Only the sleepiest cyclist can take the wrong direction out of the smallest town. And then, due to some motorway access restrictions add to his woes by having to pursue an 8 miles detour. Oh well, it was a short ride for the day and I was heading for a rest day in Aranda. I had decided just to scoot down the main highway and get on with it.
Aranda, I suspect, must suffer from being the town that everybody drives past on the way to Madrid. The tourists have done Burgos, now,a couple of hours lazy drive, Madrid.
There’s not much of a tourist trade around here but I’m sure they are trying. I stand to be corrected. I did spend a splendid 20 minutes or so peeking at the 15th century cellars of the Don Carlos Bodega and enjoying a free glass of wine. How hospitable.
For instance, here, if you’d like to know, is what constitutes ride fuel.
I hold my hand up here and say that I am riding in May when nothing really opens till June and as a consequence must grab what I can where I can, and yes, theoretically, it’s not scientifically endorsed.
I can get two days ride out of these. The donuts are sugar bombs and if I really want to fuel the machine with a toxic load then I have been known to throw in a couple of jelly babies. Donut with a jelly baby top, and I’m a rolling ball of sugar, babe. And this song sticks in my head for the next hour.
So, why cycling Spain. Here are a few reasons that come to mind, in no particular order;
* The countryside is beautiful and the old villages ultimately charming and fascinating, and I love photographing faded glory.
* The almost ubiquitous cycle lanes.
* The traffic gives cyclists respect. If a car pulls up to a junction that you are approaching 50 yards away they will wait!
* The road surfaces – usually smooth as a babies bum.
* The people. In cycling almost 1300 miles now in Spain, I’ve never met anyone who isn’t helpful.
In mountain villages everyone says “Holá” to the stranger, and the cameraderie between fellows travellers with a wave, shout, or even chat on the road, is heartwarming and fun.
* The sunshine. You don’t have to race to where you are going. The chances are it’s going to be fine all day. Except,of course,when in the north of the country when you might need an extra layer.
* Sollomillo. Sorry veggies, it is a prize after a hard ride and a protein hit.
* And, of course, the challenge. It really is a great way to see the country.
One thing is for sure, whenever I return to Spain to travel by car, I shall be off the motorway. There is so much to enjoy that wizzing along the motorway won’t give you.