TransIberica 2019 Ride for Guy Part 2

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.
The med coast awakens, they love a roundabout statue here
Beach picnci/breakfast #2 and a freshwater shower is welcome
Nice Coastal route before the mess of plastic land ruins the landscape
A welcome view of the Sierra Nevada, many a good time spent on those mountain trails
Lanjaron chilling out with the Vuelta on the queen stage
Meeting up with old friends for a great evening
Feasting with the boys
The storms had cleared for a better morning. Hard to leave but I had a huge mountain to climb
Just a few miles up from Granada and its already getting awesome first 1000 metres climbed
That was brutal, CP3 at the summit of the Pica Veleta, zero degrees and my face is being ripped off by sidewyas hail.
Great views from 3000 metres, the last crawl up the rough gravel was worth it
On the way back down, random steering by shivering
Roof of Europe won’t do that again in a hurry
Moving on West, ok new route required. If it was clear it would have been a great swim
Big vistas
Still taking the road less travelled
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.
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
Gravel track from Ronda onwards
Not much but the highest point here and hard won in the heat of the day
Somewhere over there is Portugal
A great descent coming up, destination the shores of the lake
Zahara for a spot of shaded lunch, cute terraced place full of steep narrow streets
It’s Wednesday, a ritual that means a Gorilla Pub ride beer
Looking back, crossed over that lump
The map say a ferry, I’m sure hoping for a ferry but when. South of Seville keeps you away from the city
Result, a plank with an engine turns up and its one Euro
Parc National Donana for a late evening blast – Lynx on the prowl be nice drivers
Bastards, Bastards, Bastards
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.
Next day on the coast at Huelva more great tracks
Beautiful here
The last few miles in Spain with some more sand surfing
Ferry number three on this trip, hello Portugal
An early camp around Faro to escape the traffic and plan the next part
Sticking to the race route plan with a stop at the Algerian coast CP at Albufeira
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.
Loving Portugal, great sunup community cafes and a big feed for 2 Euro 50
Tracks turned into fields and the going gets exciting again
Back on the Atlantic coast bridges, and salt ponds
Cycling into Porto was a dream
Porto street life and cable cars, a great city
That’s one mother of a river, that or bicycle are the ways to cruise through this city
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.
A new day and a great long rail trail climbing up to the mountains, wonder how many racers missed this beauty and easy gradients.
Oh lordy next stop is up there, bring it on. Mondays can be great, how hard can it be.
Senhora da Graca: from 2/3rds up the roads spirals round for superb 360 degree open views
Ice cream with a view, still just in Portugal
Greatest cycling picnic spots, this one is right up there
Go down the same way, now that would be boring, and the wrong way. Let’s off road engage grnarl.
It was fun, but the squeal from the brakes was waking the dead
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.
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.
Checking what was next in the elevation game. Looks like a day on the Plateau, hoping it was not to be in the clouds.
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.
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
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.
Rounding Leon, waiting for the snail rail, they need that new express. Time to savor the Picos mountains on the horizon.
Through a few rock tunnels and the fabulous vista opens to the beauty around the lakes of Riano. Jaw dropping floor bound.
Now that’s a room with a view, best camp yet
View from the tent, watching the sun set, happy times
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
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.
Another in the outstanding picnic spots gallery
Still taking the shortcuts, going down to the Cain de Valdeon
What a road dropping a 1000 metres in a gorge
Mixing with the walkers – one end of the Ruta del Cares, One of the Picos great walks, bikes forbidden unfortunately
The Riano view was just as good on the way back, I did not want to leave. Put it on your list people.
Rush, travel in darkness; that’s crazy talk. Northern Spain has to be savoured.
The town of Riano was buried when they flooded the valley. This town is completely new, it was totally rebuilt in the same style
The storms were not far away, a good night with new cycle friends from Leicester as the thunder rumbled
Another day and another great valley descent, being chased by vintage cars
Another Iberica tour, classic cars doing a lap. No caps for them, only silk tour jackets for them
Another great road through a gorge heading North
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.
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.
A great evenings ride up this legendary Vuelta race climb
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.
16 minutes down on the winner, I’ll take that, got a few high fives too.
How every hill climb racer kits out his bike surely. There you go Clare there really are lakes up here.
Dropping down back to the North Coast and ten degrees more warmth on the home leg
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.
The dream camp, my own Oasis of calm
Return to Bilbao are you mad, no rush
A graphic reminder of the heights of Spain, compare it to the Alps, this a fantastic country to cycle in especially in September.
This racing is tough going. That special notch in my collarbone comes in handy as a strap hook.
Have you booked a ferry yet
On my wedding anniversary I thought I should make up for my lack of card, the tide beat me this morning
One last foray back into the Picos. The road up to Potes is another cracker, and a nice gentle gradient through the rock.
More great Picnic spots
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.
Great Spanish cycling food, I will miss the Tortillas
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.
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.
In Bilbao, if in doubt just head for the river, the best way to navigate round here.
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.

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
A nice relaxing setting in a virtually brand new hostel, the bike even had its own cosy room
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.
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.
Cannot get enough of the coast, this is a great cycle tour destination and very accessible with the long ferry trip
Hanging on to every view, this is bliss for late September
Its hard to cope with all these packed beaches around here
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.
Didn’t get wet feet but the 6ft climb up the steep gangplank with a loaded bike was fun
Just adding to the many great memories
Fisherman and his dog remembered, they love to decorate their roundabouts out here.
Rolling out the red carpet for me, fresh painting of the great cycleways in progress
That’s my next ferry. the chase is on to catch it.
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.
Not exactly made for loaded cycles, but in true Spanish style you are warmly welcomed
Just a short hop up the coast from the main ferry berth, with a coffe bar to sit in while waiting.
And thar she blews, right on time, the third ferry of the day and the sixth since I left home.
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
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
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
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.
It was a very wet two day return back through Blighty, this old quarry road was interesting
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.
Bristol stopover. Kats cat kept me warm after a shocking night of heavy rain, welcome home.
There was to be no let up the next day, a filthy start to leaving Bristol
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
Still enjoying the trip
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.
Brought to you in comfort with Schwalbe 38mm G-ones at @40 PSI thanks to the TyreWiz App
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

5 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 😀

  2. Great looking though your photos and commentary. Hoping to ride the 2020 event Pandemic permitting. I followed last years race and it looked stunning, can’t wait to explore Spain!

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