Author Topic: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.  (Read 3432 times)

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« on: March 03, 2015, 07:33:31 am »
I am in Spain, down on the costa blanca for a whole month of riding! Got to get fit and lose weight so rented a villa in the sun, out of season bargain.
Drove down through storms and floods, with quiver of bikes on car. Bit of a long slog.
Based near calpe which is where the old east end villains go to get tanned and die of alcoholism. In the company of Dutch and Germans with the same idea. Extraordinary colours of people, bleached hair, tiger print leggings and lurid orange skin. The women are even more extreme.
Loads of road cyclists, doing training camps, from all over Europe. Very fancy shiny hardware on show with a lot of electronic gear bikes. Plus lots of the riders are in the best physical shape imaginable, extraordinary muscles and leanness. A bit intimidating, some serious racers and teams whiz zing around. All legs are shaved,  even mine.
Anyway I am in dependant and on the fujin/burrows mix, giving it some serious effort. Have road bike in reserve in case of technical or climbing failure. It isn't really recumbent terrain, and clear that many have never even seen a machine like this, given the reactions.
The roads are satin smooth, really lovely, no potholes, the climate is awesome, the citrus and almond groves are in glory. Scent of blossom as you cycle and temperature in 20s with fresh breeze just right. I used to do training camps here back in the 2000s, so know the lie of the land.
The hills are awesome. Vast, epic. Yesterday went up col du rates, via bennissa, huge winding climbs up the side of the mountains. Slow as it is possible to be, searching for lower gears and just above walking speed in the end. Sweat dripping off elbows. But I made it, being passed by German team colour whippets all the way. The pros go up in under 20 minutes, then repeat, took me near an hour to do col du rates and I was jelly at the top.
Spanked the peloton when I caught them on the straight incline flat  in the valley, which was payback. The bike was nearly flying, fantastic.  Mind you I had to stop for ice cream after I ran out of steam round the corner. Saw them whizz by at full group race pace, I suspect looking for revenge, as I ate 2 iced mars bars. Nice.
I am a kilo lighter this morning!
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 09:52:40 am »
Git >:( ;D
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 04:38:28 pm »
Seems I overdid it a bit yesterday. Today, not only rather lighter but also got sunburn all up the front of legs and arms plus headache and stuff! Possibly not the brightest idea to get up on day 1 and head for the biggest climbs in the area. Suspect amazing weight loss due to dehydration.
Hope I recover by tomorrow.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 04:47:55 pm »
Double git*  ;D

What made you go for Calpe - had you heard it was a spot for training camps or summat ?

EDIT - Missed that you said you'd done training camps there before..

Not much motorised traffic, or are they just a bit more used to cyclists?

(Edit2..removed pointless grumble about summat else)

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 05:50:58 pm »
The hills are awesome. Vast, epic. Yesterday went up col du rates, via bennissa, huge winding climbs up the side of the mountains. Slow as it is possible to be, searching for lower gears and just above walking speed in the end. Sweat dripping off elbows. But I made it, being passed by German team colour whippets all the way. The pros go up in under 20 minutes, then repeat, took me near an hour to do col du rates and I was jelly at the top.
Spanked the peloton when I caught them on the straight incline flat  in the valley, which was payback. The bike was nearly flying, fantastic.  Mind you I had to stop for ice cream after I ran out of steam round the corner. Saw them whizz by at full group race pace, I suspect looking for revenge, as I ate 2 iced mars bars. Nice.

:D LOL...
I too am most jealous of what you're up too.
Good to hear you're riding Tigerrr
Garry Broad

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 08:14:50 pm »
Woke up to an inch of snow in the Cairngorms - Bacchetta shining in the garage. Back on the upwrong and studs for the commute to work :sick:
Pete Crane E75

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2015, 03:56:26 pm »
Double git*  ;D

What made you go for Calpe - had you heard it was a spot for training camps or summat ?

EDIT - Missed that you said you'd done training camps there before..

Not much motorised traffic, or are they just a bit more used to cyclists?

(Edit2..removed pointless grumble about summat else)
It is a sort of cycling heaven. microclimate means in march it is about 15 to 20C at sea level, sunny and cooling breeze. The local roads, even minor ones are surfaced with macadam you only see on a racetrack in the UK, plus all have a sort of cycle lane at the side. Being still on mainland Europe it is easier to reach than the canaries or other islands. Lots of local hotels are entirely full of a mix of geriatric drunk cockneys and northern grumpies playing bingo and Etape crazed cyclists,  clearing the buffet of all the food.
Because the economy relies on the cyclists, who use the remote cafés etc, overall they treat cyclists really well, leave room etc. plus there are so many that the cyclists have a power balance.
Loving it but have scaled back the epic rides due to successive ride days followed by days of cramp and tummy pains etc, all due to failure to manage appropriate hydration and inability to not turn left up the hill. Managing inappropriate hydration very well due to local beer being cheaper than water.
rode to Moraira this AM, another villains hideout with yachts. obv not sailing yachts but huge white trawlers. Rode in under the barrier but got thrown out by bouncer, as cashmere swathed, medallion encrusted owners of said yachts sneered from the balcony of the bar, reclining on their mushroom swanky rattan.
Those women will age badly, which is my revenge. They turn into walnuts.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2015, 09:54:24 pm »
Glad you're enjoying yourself Tigerrr...and the bike sounds as though it's going well too.

After getting the bare frame out of the loft, putting bits back and sticking it on the turbo for a couple of days, I've just taken my recumbent out for the first time in 8yrs in preparation for the Kennet Valley on Saturday [I was really quite nervous to begin with].....OMG.....it weighs 42lb/20kg! What am I letting myself in for again? Bet my weighs more than yours! :-)

Up the hills and into the night [for 10km] - all those old Audax memories came flooding back.

It's actually a beautiful night out there tonight.
Garry Broad

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 07:20:34 am »
Today going to Alicante airport to pick up daughter and boyfriend (hers not mine). Picked up other daughter yesterday, on cheap flight from Leeds.  Plane mostly full of stag and hen parties en route to Benidorm. Completely pissed, riding trolleys round arrivals wearing hats hung with condoms. They know how to have fun.
Benidorm is another planet. Eggs bacon and Stella for breakfast.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 04:13:31 pm »
It is a sort of cycling heaven. microclimate means in march it is about 15 to 20C at sea level, sunny and cooling breeze. The local roads, even minor ones are surfaced with macadam you only see on a racetrack in the UK, plus all have a sort of cycle lane at the side. Being still on mainland Europe it is easier to reach than the canaries or other islands. Lots of local hotels are entirely full of a mix of geriatric drunk cockneys and northern grumpies playing bingo and Etape crazed cyclists,  clearing the buffet of all the food.
Because the economy relies on the cyclists, who use the remote cafés etc, overall they treat cyclists really well, leave room etc. plus there are so many that the cyclists have a power balance.
Loving it but have scaled back the epic rides due to successive ride days followed by days of cramp and tummy pains etc, all due to failure to manage appropriate hydration and inability to not turn left up the hill. Managing inappropriate hydration very well due to local beer being cheaper than water.
rode to Moraira this AM, another villains hideout with yachts. obv not sailing yachts but huge white trawlers. Rode in under the barrier but got thrown out by bouncer, as cashmere swathed, medallion encrusted owners of said yachts sneered from the balcony of the bar, reclining on their mushroom swanky rattan.
Those women will age badly, which is my revenge. They turn into walnuts.

 :D

Sounds well worth a visit...putting the bike on a ferry to Santander had crossed my mind in the past - having been to a music festival in Bilbao a few years ago - but I'd not really thought much more about it.

How're your wrists holding up ? - ISTR some carpal tunnel nasties.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2015, 07:25:45 pm »
The point about the area round here is it is wonderful in march. The rest of spain is currently flooded, windy, or actually freezing, but the south east tip is balmy. However, go 20 k south and it is a wasteland full of half built blocks of abandoned buildings amidst poly tunnel wastes. However the specific bit north east of Benidorm is in fact a sort of verdant garden, and that is where we are.  I can not imagine a better place to ride a bike at this tie of year. It even smells great with the almond blossom and citrus on the breeze up on the plateau, sun shining and cool.
Loving it. BBQ sea bass most nights at 6euros a kilo. Fresh off the boat. Mmmm. Sitting on the terrace in shorts and t shirt as sunsets over the sea etc. the air here feels good just flowing over your skin.
the Brit cyclists arrived en masse for training camps this weekend and they are swarming up the climbs on lovely bikes with bright white legs that will be red tomorrow.   Never seen so many cyclists outside of London rush hour. Great atmosphere.
I have been going out on my road bike for a change. On this terrain it is faster than the fujin on the big climbs. But the fujin takes no prisoners in the gentle valley descents once wind resistance takes over from athletic ability...
The climbs are fantastic, typically 6 to 8 per cent which  means you can take it slow without blowing up, however long, explains how I can get to the top, although I am stunned by the pace of many riders here who are going up at speed.
Tomorrow I may attempt Purta del Tudons which is a ride that from here encompasses about 5 k of climbs apparently, not all at once but you have to go up and down to get to the bottom of the big 1k climb. An all day job I think, taken at own pace and only if the sun is right.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2015, 08:49:16 am »
Woke up this morning to find it is raining. Shocking. Anyway no cycling here in the wet as roads get slippery.
Been riding daily, alternating fujin and upright. It is so good here that I am already looking forward to next year. So good to feel fresh air flowing over the skin.
The recumbent is hard work on the climbs though, slow and pushes up the heartrate, very sweaty. Plus on twisty descents it can be a bit tense. There is one hill here though, that I have yet to dare the descent. A 7 k descent from Benissa on an A road known to be the fastest bike descent in the region. One pro boasted of topping 70mph on it, no reason to think that might not be true. On the recumbent who knows...not me as I don't dare. I went the fastest I have ever been there 10 years ago and still sweat at the thought of the bend at the bottom. Will give it a go before we leave maybe.
Ridden up lots of rural lanes to remote villages for lunch. Sitting in the sun looking out over the mountain views with a belting coffee and lemon cake.
This place is a paradise. After a bit the blot that is Benidorm sort of disappears.
Mrs tiger has been incredasingly looking at estate agents for villas. Loads for sale, lots are repossessions. It is tempting but not at all sure I would want to be here when it gets much hotter.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 07:21:43 am »
The Tigers are in the gravitational pull of Costa Blanca estate agents. being drawn ever closer, and have now gone and arranged to look at some places. Looks like the kids may have to forego any inheritance as we spend it all on cheap wine and suntan lotion in Spain.
I see they are looking for extras for the next series of Benidorm. Sounds like a good career change to me.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 07:05:21 am »
Oh shock and woe. It has all gone wet and cold. This really won't do. No way can I lie by the pool in this. May have to stay in bed all day.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2015, 07:29:51 am »
I know you all appreciate hearing how it is going, so an update. The rain seems to have passed. Apparently it has hardly rained here for 2 years so much needed for the almonds.
Riding, but must admit recumbent is hard work here, opportunities for safe high speeds are few due to bendy bits in the roads and general lack of descending nerve on twitchy hamster bars setup. This is due to having crashed here decade ago by going off-road out of control on a descent, into a rocky gully where rendered unconscious, with broken elbow, shoulder and vertebra. Nasty experience and thought it was the end at the time as I flew high over the edge and saw the view unrolling.  (Helmet was split asunder, but head just bashed up not broken) That is the reason I ride recumbents now though.
In between rides, mrs tiger and I have started looking at villas! The idea of winter in balmy sea breeze with healthy riding that doesn't leave the bike covered in crud appeals. It is seriously cheap to live very well here too. Problem might be it is also cheap to live badly here, and the yardarm seems very very low for many here, which might undo me. Certainly undone many locals by the look of them.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 07:04:42 am »
It emerges that the saying about rain in Spain falling mainly on the plain is not quite right. It mainly falls on the costa blanca where this week is making up for lost time. Full on tropical downpour turning the hilly roads into cataracts. The sea, which has been a gentle pool with 6 inch plashes, is now a raging monster with waves crashing over the breakwaters and washing cafe tables away at Dot Cottons Eastender Bar.
Ron (used to drive for the Krays) came to 'do the pool' and forgot to put the plug back, so it emptied while we were out. Now we are trying to refill it with the hose (not allowed) which will take 2 weeks, the landlord will not be happy with his water meter reading. Plus what water there is in  pool is now back to arctic temperature, if one was fool enough to wade about in it.
Brand new Kodak tyre on recumbent has flatted. It is an omen.
The tan is fading along with my dreams.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 07:54:50 am »
Given up on the buying a villa idea. The best thing about being here is not being responsible for the place. If it was mine I would have spent most of the time worrying about the cracks and stuff like the pool emptying or all the cactus plants dying, or the Russian gangsters next door, whose Alsatians hurl themselves against the fence in rage when I pass. Rabies I suspect. not sure if they are Russian, but think so based on shaved heads, chains, and size of sunglasses. Plus huge hair of woman seen in their open top sport car roaring off up the hill. Their villa is one of those white cube jobs with infinity pool, which apparently the Russians are snapping up.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 11:33:10 am »
When it rains down there it likes to do it properly...
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2015, 08:11:13 am »
Day 22. Rain has not stopped. Work on the Ark is slow. Food running low. May have to eat Bosun the dog. Pool water undrinkable, only plastic barrels of local wine left now. Situation desperate. May god have mercy on our souls.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2015, 08:33:37 am »
overnight winds have blown all the poolside sunloungers bare of cushions! mrs Tiger has clearly lost the will to live in what is becoming an epic disaster, and has retreated to bed with IPad scrabble and Heat magazine. Morale at an all time low. It will take all my reserves to go to the airport and welcome the London friends who have come down for a weekend of sun and BBQ.  May have to take them to Stans all you can eat Fish & Chip bar to watch the footy and bingo instead.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride.
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2015, 08:48:22 am »
Day 22. Rain has not stopped. Work on the Ark is slow. Food running low. May have to eat Bosun the dog. Pool water undrinkable, only plastic barrels of local wine left now. Situation desperate. May god have mercy on our souls.

 :D

Ah, the pool water was probably undrinkable before,  bound to have been pissed in courtesy of previous residents or their little urchins..

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2015, 12:43:06 pm »
went to the beach to look at the sea with Bosun. imagine our surprise to find the beach has gone. The lovely swathe of soft sand, so perfect for taking a morning canine dump, washed away.  overnight replaced with a rocky slab dotted with bits of old builders rubble. Much like the rest of Spain in fact.
In order to stave off guests disappointment, went to supermarket to buy more booze and selection of gourmet ham. If accompanied with flamenco music might create charming local atmosphere, and take everyone's minds off the howling wind and torrential rain.
The morning was rounded off perfectly when I got to the till and found my card missing.  Suddenly the odd scruffy bearded bloke who kept standing next to me at the cured meats counter registered in my mind. At the time I thought he didn't look the type to be perusing truffled Serrano. Indeed he was perusing my pocket.  not only did he get the card but also the shopping list.
Can't even be bothered to fix the flat on the bike, heading off for a healing sleep.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Re: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2015, 07:50:26 pm »
Tigerrr - your posts encapsulate one thing about this life that we all know to be true, but would rather not encounter, especially when times are good: things change. And when they do, we can easily fall into discontentment. But do not stress, allow the weather fronts to do their thing, and they will be on their way.
Ma and Pa are down in Torrevieja at the moment, so I know all about this :-)
Garry Broad

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2015, 07:03:25 am »
Guests welcomed, in driving rain at Valencia airport.  The weather gods relented and yesterday was spent loafing in sunshine, with coffee and strudel at the German place atop col de rates.
A local cycle race was in progress in Calpe, big show with closed roads and many teams. Didn't see any syringes being discarded, so my guess is they are doing the gear in the team coaches. The police seemed more interested in stopping traffic than catching the crooks which just shows the extent of corruption in the sport.
One byproduct of the event was the local  supermarket was cut off by road closures and effectively inaccessible, although open. The vast fresh fish counter was there, but no customers. The fish man was beside himself, cursing the event and all aboard. He expected to bin all his fish unsold as Sunday is shops shut and it won't keep. Despite this he refused to entertain my helpful proposal to sell me fish at half price. I see this as a metaphor for the whole EU experiment.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Taking the fujin for a ride in sunny Spain.
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2015, 09:12:30 am »
Storm has passed, woke up today to blue skies and warm breeze from the south. Much of the inland region has has flash floods and rivers bursting banks etc.  Nobody mentioned this in the brochure.
spent the last week experimenting with the local wine produce, and finessing Paella. Bough successively bigger pans and a proper paella ring. That will be one up on the neighbours back home, especially if I build an outdoor kitchen like they have here.
off on the bike now for a full day, as we are leaving to drive back to UK with Bosun the dog on Saturday. Heading up the coast today, as not really in shape to tackle the big hills after a week of pigging.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird