Helen Findlay

My adventures in Middle Europe and The Colonies. This blog contains my own views and opinions and does not represent those of my employers, or any other organisation with which I am involved. Remember, just because it isn't Singletrackworld, doesn't mean it isn't shite !

Monday, January 15, 2007

Call me Ishmael

Am sitting outside in a vest top and jeans, due to the unseasonally (even for here) warm weather at the moment. Just spent a nice relaxing morning cleaning my bike. I don’t know much Spanish but I do know when I am being spoken about, my bike was the subject of some discussion among the Spanish Saturday mountain-bikers yesterday. After about the millionth comment about how “Loco” I am to run such ungrippy tires on my bike, and my failure to learn the Spanish for “I ride this bike on the road and don’t want to wear out the other tires I have that cost £70” have caved and put decent tires on, will just have to resign myself to changing them, and to increased speed and confidence on the descents. And cleaned the bike for the first time in months. Mud being such a rarity it didn’t seem worth it before.

I must be part of the crew now, Andreas gave me one of the tops they have had made with the campsite logo on the front and Orange (Steve’s bike company) on the back. Its black, fits perfect and I am made up with it.

But anyways on with the blog. Christmas was ace, went out with Petra and Drew to a restaurant in El Pareton. Good food, good company and far too much drink. Repeated same plan for New Years Eve but without so much drink. Not sure if it is because I am getting fitter, or because I am getting older, but hangovers hurt much much more these days. Spent the time over the festive period hanging out with Petra, doing a bit of hiking etc and looking around the shops. Boots are dead cheap here, I bought a gorgeous black kind of cowboy kind of gothy snakeskin mid calf pair for 50 euros. Sales started 7th Jan but I am controlling myself, although might pop up to the Condomina Nuevo tomorrow, (sadly not a giant condom shop) I actually need some clothes honest.

The festive season drags out until 3 Kings Day here on 6th January, when most of the towns stage a re-enactment of the visiting of the Kings, Baby Jesus, camels, everything. I went out on my bike…. I am kind of wishing I had gone along to see the show it sounded fun. See Petra’s blog for more info and pics (link)

Was loading the mountain bike in the back of the van up at the town centre on Monday, and this English guy comes up to me and asks if I have a road bike. His name is Martin and he races for one of the local clubs. On Tuesday mornings he rides with a group of the local pro roadies, and would I like to come along ? That was a very definite yes, have been wanting to hook up with some road groups for some fast blast type training that is hard to do on your own. We set out from Camposol 10am the next morning to meet the group coming down from Murcia at 11am in a café in Librilla. Turns out the current world number 1, Alejandro Valverde is a local pro roadie !!!! I am not sure he was actually in the group that day, there were 20-30 of them, many in the Illes Baleares team kit and looking very flash. Lots of fancy mobile phones and diamond earrings glinting in the sun. I thought it would be quite fast and I would die, but I was fine, they must have been having a slow day, didn’t think I was working that hard. Although my HRM told me different when I got home, must have been the excitement of all those nice legs.

Had some work this week in the mail room wed-fri, it was good to get some money coming in, but bad timing as I missed the chance to go down to the Sierra Nevada for the day and ride with Julie C. But decided to be sensible, I have a shiny new hardtail frame to pay for…..

Took Petra to the airport on Wednesday, it has been nice having her out here and I will miss her. Bit of a dry spell for visitors now until Paul and Ali at the start of Feb, and Fiona W the week after. Petra has said she might come over the first week of march, then come back with me in the van, which would be awesome.

So if anybody wants to visit, my spare room is empty for the next three weeks…… Its about 15-20 degrees during the day at the moment, was 29 in Torrevieja one day last week, and I don’t remember it raining since November. Can’t promise that will last mind.

Made two New Year resolutions 1. read Moby Dick before I go back to Scotland. 2. do stretching routine at least 4 times a week. Both so far on track. Moby Dick has 135 chapters, so 2 at night before I go to sleep (about 9pm - seem to need about 10 hours every night, or maybe its because I can have 10 hours every night) and that one will be ticked off. The stretching routine feels good too, I am sure it is helping.

And my annual predictions for celebrities that will die this year: Margaret Thatcher, Willie Nelson (both natural causes) and Michael Jackson (bizarre suicide).

Happy New Year to all, if I feel like I do today all 2007 its going to be an awesome year !!!! And Alejandro sends hugs……