Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spain 2012 - starting the vacation

wow, Spain bootcamp so far; but the fun kind.
Since i left Calgary Thursday it's been pretty much non stop. We arrived Spain and Madrid yesterday around lunch and the bike survived the long haul without a box just fine. We managed to get a large enough vehicle to fit both bikes, three people and our luggage after a few inspections. And from there we figures we would tour in to Madrid for some technology upgrades and lunch! We opted out of a GPS rental and without the pad or phone maps we stuck to the old kind on paper if your remember those. It sort of worked since we didnt really care where we ended up. And i think we did end up in Madrid. Found a cell phone provider after a bit of trial and error and we quickly have learned that we really should put the effort in and learn the language before venturing here. The lunch was food, but not sure what it a was besides chicken.
Now that the iPad has a sim card the navigation is great! Well we still get to go throuh the same trafic circle about four times before we get it right and see many cool new blocks that wasn't really highlighted blue, but after all that we always end up somewhere.
Craig suggested we stay close to Ignachi (sorry bud, probably not spelled right), but since he had moved that work out, thouh we did get to see a part of the suburbs we would not probably have gone to. So this morning we had a little drive in to the city to pick up our ride guide and friend from Transportugal in downtown Madrid. Interesting as directions were to meet was communicated between two languages both not too clear. We eventually end up running down the street yelling his name while also talking to him on a cell phone after jay-running across the street. Now all finally packed in our great bike van and off to our first group ride in Spain, fashionable late!
We met up witb two of his friends and had an amazing ride. More fun trails than i expected, about 65 km of dirt road, rock, sand both fast flowy and some nice technical stuff. We road part of the 600km route of the pilgims (Dont really know the story so will not pretend, but it probably should have something about bikes in it, as it was trails made for riding! :) So much fun. Probably need to shop for some leg warmers and warm gloves as its a bit cooler here than i planned. Thouh today i was ok, even as the only one showing skin, I've been told there was snow last years andalucia race!
After ride we drove back to Madrid, had another interesting lunch, downloaded a translation tool, helped a little to say "awesome lunch!" thouh the guy didnt buy in as i left much of something that looked
like a sausage ...
Found a great bike shop; but unfortunately closed but Craig got to do some more technical riding, car riding that is. Ventured to our town for the night, Las Rozas, but of course not without seeing all of Madrid and every option of roads including more trafic circles (yes, more than once). After a quick drop at the hotel it was time for some snack so Craig and I went in to town to look for a local snack, see potential but no parking, but thouh we are not learning the language quick we are picking up on the culture; nice empty spot at the bus stop! The local pub seems great, while struggling with the ordering a local guy kindly offers us something on a toothpick ...cant say no, now its just like an episode of fear factor, but with me in it! Not good, thouh at least my piece was shaved properly.
Get a few more things at a local corner store, also of course need a few trials, but we eventually get back to hotel and now its 1030 and im laying down for the first time! Planning ride tomorrow on my sms in Spanish! (cheating of course). Big group apparently, should be fun.

Happy riding and welcome to 2012...will try to keep it going!


  1. Very nice places. And I think this is the place I want to go. So thank you for letting us know this one.

    Long term rental Barcelona & sitges villas