Friday, August 13, 2010

hoe sterk is de eenzame fietser...

...this is from a Dutch song about a lonely cyclist who is bent over his handlebars battling the wind. Pretty much me today. 90 km of relentless, strong headwinds (okay, sometimes slightly cross but I don´t think 6 Bft is an underestimation) on open plains between Tordesillas and Palencia. For the Portuguese - imagine a 90 k stretch of Guincho - you know which way. For the Dutch...Afsluitdijk with a headwind times three. Not much fun when even on a downhill, with pedalling, it takes effort to get to 30 kph. The motto that Sergio Marques has on his top tube, ´Pedala e cala-te´ came to mind more than once. But then again - before Valladolid I got overtaken by an elderly Spanish cyclist (who mentioned he climbed a few famous Alps last year) with whom I cycled for a few km´s and who pointed me in the right direction - I had ignored my gps since there were roadworks ahead and it had decided on a scenic route which I was not in the mood for at that particular moment. For lunch I stopped in a tiny village called Quintanilla de Trigueros, where they did not serve lunch on weekdays, but the local guests (one month per year, they all had holiday homes in the area but lived elsewhere - apparently not a nice place to be in winter) insisted that they should at least make me a sandwich - ¡Hombre, es un ciclista! - which, when they heard where I came from and where I was going to, was paid by them. Gracias! A picture will follow but I´m sitting in an internet cafe/games hall where I can only access the web, not upload pictures.
It´s funny to notice that the ´easy´ days that I planned turn out to be the hard ones. I guess general tiredness is making itself feel - spinning the wheels around is going fine, but I do not pack a punch in the uphill sections anymore. The first and third day, which were both long and, in the case of the third day, featured a long slog uphill went fine and made me feel strong and confident. Now, 90 km is hard, although I guess that if the wind had been blowing the other way I´d be feeling like a cycling-god. I´m just hoping that tomorrow Aeolus will not fart on me the way he did today. My love will be waiting at the finish line and then I will have some days off the bike. Sounds good!

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