Mediterranean Cycopaths

French Connections & Spanish Amigos

With many friends keen to meet up with us in Western Europe, we had been forced to put a concrete schedule together as early as Syria so that they could book flights for a couple of months down the track.  And so it was that Team Cycopath adopted an (almost) traditional working week for the France / Spain leg – whereby we would put in the hard yards on the bike from Monday to Thursday, enabling weekends of debauchery in some of Med Europes hottest locations.

Needless to say, we often struggled to get going on the Monday mornings as we manfully battled, usually in adverse weather conditions, to get to the next rendezvous point to do another number on ourselves.

It wasnt all late nights and lazy days – in addition to the changing faces visiting on weekends, each region provided a number of unique experiences and the scenery from the bikes was as varied as ever …

Cote de Azur / Provence

Pedalling Panorama: Brilliant blue seas and affluent towns viewed from the heights of the Corniches near Nice to the winding roads and rolling hills further East. Weather was extremely hot at times reaching at least 37°C on some cycling days

Culture and Highlights: Cannes Film Festival, multicultural Marseille (plenty of North African food along with the obligatory Bouillabaisse) and picturesque Aix-en-Provence.

Languedoc Rousillon

Pedalling Panorama: More rolling hills and more trouble striking a balance between smaller roads and actually making headway at the same time. The best cycling was along the paths next to the Canal du Midi.

Culture and Highlights: The beautiful town of Arles on the Rhone river and Rob Gourlay joining the team for a week to inject a bit of his own unique culture. The whole experience wouldnt have been complete without (and certainly wasnt tarnished by) a bit of stereotypical French arrogance which was duly provided by two separate Gallic goons.

Catalunya

Pedalling Panorama: Awesome scenery of the Costa Brava (Rugged Coast). Steep ascents and descents, sweeping coastal vistas, sublime surfaces, cyclists of all ages for Sean to race, quaint coves and pretty villages for lunch and swimming stops.

Culture and Highlights: Everything about Barcelona (Gaudi, Ramblas, Nou Camp, Pickpocketing Hookers etc.), the mountain-bound Montserrat monastery and Roman ruins of Tarragona

Valenciana

Pedalling Panorama: Forced to ride on major roads the whole way down from Barcelona. Crap scenery, woeful constuction projects on beaches that deserved no better, stinking hot weather and headwinds the whole way. Maybe we have had it too good for too long.

Culture and Highlights: Valencia itself more than made up for the journey there. We had the insightful experience of going to a Bullfight (which involved the apparently rare event of one particularly aggressive bull winning his freedom), nude cycle protest through the city, tour of the Team New Zealand Americas Cup base courtesy of Stewie Grey, Paella, Tapas, Sangria and great nights out with many friends in the area.

Andalucia

Pedalling Panorama: After the previous coastal debacle, we decided to head inland to Granada and were richly rewarded with country side different from any we have come across so far – winding dried up river beds, deep canyons and olive plantations everywhere. We also benefitted from the high(er) altitude which, combined with some earlier starts, made for cooler days. The snow capped Sierra Nevada was a brilliant backdrop as we stayed in Granada for the weekend before descending to Malaga and more lamentable coastal cycling to the ferry port of Algeciras.

Culture and Highlights: Everything about Granada. High tempo / good value Flamenco, stunning views of and from The Alhambra (Islamic fort and palace which is the cities centrepiece) and more shameless indulgence in some of the best food and drink of the trip

All up, including Turkey and Croatia, we committed ourselves to 9 rendezvous points, all of which we were able to meet – thanks to those who came to visit: Harry, Samia, Audrey, Snoozer, Ness, Badger, Dom, Tina, Gillick, Gilmour, Jarrod and Dibsy. Lets hope this Swiss precision continues and we are at Tunis airport on the 18th of July.

Jon

Advertisements

June 21, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

5 Comments »

  1. Sorry to skip over the other cultural aspects outlined above, but the nude photos can’t escape comment. I don’t know what was more amusing, the tan lines or the fact that I could barely see the bicycle seat whenever Jon was in the frame. I hope the seat was slim line. Love your work fellas.

    Comment by Simon Carlyon | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  2. Team Cycyopath, were they dirty white bike shorts you were wearing at the recent protest? If not, you are obviously new to the concept of public nudity. I thought you guys were a bit more hard core.
    Hairy naked roller dude

    Comment by Hairy Naked Roller Dude | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  3. Hairy Roller Dude – naked protests start to lose their shock value (and garner less attention to your chosen cause) if everyone is naked all the time. Team Cycopath has enough problems with bad drivers to consider distracting them even further.

    Si – showing your lack of general cycling knowledge here, thats a saddle not a seat. Those are powerful gluts you’re looking at!

    Comment by Jon | June 23, 2007 | Reply

  4. It appears the naked photos are generating unprecidented demands on the Team Cycopath website. Pherhaps those who have enjoyed getting a look could show their appreciation by making a donation to the cause?

    Comment by Don Eight | June 24, 2007 | Reply

  5. Guys good luck with the remaining leg of the journey. Had a blast in Valencia, thanks. Lov’n the blog. JG

    Comment by JG | June 28, 2007 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: