Weekending 18 May 08 (Spanish Edition)

Monday: Work, pack bags including cycling kit and Edge 705 for Spain. I’ve loaded the 705 with Valencia Provence so I should be alright. There aren’t that many road to get lost on from what I can tell. Every day out is going to mean a Mountain top finish. Should be a good break. Factor 50 in the bag.
Tuesday: Early departure……

                    Normal service suspended for the next couple of days.

Wednesday: Geddes has been kind enough to lend me his old bike and take me out for a ride of his local loop. Last time I tackled the first part to Puig Mola I ended up stopping but I´m a good 5 stone lighter now so it it was dooable. From then on it´s narrow and downhill with the occasion pothole. It emerges on the Simat to Barxetta road which means a bit of climbing to get a great run into Simat.

It´s all logged on the 705 and I even managed to get a few pictures on the way down before it got too fast.
Once in Simat we stop at the pedestrian crossing at the foot of the climb to Barx.
This climb has been one of my goals for a few years now, so this is it.
Geddes warns me about it being a drag up to the bridge and he is right, from then on there are 8 alpine turns along the 8 Km to the summit.
It´s hard work and I am maxing out as the gradient is around the 8% mark in places with you needing to use the outer of the bends to make it easier for yourself.

I ended up with a time of 19 minutes plus which was just over a minute up on Geddes.
Geddes by the way is 62/63 and goes really well.

Did an afternoon trip to Gandia and a loop to Tavernes up to Simat and the climb again.
Stopped for a few pictures but you are looking at 25+ minutes.
Thursday: Rode down to Gandia and along the coast to Cullera back via Sueca dreaded N332 and the Simat to Barx climb. Still harder after about 50 miles.

DSCF4049.jpgDSCF4061.jpgDSCF4062.jpgDSCF4063.jpgRice Fields by Cullera

Overlooking SimatSimat MonasteryDSCF4056.jpg
Friday: La Font breakfast, already legendary and organised by Mike. The legend had a whole new chapter added today.
Saturday: Rest and recovery day.
Sunday: Great day out with Geddes and a few of the Barx cycling club. A 15 Km 2000ft climb out of Pego.

Denia cycling club passed us on the way up and we all grabed a wheel but all got shelled off the back including me with a Km to go. Actually they had turned around at about 1500 ft in the village and went back down to a Cafe.

When we were descending back to Pego we picked them up as they were leaving and boy was it fast, I fell off the back as I lost the tow. Geddes was still in there for a good while. The boys with the deep section carbon wheels had moved to the front and were dragging everybody along. I was loosing up to 10 mph on them solo.
Then on to the highlight of the ride for me Gandia to La Drova. A steady climb out of Gandia until about 2.5 km from the summit. This is my first go at it and I´ve been wanting to tackle it for at least 2 years.
I´ve already had a good ride in the legs and at the bottom of the twisty bits I´m already in 44/ 32  (32 tooth dinner plate on the back) then it´s 1.5 km of 10/11% straight up. The night before there were two cars in the ditch when it rained.
This ranks in the top ten of the hardest things I have done. I´m trying to take it easy but there is no such thing, the heartrate is gradually creeping up from 141 BPM to 171 BPM and there it stays. Not quite in the same league as the Bylch Y Groes but who could ride the Bylch everyday.

DSCF4085.jpg A moody picture of Geddes reaching the summit of the Gandia to La Drova climb. It is tough but do-able.
Glad to have done it a fitting end to a great day. 

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