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Cycling, Sunshine & Scenery

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Offline BikerBoy

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« on: April 19, 2007, 19:07 PM »
Cycling through the beautiful Grazalema Natural Park I have been lucky enough to watch Spring arriving. Each day the countryside is filling with colour and the air is full of the wonderful scent of spring.

Today we rode along an undulating road through a cork tree forest from Puerto de Montejaque to Grazalema. Along the way we saw newly born lambs nussling their mothers, the first few poppies flowering in the roadside verges, a shepherd with his herd of goats (two of the rams had their horns locked in a battle) and an old Spanish man working a pair of donkeys ploughing his fields.

We stopped for refreshments in Grazalema and filled our water bottles from the natural spring fountain in the main square before taking on the main part of todays ride.

Pumping up the steep grade of the Category 1 Vuelta a Espana and Vuelta a Andalucia col, our legs burnt, our hearts pounded, however, we kept the wheels turning to the summit to become the King and Queen of the mountains in Andalucia we had reached the top of Las Palomas (Dove Cove) where we were lucky enough to see several Griffon Vultures circling above. Below us in the distance stood the ancient Moorish castle above the picturesque white village of Zahara de la Sierra. As we rode down Las Palomas the sunshone on the turquise coloured waters of the lake at Zahara and it was another wonderful day to be out riding in Andalucia.

I'll be back with more stories of routes ridden with clients in the near future.

BikerBoy

Passionate about Pedalling, Bonkers about Bikes, Mad about Mountains


www.andaluciancyclingexperience.com

Offline Clive

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2007, 20:18 PM »
Hola, Welcome to the forum BikerBoy

BikerBoy has a listing with Wildside holidays at http://www.wildsideholidays.com/listing-Andalucian+Cycling+Experience-58.html

I bumped into him the other day at a place where I normally take my car!

I was wondering, which is the hardest? From Grazalema to Puerto de las Palomas or from Zahara de la Sierra to Puerto de las Palomas....

One is a damned steep climb but is just about 7 kilometres and from Zahara it is around 16 Kilometres? Either way Zahara and Grazalema are about the same altitude around 800 metres and the Palomas is 1400 or so.

Also is the burn you get in the back of your legs the same as the one we get when we make that last push to the top of a hill on foot?

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline lucy

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2007, 23:59 PM »
Hi BikerBoy, your description brought back happy memories of a cycling holiday a few years back (when I had cycling legs).  I was staying in Ronda and did the climb as a round trip.  It was New Year’s Eve, and after spending too much time sitting in a terrace in Grazalema village and then on top of the Puerto de las Palomas we got back in the dark, cars beeping encouragement. (I remember that in happier pre-Operacion Puerto days Manolo Saiz used to take his boys to train round there – perhaps you came across them.)

Another stunning ride was from Cortes de la Frontera. We set off on a road through the cork oak forest and rode for 70km before coming across a village.  There was just a “venta” at a cross-roads, almost no traffic, just lots of black pigs (one running on the road) and a deer.  Cycling heaven.



Offline BikerBoy

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2007, 09:19 AM »
Hi Folks,

I would say Grazalema to Zahara is the hardest. It's much shorter a much steeper and the ride down to Zahara is not the best as the road is very bumpy and doesn't flow to well which means you're on the brakes a lot. Whereas Zahara to Grazalema the descent is fast the road (after 3km) is perfectly smooth and can be ridden as quickly as it can be driven. A great reward for all the hard work on the way up.

Clive. As for the leg burn....I'll let you know when I've experienced it!!!!!!

Lucy. Glad this brought back some happy memories. I certainly see many cyclists of all standards whilst out riding but the one main thing they all have in common is that they are having a great time.

I would agree with you that the riding around Cortes is fantastic both on and off road.
BikerBoy

Passionate about Pedalling, Bonkers about Bikes, Mad about Mountains


www.andaluciancyclingexperience.com

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 10:03 AM »
Greetings Lucy, BikerBoy, Clive and All (+ especially any rich philanthropist who happens to be reading this),

A comment Simon made elsewhere 'bout "Zen and the Art ..." , together with Lisa's TV folks and the bringing back of happy memories made by this thread got me thinking (insert your own smiley) and before long I had another one of those brainwaves that one gets de vez en cuando and which comes in two versions, A or B:

A
1) Find a sponsor (business/rich philanthropist) for my cycling tour of the Ib. Pen. based around stopping off for a couple of days at each of the Paradores Nacionales and writing a series of articles on the local gastronomy.

2) On completing the initial recce, different mini-tour packages could be developed based on regions, types of gastronomy, wildlife/nature themes, themes such as "La Ruta de Plata" or "El Camino de Santiago", etc.

B
1) Get iberianature forum (webcam included) to sponsor the whole deal (see A above) and take charge of all film/book rights, etc.

The idea above, in both or either of its versions (heading off to the copyright office this minute, so don't pinch it!), allows for many variations on the theme and could be marketed as ecological, gastronomical ...

Rarin' to go regs.,
Technopat

Ps.
The idea is still in its embryonic, or larval, stage and I look forward to iberianature forumers' suggestions/recommendations.

Pps.
It would also include earmarking expenses to invite registered iberianature forumers living in the vecinity of each Parador to dinner.

Ppps.
"On yer bike, mate!" is not a helpful suggestion/recommendation.
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266