great cycling holidays on road or off


Camino de Santiago 2007 Part V - Pentecost - Awaiting Ascension

Camino de Santiago 2007 Part V - Pentecost - Awaiting Ascension

A quick wash

This route would have been glorious in the sun.  It wasn’t sunny.  The mild chain suck that had developed on the way out from Cordoba had worsened and led to several moral sapping, fawlty-esque moments of frustrated anger and futile shaking of fists at whatever Gods were plaguing us.

Yesterdays sun was not to hold.  Dark, overcast and heavy with foreboding, the skies were clearly not in our favour.  We elected to ride in any event, a clear case of hope versus experience.  The route was a rolling camino through what would have been bursting with vibrant greens and rich ocres, instead we had a leaden sky above and momentum sucking earth below.


 We’d grown accustomed to the olive grove yomp, protecting the running gear by discretionary walking instead of chancing another breakage; but the tourist rear mech meant for sedate riverside walks and meandering through quaint plazas and promenades was just not man enough for any off-road work.  The chain-suck was horrendous, almost every revolution, and enough to drive the mostly saintly to curse.  Stopping to clear mud, the mech was hanging together by a single tiny bolt, another five minutes would have seen another tow.  Quickly bodged, we continued.


The suck wasn’t cured.  Jono spotted irrigation fountains in the middle of field, gesturing with a grin.  Standing in the fountains was amazing, like standing in the middle of a fire hose.  It worked wonders, for a while.


An hour away from “home”, another torrent hit us. It siled down all the way back, every hill became a balance between forward motion and chain suck chewing the frame.  I stopped just to shout and shake fists at the heavens.  I felt like Basil Fawlty as he thrashed his mini with a branch.  We returned to Cordoba just as a road-side beer tent was setting up.  We had a few comfort beers and laughed a fatigued, hysterical laugh.  We’d had enough of mud, wet feet, chain suck, towing, and the relentless rain.

Tuesday morning was spent cruising Cordoba; coffee, pastries, beer, sun; a calming day awaiting pick-up.  In our own limited way we’d observed the meaning of Holy Week, less the final sacrifice.  Jono noticed a mark on the frame of the IF.  Setting down our glasses, we gazed in awe. The Titanium frame was cracked.  In terminal distress, it had paid the ultimate price..

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Great cycling holidays, on road or off

Journey through Spains greatest natural park.