TransIberica 2019 Ride for Guy Part 2

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An early start from the beach bivy and cafes are open before 6am in Alicante as the tourists trudge to the airports to go home.
168
The med coast awakens, they love a roundabout statue here
171
Beach picnci/breakfast #2 and a freshwater shower is welcome
174
Nice Coastal route before the mess of plastic land ruins the landscape
179
A welcome view of the Sierra Nevada, many a good time spent on those mountain trails
181
Lanjaron chilling out with the Vuelta on the queen stage
182
Meeting up with old friends for a great evening
183
Feasting with the boys
190
The storms had cleared for a better morning. Hard to leave but I had a huge mountain to climb
194
Just a few miles up from Granada and its already getting awesome first 1000 metres climbed
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That was brutal, CP3 at the summit of the Pica Veleta, zero degrees and my face is being ripped off by sidewyas hail.
200
Great views from 3000 metres, the last crawl up the rough gravel was worth it
203
On the way back down, random steering by shivering
206
Roof of Europe won’t do that again in a hurry
211
Moving on West, ok new route required. If it was clear it would have been a great swim
212
Big vistas
215
Still taking the road less travelled
217
Turn up at dead looking campsite, women takes money and runs away, I have the place to myself. The water is off and was it really open. Who cares I have a table and chairs, small things are bliss on the road.
219
Dawn at Ronda just so I could have the place to myself. Ride through the town, over thats bridge then loop round offroad to see in its glory from below
220
Gravel track from Ronda onwards
228
Not much but the highest point here and hard won in the heat of the day
229
Somewhere over there is Portugal
230
A great descent coming up, destination the shores of the lake
233
Zahara for a spot of shaded lunch, cute terraced place full of steep narrow streets
234
It’s Wednesday, a ritual that means a Gorilla Pub ride beer
235
Looking back, crossed over that lump
236
The map say a ferry, I’m sure hoping for a ferry but when. South of Seville keeps you away from the city
237
Result, a plank with an engine turns up and its one Euro
239
Parc National Donana for a late evening blast – Lynx on the prowl be nice drivers
240
Bastards, Bastards, Bastards
241
Lots of this and deserted, good no bugs – found a camp late in the night, even had a text offering a bed in Jerez, should have took it.
242
Next day on the coast at Huelva more great tracks
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Beautiful here
245
The last few miles in Spain with some more sand surfing
247
Ferry number three on this trip, hello Portugal
248
An early camp around Faro to escape the traffic and plan the next part
250
Sticking to the race route plan with a stop at the Algerian coast CP at Albufeira
258
A good start in the mountains then it all got intensely hot and flat. Ending at an off route camp. Struck lucky with a great lounger seat and terrace view for another great sunset watch, living the dream.
263
Loving Portugal, great sunup community cafes and a big feed for 2 Euro 50
264
Tracks turned into fields and the going gets exciting again
267
Back on the Atlantic coast bridges, and salt ponds
275
Cycling into Porto was a dream
277
Porto street life and cable cars, a great city
279
That’s one mother of a river, that or bicycle are the ways to cruise through this city
287
And finally I got wet, like hide in a bus stop and eat all my food wet. The low mist over the river was one of the benefits on the race to find camp.
289
A new day and a great long rail trail climbing up to the mountains, wonder how many racers missed this beauty and easy gradients.
292
Oh lordy next stop is up there, bring it on. Mondays can be great, how hard can it be.
293
Senhora da Graca: from 2/3rds up the roads spirals round for superb 360 degree open views
299
Ice cream with a view, still just in Portugal
302
Greatest cycling picnic spots, this one is right up there
304
Go down the same way, now that would be boring, and the wrong way. Let’s off road engage grnarl.
306
It was fun, but the squeal from the brakes was waking the dead
308
How quickly a day can change. Portugal had a parting gift, horizontal rain. And did it rain, I set up camp inside the cavernous shower block for the night. This shot could be pre or after a shower, who can tell. Only wet evening in a month of travelling can’t complain.
309
Treated my drowned self for the first grown up meal this trip, translated as wild boar ribs, and was great value. Goodbye Portugal I will return.
310
Checking what was next in the elevation game. Looks like a day on the Plateau, hoping it was not to be in the clouds.
311
One of the weirdest border crossings I’ve done, bandit style, taking the track less traveled. No joke, this was the actual line of the border into Spain.
314
Back in Spain and back to the heat and very quiet roads. Following a huge railway build project, miles of potential sneaky trail and tunnels as they hadn’t laid the rails yet. Oh and that shade in the tunnels would be bliss, hot hot hot again
315
A strategic early stop in a deserted camp site, time to dry everything out from yesterday and chill. Two motorcyclists told me I was the enemy over beers, despite me riding M/C for 40 years, you can find dickheads anywhere.
319
Rounding Leon, waiting for the snail rail, they need that new express. Time to savor the Picos mountains on the horizon.
325
Through a few rock tunnels and the fabulous vista opens to the beauty around the lakes of Riano. Jaw dropping floor bound.
327
Now that’s a room with a view, best camp yet
329
View from the tent, watching the sun set, happy times
330
The morning after, lucky I had nowhere to go fast. Time for a late breakfast, barman says Just wait until 11am , it’s normal, he was right
338
As the mist lifted the views were just jaw dropping, if only I had included the bike in this shot, one of the best I have taken on my travels. Just blown away by the beauty around here.
341
Another in the outstanding picnic spots gallery
345
Still taking the shortcuts, going down to the Cain de Valdeon
351
What a road dropping a 1000 metres in a gorge
352
Mixing with the walkers – one end of the Ruta del Cares, One of the Picos great walks, bikes forbidden unfortunately
363
Ibicus
368
The Riano view was just as good on the way back, I did not want to leave. Put it on your list people.
372
Rush, travel in darkness; that’s crazy talk. Northern Spain has to be savoured.
375
The town of Riano was buried when they flooded the valley. This town is completely new, it was totally rebuilt in the same style
377
The storms were not far away, a good night with new cycle friends from Leicester as the thunder rumbled
379
Another day and another great valley descent, being chased by vintage cars
380
Another Iberica tour, classic cars doing a lap. No caps for them, only silk tour jackets for them
382
Another great road through a gorge heading North
386
Now at the end of September and all the campsites are closing down inland, a very quiet night on this sites final day after finding Covadonga shut.
395
I headed off for an a extra peak; the Lagos du Covadonga climb. I was passed by a race so just had to join in, bags on board and all.
398
A great evenings ride up this legendary Vuelta race climb
399
The lakes appear, a great sight as the last time I was up hear 20 years ago, I could not see the road for cloud. Still some climbing to go yet.
401
16 minutes down on the winner, I’ll take that, got a few high fives too.
404
How every hill climb racer kits out his bike surely. There you go Clare there really are lakes up here.
406
Dropping down back to the North Coast and ten degrees more warmth on the home leg
408
Looking back on the Picos from the coast, I decide I am not ready to leave their beauty and quiet smooth roads behind just yet.
411
The dream camp, my own Oasis of calm
416
Return to Bilbao are you mad, no rush
418
A graphic reminder of the heights of Spain, compare it to the Alps, this a fantastic country to cycle in especially in September.
420
This racing is tough going. That special notch in my collarbone comes in handy as a strap hook.
423
Have you booked a ferry yet
430
On my wedding anniversary I thought I should make up for my lack of card, the tide beat me this morning
437
One last foray back into the Picos. The road up to Potes is another cracker, and a nice gentle gradient through the rock.
442
More great Picnic spots
443
TransIberica was calling, I was heading for a steady ride back to Santander when Carlos called to say he was back in Bilbao tomorrow and what the heck, lets get it done. 114 miles to finish it.
445
Great Spanish cycling food, I will miss the Tortillas
447
Back along the coast to revisit places seen a month ago. Back in Laredo where the wind blew the bike over causing my only mechanical problem of the whole trip.
449
To spice things up I took to Komoot to plan a route to Bilbao. It completely ignored the fantastic cycle superhighway I had used before and tried to do so many one way streets the wrong way. Not impressed, although there were a few new highlights.
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In Bilbao, if in doubt just head for the river, the best way to navigate round here.
455
Back at the dog. Gets me a mention on the finishers roll of honour despite being way over the cut off time. 22 days 17 hrs after leaving the start, the 17th rider to return.

The full Transiberica results 2019 for the record, nice ride Hippy.

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My true return. I enjoyed my stay at the All Iron Hostel and they did not believe I would return within the month, happy to prove them wrong. Recommended place to stay
460
A nice relaxing setting in a virtually brand new hostel, the bike even had its own cosy room
462
The final day in Spain, back to the river and the super cycle route out of the city back to the lumpy coastline. The ferry from Bilbao refuses to take cycles so I had to back track to Santander once more.
464
Once again, how good is this. Every city in Europe should be forced to come here and be see how it is done. Elevated smooth uninterupted travel over every major road and no stupid junctions, absolutely brilliant.
465
Cannot get enough of the coast, this is a great cycle tour destination and very accessible with the long ferry trip
471
Hanging on to every view, this is bliss for late September
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Its hard to cope with all these packed beaches around here
476
Carrying on with the route less traveled. The third ferry on the mainland of this trip; over to Santona, but where is the boarding jetty.
478
Didn’t get wet feet but the 6ft climb up the steep gangplank with a loaded bike was fun
483
Just adding to the many great memories
484
Fisherman and his dog remembered, they love to decorate their roundabouts out here.
485
Rolling out the red carpet for me, fresh painting of the great cycleways in progress
486
That’s my next ferry. the chase is on to catch it.
487
Made it, the river boat ferry over the Santander bay is worth checking out. A great way to get away from the port if you have just arrived from the UK too.
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Not exactly made for loaded cycles, but in true Spanish style you are warmly welcomed
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Just a short hop up the coast from the main ferry berth, with a coffe bar to sit in while waiting.
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And thar she blews, right on time, the third ferry of the day and the sixth since I left home.
493
cyclists are not the only two wheelers who come to Spain for some off road fun, add in the bikes returning from the weekends MotGP and it was a biker packed ferry
499
Some poor person had to be airlifted off the boat after the nights entertainment, off the coast of France. It took three passes to finish the job
503
And another one, this time in the channel , that must have been some night. Another delay for a ship that was already running with one engine failure
506
Hello Plymouth, not the original planned Portsmouth due to the engine troubles but luckily a lovely TransContinental race rider had offered me shelter for the night.
508
It was a very wet two day return back through Blighty, this old quarry road was interesting
510
Cheers again Komot, think I will skip this way to climb over the Cheddar Gorge today. Times when a Garmin just wins every time with its great on screen mapping with pan and zoom.
511
Bristol stopover. Kats cat kept me warm after a shocking night of heavy rain, welcome home.
512
There was to be no let up the next day, a filthy start to leaving Bristol
513
Within the hour I’d given up and hid in a lovely cafe. I needed that breakfast, my body was no longer used to the UK temperatures
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Still enjoying the trip
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The final cap, I think I am done with racing the clock being chased by time. This trip has confirmed it’s time to stop and sleep when the moment is right, without the thoughts of guilt and of being hunted. It’s been a great adventure with fantastic memories. Time for the next chapter.
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Brought to you in comfort with Schwalbe 38mm G-ones at @40 PSI thanks to the TyreWiz App
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The full TransIberica riding, adding on the trip to and from the ferry in the UK it was 3200 miles. Now where would that get me for future trips. Corsica, Greece and back, a real Tour de France or maybe the Nordcap

3 thoughts on “TransIberica 2019 Ride for Guy Part 2

  1. Lovely set of photos mate. I loved this event. Spain and Portugal are awesome!
    I reckon you’ll have some time off but get FOMO and enter another race… see you there 😀

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