance for any nonsensical or completely random crap that i might spout on here -in my defence i am going to blame in advance the heat, the stupid amount of milage along and the meters up on the bike. That is unless, of course, I jack the whole cycling plan in and spend the next 6 months on the beach - in which case blame the cocktails!
So where am I now..well am home in Exeter with six weeks to go...after 5 months of planning it feels a little bit like limbo time - the calm before the storm. My numerous lists on lists on lists have been reduced to just the one. Bike is set up, test run for packing done, test run on the bike with weighted panniers done, cat sorted, house on the market, car sold, routes mapped....just this pesky thing called work to get through each day, and the last few bits that i can't do until near the date. It all feels quite strange especially as i know in a couple of weeks it will all turn into a bit of a stress and panic fest when i find lost lists or remember something that i really out to have done 4 months ago..but anyway, am enjoying the quiet while i can and so here i am writing this..
I have to say whats amazed me most about planning this trip is the number of people I have met who have given me help and great advice along the way - not just from people and places you'd expect - like the guys at my local bike shops - but also where you least expect it - from my car dealership, my estate agent even my opticians! The support I have recieved goes a long way to restoring ones faith in humanity and I hope to take that with me.
In terms of cycling - one thing has come up a lot - that cycling in Spain is not for the lighthearted nor for those that don't like hills. In fact i don't think that Spain has one ounce of flat surface on it - especially not on my routes. But then again I have purposely (masochisticly?) headed for all the big climbs as they are what put a smile on my face and are the challenges that i love about cycling.
Someone told me recently that cycling in Spain is like cycling on Dartmoor - so out I went at the weekend with weighted panniers (literally they have dumbells in them) and headed up to those hill to get an idea of what i have let myself in for. 40miles and 3500ft later test run was done. Climbs were all good - oh don't get me wrong, they were hardwork as you can certainly feel those extra kilos on the back -but even a couple of 16% 'ers didn't cause too much leg ache. What did suprise me was the fun of descending with extra weight - why had no one told me about this perk??? got to love gravity! I had to refrain from sticking my arms and legs out and shouting "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" all the way down. I'm not a big descender but, man, i think thats gonna change now!
So what can you expect from this blog - to be honest not sure! It's not going to be all about the cycling but hopefully more about the observations you can make by seeing a country by bike and the random crap that can occur on trips like these...and so the count down continues