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 !

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Steve, Andreas, Paul, Ali and some piggies..

I will leave you to figure out who is who...

I learned a new Spanish word today. “Pitufa” - it means “Smurf”. Very useful. There is a funny line in the film Slackers along the lines that Smurfs are blue to prepare the world for the coming of Khrishna, who is blue. Turns out that Pitufa who came along riding today is neither blue nor a Hindi deity, and is in fact called Juan-Antonio and works in Bar Fuente Lillo. I liked him, he said I must be “duro” to ride down the trails without shin and elbow guards, which makes a change from the usual “fuerte” or “loco”. Wishing I knew the Spanish for “I’m so duro I eat quiche in front of truckies”, but I doubt it would translate.

Been a few weeks since my last blog, has been busy busy busy. Paul and Ali came out for a week and just went mad for biking in the Espuna. They were up there every day (I took a couple off) and had a great time. On the last day we did shuttle runs with the two vans, which was fun, but I reckon with all the phaff of getting bikes in and out, driving up the hill etc I could have ridden up just as quick. So I’m not a convert to shuttle runs, and you miss half the ride if you don’t climb. I’m sorry but its just WRONG. And bad for the environment.

We had a great week, got to see goats, wild pigs, had menu del dia at the Perdiz, went into Murcia for a meal one night, and Paul and Ali even got a small bit of sun on their uber shiny white bodies.

Fiona W came out the week following, and we hit a more leisurely pace, riding most days, doing some road rides and checking out some unfamiliar trails at Callblanque, which was an awesome spot right down onto the beach, but we got a teeny bit lost, er more than once. Fiona was really lucky with the weather, blazing sunshine every day ! The new slimline Fiona is much quicker on the bike and I think the Masters lassies at SXC will be seeing a new face on the podium this year….

Spent a couple of days cleaning and tidying and lining up everything in my house at right angles, then went away down to the Sierra Nevada to meet Julie C and Renell, who were on a weeks guided holiday with Switchbacks in Bubion. Great trails, rocky, steep and cornery. A bit above my skill level, but by the end of the two days I had the hang of keeping my speed up and weight back, and was making a much better job of it all, diving down all sorts of terrifying rocky bits. As everyone else was well tooled up with Turner 5 Spots, Rocky Mountain Slayers and Orange 5s I reckon I did no bad on my wee hardtail. It’s the only bike I have that works at the moment, so I didn’t have any other option. I kicked them all on the climbs !

Tobi, the pervy Swede (ah the Swedes and their sexual liberation) took loads of biking pics in the Sierra Nevada so I will try and get some of the better ones, where my arse doesn’t look fat, on the blog.

Only 10 days to go now in Camposol (where the sun always shines) and I will be sad to leave. Everyone has been so nice to me, have met plenty of folk to go biking with, and its hard to feel anything but cheery when its so relentlessly sunny. If my family, all my friends and my cat moved out here it would be perfect. Gorgeous day today and brilliant riding with Steve, Toni and Juan-Antonio-Pitufa.

Petra is flying out on Monday 5th march and is coming back with me in the van. My itinerarerarery:

11th Camposol - Burgos
12th Look around Burgos, sneak in a bike ride if I’m allowed - Santander Ferry
13th Plymouth - Exeter to drop off fags and booze - Salisbury for the night
14th Salisbury - Epsom sneak in another bike ride with Kieren hopefully then see Janine and Jeremy that night, Chris McM too.
15th Epsom - Boness - Edinburgh

That’s the rough plan, Petra hasn’t approved it yet so there may be some changes.

Will be switching my Orange mobile on again tonight, so I will be reachable on that. But don’t expect long calls or even answers to txts unless its urgent. Not at 70p a go anyways. Nothing personal.

The racing season is well underway out here, a big pro road race went through the Espuna on Sunday, and the Moto Cross Spanish Nationals Champs are on this weekend. Might go and have a look if I can figure out where it is, and find somewhere to lock my bike.

Hasta Luego.