Monday, February 8, 2010
Rest Day: coffee and Pinos
Today we have on the schedule a rest day from a good volume the last few days and in preparation for a tough week to come. Rumor has it that tomorrow Johan wants to see us "race" a bit before he leaves... uh oh. No worries though, I will just give it a go when it goes hard and see what happens. It is early season anyway, only need to build from here. More about the rest day. Woke up this morning for a nice breakfast of and egg, cheese sandwich and some cereal/muesli. Good stuff. After a short digestion, it was off to the truck for bike and off from there for some coffee with a few of the guys. We rode the coast as we have a few times now and found a nice shop. We enjoyed our drinks, a few pastries and some great conversation. A gentle roll back to the hotel and I ventured on solo for some more easy riding and some pictures; little did I know what I was getting myself into.
I rolled up out of town onto the main highway I had come in on a few days earlier and went back up to the intersection which we had rolled up to out of a valley on our first day of riding. I took the turn, but this time I did not take the road back into the valley we rode in. Instead I took a smaller road into a different valley and it was great. I didn't know where it led, but eventually I found myself on a beautiful road wrapping its way up and around the mountain side looking back on Calpe and the Mediterranean coast. It was the lower of two roads I had seen earlier shadowing each other cutting across the mountain. I thought it would be awesome to get onto one of those when I saw them, but I had no idea I would actually find myself on one of them. Too bad it was not more sunny as it would have been more breath taking. Nonetheless, the short, easy ride was spectacular.
I rode the gentle slope upward to until it seemed to summit at one of the little towns that scatter the countryside of Spain named Pinos. I was already into my ride almost 2 hours, which on this rest day was plenty of time in the saddle. Even though I hardly reached even 200 watts or pushed my heart rate higher than 110bpm, I still shouldn't venture on much further as it is a rest day. I decided to see what was around the corner our the other side of this tiny mountain village and it looked beautiful. I hoped the road would go down to the valley on the other side and hook into another road headed back to Calpe, but when I saw the 19km sign I knew I needed to turn because I had been watching the kilometers count down as I rode and another 19km plus my return from wherever it dumped me out was going to be too much. I u-turned and rode down the mountain and back into town.
It was a beautiful ride and since then I have been chilling out. I had a nice lunch and then a lot of time in the lobby on my computer. You never know who will walk into your hotel lobby either when you are in Spain. Hint: he has been the most dominant cyclist in the world for the past three or four years. Yes that is correct, Alberto Contador came in to say hello to a few of the guys and give them some gifts from the tour last year. It is common practice for the leader to give the team something as a "thanks for the help".