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".
Not such a bad rest day I would say. Tomorrow might be a race, it might not be, but either way I hope to report back something good. Until then, good rides, good runs, good day at work, etc. Take care!


Cindy said...

Good stuff!!!

Eric said...

I am so jealous!!! Beautiful rodes to ride on and Alberto Contador all in one day.

Hip said...

Livin' the dream dude!
I'm looking forward to your report about the little "race test" coming up next.