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.