Monday, July 14, 2014

Riding in Spain

Wow is all that I can say. Yesterday I went on a fantastic mountain bike ride in the hills in Spain as a result of incredible timing and good fortune.  A business trip to Spain and England to negotiate contracts and service levels with some satellite uplink providers became very special when we could use the sport I love to cement business relationships. We met up with Pedro, Ricardo, Alexsandra, Juan etc... in a small town called Soto del Real about 40km outside of Madrid at the base of a beautiful mountain range.
Pretty daunting seeing the mountains we would be riding up 
I wasn't too sure what we were in for and how strong our hosts would be and what 'loan' bikes we would riding. Fortunately I bought some new Sidi shoes in Madrid the day before, so I had shoes and my cycling kit. My steed for the day was a medium frame hard tail 26er - a little on the small side but hey I would ride anything just to have this experience. We left the car park where we met and then we started to climb and climb and climb. The group was fantastic, all good riders and we rode through some incredible scenery, forests and beautiful gorges. We stopped at one stage to drink fresh ice cold water running down from the mountain.
I must admit I was relieved when we reached our destination - after 1000m of climbing in the first 20km my legs were reminding me of their recent inactivity due to the South African winter. At least I knew that going back would be fast and all down hill.
Views from the summit were amazing worth the climb
We stopped at the summit/vantage point to look at the breath taking views and snack on some food our Spanish hosts brought with them. What an incredible experience, Spain is really geared up for cycling, there is a dual lane cycling track next the highway all the way from Madrid to the mountains where we were (40km away). So awesome to see hundreds of people using this track safe from any traffic. 
Click here for the Strava stats of my ride.