Saturday, 1 October 2011

MORE...GOOD WEATHER CONTINUES.

More Autumn Cycling
 Since my last post I have been out cycling every day in the brilliant Autumn weather that we have been having. The temperatures have been setting records for this time of year and the autumn colours are fantastic talking of which- now that I know about Rantwicks 'SARATS' competition I have an added incentive to get out into the wonderful Dorset countryside.  Apparently this good weather is set to last for a few more days and judging from how packed the beach at the end of our road was today I think that everyone is out enjoying it before it all changes to bad weather.
Our campsite pitch near Gibraltar
 As I have said before, the weather was pretty hot during the Spanish sections of our ROCK2UK ride. We stayed at a campsite on the Spanish coast about five miles from Gibraltar and our pitch can be seen in the above picture. The ground was rock hard and we had difficulty getting the tent pegs into the ground....a problem that we had throughout Spain. At one site Dave managed to get hold of some special 'rock pegs' and they certainly worked well but they were far to heavy for us to continue to use them after Dave had returned to the UK. I love nice grassy pitches and as you can see we had no grass at all. Back home in the UK there is no way that I would choose to camp on such a rough surface but throughout Spain we had no choice.
JD & I with Dave (the broom wagon)
 The above shot (taken by a willing passer by) shows the three of us at the start of the ride. Being on the coast  the temperature here was cooler than we were to find it further inland. At this point we had no idea how difficult this first days ride was going to be.
The Rock from the road to Ronda
 As we travelled further inland you could feel the heat building up. None of us are used to this level of heat and it proved to be a major problem for us throughout Spain.
JD winching up the road to Ronda
 In this picture of JD winching himself up the road to Ronda you can see that he has taken his helmet off. Now this is something that he would NEVER normally do but the heat was proving just too much for him. Because I don't really have much hair to speak of this wasn't a problem for me....and anyway since my crash two years ago I won't ever get on a bike without my helmet on. Perhaps JD should have had his hair shaved off before we started the ride...........
JD & Dave after the first day.
That evening after cycling the longest hill that I have ever ridden..(62 miles Gibraltar to Ronda) we found ourselves at another 'grassless' campsite. In this photo the strain of the days ride can be seen in JD's face.  We had a meal in the campsite restaurant and discussed how best to proceed with the ride given the oven-like temperatures that we had spent this first day cycling through. Because we had Dave with us we were not having to ride with the panniers on the bikes as all our kit was in the wagon. We all agreed that we would not have managed this first day if that had not been the case. It was during this discussion that it was agreed that for the time Dave was with us...we would try and travel as far north as quickly as we could in the hope that by the time he had to return to the UK we would be far enough north for it to be a bit cooler. Also Dave was able to carry more water supplies than we could on the bikes alone....and in these temperatures this was a real and major concern........TO BE CONTINUED

IF YOU INTENDED TO SUPPORT MY ROCK2UK RIDE WITH A DONATION FOR 'CYCLISTS FIGHTING CANCER' BUT HAVEN'T DONE SO YET- MAY I GIVE YOU A GENTLE NUDGE.....
WE ARE ONLY £155 SHORT OF THE TARGET AND IT WOULD MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE FOR THIS REALLY GOOD CAUSE IF WE MANAGED TO HIT THE ONE THOUSAND POUNDS THAT I SET FOR THE FUNDRAISING......THANKS IN ANTICIPATION.......

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