Today was supposed to be a day of climbing. Climbing up to Sa Calobra, and then descending tenaciously with style, vigour, and elan. Before rinsing myself up the climb for approximately 40 minutes and then vomiting.
Instead, I woke up with stomach cramps. I watched Dan and Nick head out to ride bikes. I looked at the weather, I thought “thank fuck I’m ill”. I went to sleep. Then I woke up and went back to sleep again.
Dan arrived back. I carried on drifiting in and out of sleep. Alex arrived! I continued to drift in and out of sleep. Nick came back. We went out for dinner.
And then I vomited.
The inside of my nose smells like baby sick. I do not miss this smell.
A shorter blog today.
A late start to the day, it was getting close to not going out at all. Nick bullied and cajoled us out. My stomach didn’t feel great. My legs were sort of looking forward to not doing exercise. However, strangely, a bit of work and they stopped complaining.
Nick and Dan decided to go up and then down. I didn’t want to. I stood by my guns. I said no. I went back at Caimari.
I got sort of lost a bit on the way home. Which is to be expected. I sort of knew where I was heading, I managed get around. The roads were nice. I rode through a site of natural beauty, I didn’t ride into the coastal headwind (just the inland headwind).
On the run in back home I bumped into Dan and NIck by the side of the road fixing a puncture because of a slashed tyre.
We all got back together. It was quite nice.
Bit tired. Might go to bed.
Here are some pictures from the
Bexley Ten TT we competed in our trip.
Today wasn’t the greatest day of my life. It just seemed like an apt link.
Today was supposed to be recovery. But you know, we thought, WHAT SHOULD WE REALLY DO? Let’s go for a potter out to the velodrome, take some pics, and then come home. Route looks flat. It’s only 90 Km. Less than 1000 m of climbing. Should be fairly easy right?
30 Km down the coast road with the wind whipping off the sea front soon had us crying for a right hand turn. Eventually it came. A coastal road sounds nice. This was not nice, no views of the sea, traffic up our arse, or sounded like it, lots of noise from the wind and the road and the cars. It was just like doing a ten in Bexley. LOLZ.
After turning right, things got a bit better. The road rolled. It was sunny. There was very little traffic. We arrived at somewhere near Algaida.
My kit caused many envious stares from many mamils in bad kit.
If you’ve been following the travails of my cyclotourisme, you’ll be aware of the amount of vomit in the last 2 days. Today there was none. Lunch was omelet. In a baguette. For everyone.
I call this my velodrome spray and pray shoot.
Here is some scenery.
After battling with a headwind we managed to find more head wind on the way home. I guess that’s what happens when you travel south and the wind blows from the east. And then you travel north. And the wind still blows from the east. There were some moments when the wind moved behind us. Not many. But some.
My face is red from all this wind.
After getting home, Nick went to “bang some more Ks” as he “wasn’t happy with not completing a century”. I wanted to go home as any more wouldn’t “increase my smiles to miles”. Dan needed to get his bottom bracket sorted as it was clicking with every rotation and not when he exceeded 330 Watts. I went with Dan to Alcudia. Back down the coast road. With a headwind. I hated that bottom bracket. I hated that ride to the shop. I hated the fact our shop didn’t want to have a look at the bb. We got to Alcudia. We got to the shop and a mechanic stripped it, cleaned it, and reinstalled it. NO CLICKING.
We cycled home. NO HEADWIND. A TAILWIND. I was pleased. And started happily smashing along.
IT WAS gReAt.
Tomorrow should be recovery.
I’ve been here 4 days and have ridden more back to back days than I’ve ever done before. I’ve climbed more in a day, but not by much when I compare it to the Kentagon. I’ve had good times. I’ve had BANGING food. I have demonstrated my ability to eat all the food. To the extent it’s thought I have a tapeworm. Or more than one.
I’ll admit. This writing a blog thing under the pressure of deadlines etc is difficult. Especially after I’ve been to the pub and had some beer and watched Arsenal lose. And then read Derby lost to Boro. Where, if memory serves me right they dance on the sand and look at the smog.
This is how it must have felt to be Hunter S Thompson following the campaign trail in 1972.
Anyway. Yesterday the day started with spew. There was spewing today. But not until after lunch. This time it was calamari delivered from Nick’s stomach as an offering to the gods of the road. I think they deserved such a sacrifice.
Today was a long old day. We eventually got our arses into gear and left at 10. We got home at nearly 7. We did stop for long time at lunch. 140 odd Kilometres and 2500ish metres of climbing. Look!
After the horrorshow of yesterday we went out of Pollensa up to Puig Major, down, over to Soller. Stopped for lunch at Port Soller. Climbed out and up and then well. I don’t know. Some time was lost somewhere.
Things that happened today:
A group with some London Dynamo smashed past us, one of their group sat behind me. I had to point out we weren’t in the group they thought we were in. They pushed on and got back on. We looked at each other and vocalised our opinion of how that ride was going to work out for everyone involved.
We rode gently past some other cyclotouristes. One of them joined our group. One of them sat on Dan’s wheel and got dragged up an incline for at least 3 Km.
We got to the garage we stopped at yesterday, I’ve not got the picture of the gloves, there was the shout of
“we should wait for the others!!” (Dynamo)
We sat around, had some lemon fanta, moved on again.
It all gets a bit hazy here. We ended up in Port Soller having lunch. Then we left. Then we went up some hills. There was someone changing a puncture at the top. I’ve never felt so sorry for someone dealing with this as I did today. He had tubs. On mountains. On gravelly mountains. And his mates fucked off and left him. Leaving him with someone to watch over him.
Who didn’t help. I know we should all know how to maintain equipment we use. BECAUSE I DO RIGHT?? While I might not ride for London’s Premium Road Cycling Club, I do ride with a bunch of mates who might take the piss out of me for about five minutes while I fannied around being ineffectual before saying “oh for fuck’s sake, why did you bring these? Do you want a hand?”. Rather than staring at me like some sort of teacher giving me a lesson in how I should behave in the world of cycling.
I then descended these cols with bravado and excellent technique. Always in the drops and not grabbing handfuls of brakes in the fear I might actually go over 40 Kmh. DID I FUCK. Fortunately, I ride with people who tolerate this shitty behaviour and wait for me. Just like I might wait for them at the top. If I’ve actually been able to demonstrate any climbing ability.
There was a section of pave. A road was apparently closed because of maintenance, but we were advised we could go on through. This was “fun”. I managed to catch and overtake the truck that was carrying the bitumen/tarmac/road replacement material. There were sections, long sections, of newly laid macadam. It was interesting. I was grateful I wasn’t descending into this.
There then followed a massive drag. We’d all sort of run out of water. Even though we’d cracked the however fucking many metres of climbing, there was still the quite significant matter of approximately 40 km to get home. Before the sun went down.
Our infernal routing machines insisted on telling us the wrong way. We stopped at a shop.
I tried to communicate with an old lady, she smiled a lot. I just grimaced.
We got our groove on. Fanta and water is a potent mix. There was some dick swinging. The final “punchy” climb looked like an all out kitchen sink battle between Nick and me. Then we turned the corner and there was another hill. Dan smashed by us both and took the sweet sweet victory. And then nailed a sprint on the flat afterwards.
It was a long day. So different to yesterday. The sun was out. It wasn’t a battle to survive, it was a battle to get home on time.
Here are some pictures. Spot the before and after. I”l try and get some more from Dan and Nick. They do that thing of riding and taking pics with smartphones (what??) with one hand so well.
I should probably provide some pictures to show you what it’s been like.
Is pretty pro yeah?
Today started well. I heard Dan spewing. No riding for Dan today. He feels much better now though. Nick cooked eggs and chorizo last night.
5 sentences of increasing word count. How David Peace.
There was a bit of faffing to try and work out what we were going to do today. We decided to do this.
Here are some pictures from this ride
I think the age old “a picture tells a 1000 words” is bang on the money.
We started off in bright sunshine. We went to Pruig Major. The climbs were great. The rain came in. Oh the rain came in. The descent was filled with these thoughts:
“don’t brake in the corner”
“you’re going to die”
“fuck me this is cold”
“people race down here”
“fuck me i’m shivering so much I think i’m going to steer into the wrong place”
Then after some epic, and I really mean epic, patas bravas and some strong looks from the other cyclists in the cafe we stopped at, we got back on the back and descended again. And then it finally got warm.
The ride then became less of something to endure and more of a positive experience.We saw British Cycling out there. Looking pro. And boss. etc etc.
The descent was lined with sheep with bells around their neck, cow bells. But sheep bells. Anyway. Bells. Yeah?
You’d hear them clanking as you went up. But on the way down I took a bit of joy in the noise. It reminded me of people ringing cow bells at races.
I WAS VERY COLD. I needed to convince myself this was a fun thing I was doing. It sort of worked.
I’ve set myself the target of writing every day while I’m away. Let’s see what happens. I’m hoping to get pictures up / nicked from the other two.
We arrived in Palma at 4, we got out of Palma at 5. At 5.30 it pissed it down. It really pissed it down. It battered it in from the sea along the coast. It’s safe to say there were three adults sat in a car contemplating why the fuck they’d spent money coming to ride bikes in weather that was freely available at home.
While Dan set his power bike up, Nick and I ventured outside into torrential rain. I’m not making this sound worse. In the 5 minute walk to the shops we got soaked. Bikes were collected. We walked back to the apartment. We got drenched again.
After getting drenched walking no more than 100m, we went to buy food. We got wet. We stopped at the bar, I think we’ll see more of this bar, we ate. We watched football, we saw Titchie Richie fall off as he went around a corner, I ate a baked potato with everything. We went home. It hailed. It hailed a LOT.
We’re in Majorca. It’s just like this.
Team decision: let’s see what the day is like tomorrow. We’ve read 3 different weather sites. They all say roughly the same thing. Nice in the morning, grimmers in the afternoon.
Woke up, rode down the coast road. Got bored. Turned back. Got more water, rode to Cap Formentor. That was quite nice. Quite nice? It was awesome. We had saddles slipping. We stopped. We had steady incline. We rode up it. We descended smooth.
It felt just like riding in Kent.
Here’s some pictures.