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A long ride. Duns and back with the England on the horizon.

A long ride. Duns and back with England on the horizon.

The Tour of Spain, Vuelta a España if you will, is on at the moment. So is the Edinburgh Festival, the worlds largest arts festival and the reason why it takes almost an hour to walk 2 miles in the heart of Scotland’s capital at the moment. So, what other connections between these two events are there? Well, when asked about cycle touring in Spain I get agitated.

I want to give it a good review. But every time we were hungry, nothing was open. When the bar was open it was just Tapas. You can not carbo load on Tapas, eating it just reminds you how little you have eaten that day. Which brings me to one of the top 10 jokes from the festival this year.

Mark Nelson: “Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That’s not a miracle. That’s tapas.” Which made me laugh, but not at the time. Added to the food problem there was always the sleeping problem. We, as you know, like to get up and on the road early. The siesta, which lasts 2 and sometimes 3 hours means that you can ride through villages that look as if some apocalypse has occurred and all have fled. Until 10.45pm that is, when they are out shouting and eating and the youngest of children are running around screaming.

Spain and my biological clock are at odds and that is that. So, what have we been doing? Lots of miles on the bikes, most of which have been of the heads down and go for the burn variety. We have a 200k Audax this weekend and needed to get bike-fit, and in double quick order. We first did the Newtonmore Audax about 13 years ago and it was our first 200k event. I had forged Esther’s signature on the application, so she was quite surprised to find she was doing 126 miles.

We worked our way up through the distances over a few years. I got to do a Super Randonneur, which is a 200,300,400 and 600 Kilometer ride in the same year ( the 600K took a year off my life I think ). Esther got up to the 400K. Let’s hope that we get around the Rothes Reccie 200K this Saturday with smiles on our faces at the end. Then we will get back to nights in woodlands and cooking porridge.

End of a long ride. Borders and back along the Tweed.

End of a long ride. Borders and back along the Tweed.