Monday, April 14, 2008

2.5 days on our bikes

Kim and I are in Illescas now ....

On Day One we spent most of the day hauling our bikes up and down at least a dozen flights of stairs at three Metro stations, en route to the southernmost station out of Madrid. It was a three or four hour ordeal, during which I managed to pop my front tire tube in the process. We stopped for a late lunch at a Moroccan dive filled with about 25 Moroccan men and no women. They eagerly insisted on changing my tire and walking us to a gas station, where we used Kim´s converter to fill the tube.

It was late by the time we began riding, we went 10 kilometers before it was dusk and we slept in an abandoned shack by the side of the road near Grinon. We awoke the next morning to the sound of the voices of the farmers who own the shack .... they stood really close to us, talking, and even drove their tractor by us, but never saw us. I told Kim it was a ´Jedi mind trick´ .... since they weren´t expecting to see us, they didn´t.

Yesterday was FREAKIN WINDY and hella terrifying; the winds were so strong my front handlebars would jerk side to side and I felt like I had no control over the bike´s direction .... 3 feet to the left means a certain death, with cars speeding by at 100 kilometers an hour. We slept in a park in Yuncos at night, and backtracked to Illescas today to find internet so we could GoogleMap a less-traffic-y road, if possible.

We´re ultimately heading to La Yedra, though it looks like it´ll take much longer than expected .... our slow butts went only 30 kilometers yesterday. We wake up around 10 a.m., pack the tent by 11, stop to hand-wash our bike shorts and eat lunch and look at maps and mess with our seat positions and shoes and other bike components, we want to start setting up camp by no later than 7 pm each night before it gets dark .... all of it takes time away from biking, and I imagine, after today´s GoogleMapping and a stop at the grocery store and stopping to hand-wash our bike shorts, we´ll probably go 40 km today .... maybe 50 km because there´s relatively little wind today. We´ll see.