Part 2

Right then, time for Day 2.  Which would be with the entire U23 RP Vision Racing team.  As if the  girls hadn’t been bad (good!) enough!  So I was kinda apprehensive…never great for my PMA.

More breakfast, and thanks to now being familiar with the route, an easier ride back to the Meta Bike Cafe for coffee and faffing.  It’s a nice ride really – flat, fairly fast, and once you get off the main road, nice and quiet too.  And even on roads like that, the road surface is good!  It’s a good way to warm up, but it wasn’t as sunny a day out there, and it was chillier and still breezy than the day before.  I was wearing everything I could again, with the waterproof in the bag just in case…

Meta Bike Cafe cafe culture

Back outside their hotel, it took quite a while to herd young cats into order, but eventually various groups of riders were being briefed like pros whilst I stood on the side feeling very much like an amateur.  Something that would be rapidly enforced as we headed off on today’s ride – with the goal being the big climb up to Tudons.  Keeping us altogether was tricky even when the road didn’t go up, as we headed out through various towns with associated traffic, junctions, roundabouts, and the like.  It also became obvious that today was going to be a painful day in more than one way… 🙁  I got dropped on a regular basis, though one or other of the guides always kept me company, as did Chris mostly, and got me back to the group as soon as possible.  There were ups, even early on; less of a warm up section today, or at least it felt that way to me.  Although maybe this was their warm up speed, which didn’t bode well…  We stopped a few times to regroup, or sort mechanicals etc, and I was reminded to eat a bit, something I often forget to do on “short” rides which, in my head, is always anything that isn’t a sportive!  Daft, I know…

wrapped up ready to go RP team mixing

After a lumpy loop near the coast we headed inland, over hill and dale, up more climbs, and then we were on to the big long climb of the day.  Which quite predictably took me a very long time.  I wasn’t actually feeling that bad, even having been left at the back to get on with it, as I actually quite like long slow wiggly climbs.  I’m a huge fan of hairpins.  I’m usually happier plodding up such things in my own way.  Sadly it just happens to be far slower than everyone else’s way, but there wasn’t a lot I could do about that there and then.  I was absolutely freezing though, which wasn’t getting any better as we got higher, and I was finding plodding harder work than usual .  Somewhere on the way up, struggling somewhat, as my PMA faltered a bit, and the pain was kicking off, I was informed that I’d do better if I ate more than a few anchovies for dinner.  Talk about a perfect storm…I have to admit to (fairly quietly) bursting into tears.  Ever tried cycling up a mountain whilst trying not to cry?  It doesn’t make breathing any easier for sure…  Pull yourself together girl!  After a while focussing on the road and the scenery and the bends and…well…anything…and the going up carried on, and I got it together, ish.  Eventually we reached an unremarkable junction near the top somewhere, amongst tall trees, where guide Daniel and a couple of others were waiting.  We could go left to go all the way up to the top, get higher, colder, take even longer, and slow the whole group down further as they’d have to wait for me, or go right and join those already down there at a café.  Like, duh, bit of no brainer that!  I put my waterproof on, being really cold now, and going downhill not being likely to make me any warmer.  At least going down hill, which I did on my own a way behind Daniel and Chris, cheered me up.  I do like downs, especially long sweepy curvy not too technical downs.  Especially as I’d now gotten the hang of my lovely Ridley Fenix and wasn’t being overly cautious any more *grin*.  Much fun 🙂

slogging up towards Tudons

Sadly all good things come to an end.  Mind you, the idea of sitting inside a warm café sounded good.  And that’s were we stayed for a while, even though the sun was starting to shine outside.  Quite a few of the girls had done the same as us, with the odd lad too, and the rest of the team completed the higher loop and joined us in dribs and drabs for coffee, hot chocolate (which I couldn’t figure out how to order) and food.  I never did get warm though.  Proper frozen to the core I was, even after two cups of strong black coffee with added sugar.  And if you know me, you know that’s desperate; I don’t believe in polluting my caffeine with anything!  There wasn’t anything I could eat though, and I figured sugar would be better than nothing!  It may have been warmer inside, but it wasn’t warming me.  Man I was cold!  Apparently up at the top of Tudons there it had been 3C.  Which explains it…none of us had been dressed for that!  Having made a trip to the toilet, as you do, the mirror informed me I was even whiter than my waterproof which, believe me, isn’t a good look…

I must have warmed up a bit though, because when we went outside, into what was now sunshine, it was definitely colder, and I wasn’t looking forward to getting going in that again.  Still, there was a friendly cat wandering down the street to talk too, which made me think of my daughter (she’s a cat whisperer), which made me smile, and cheered me a up a little more too.  I’m pleased to say that the rest of the ride was essentially downhill, and getting warmer all the way.  This is not to say that I removed any layers though!  I just enjoyed the views, kept up with the group, who were mostly being a group, best I could, as we retraced our steps/pedals back to Albir Playa.  Somehow recognising bits of the route made it easier, it helped me know where I was with regards to where I wanted to be, and knowing there wasn’t all that far to go then helped mentally.  Even the ups there were didn’t seem so bad like that.  Have I mentioned that cycling is mental lately?  I’m fairly sure I demonstrated that today!

beniform towering over

We were back at the hotel a little earlier today, just in time to catch the end of the lunch sitting, which meant that eating could be done, and possibly I could spare myself getting told off on a future occasion.  And we weren’t going to have problems finding dinner either, as the RP Cycling Team very kindly invited us all to join them for their end of trip meal out.  After a quiet afternoon washing kit, getting some sleep, getting the analgesia level up, and faffing for the following day, we all went out for pizza at a town down the road, with transport equally kindly organised for us by the Meta Bike Cafe team.  Believe it or not, the restaurant had gluten free pizza!  It could have been better…but it could most definitely have been worse 🙂  We all ate, chatted, laughed, and the team got debriefed with various riders awarded for their weeks performance end the like. It was a really nice night out – thanks guys!  Food done, Tudons done 😉