Today was a scheduled rest day … so we went for a ride.
IMTBike had planned a ride just in case we wanted to go for a spin. However after a chat to one of the locals here who suggested another road covering a couple of other Tour de France ascents we combined the two and came up with a hybrid alternative. All up the new plan was about 380km.
Trip planning here is quite different as your overall average speeds are much lower than Australia. This is due both to the incredibly tight winding road, a lower speed limit in a lot of the areas we are riding in, and many many small towns with low speed limits (down to 30km/h) in and around their narrow streets.
When we get home I will put together a map of the roads we took.
So with a later start than normal we off in search of new roads.
Today like yesterday was spent largely in the mountains of France and Spain. Firstly back over the Col du Pourtalet into France and then the Col de Marie Blaque and Col du Saint Martin (I think, but we couldn’t find the sign at the top).
Today the weather was perfect and with that the roads were much busier. There were more motorcyclists out and there were cyclists everywhere, with a number of hikers around as well. This really just added to the atmosphere of riding today. The advantage of riding a motorcycle is that you rarely get stuck behind cars very long and most give you room to move through.
We did however run into a bit of a snag today. The lock on my top box broke which means that my important paperwork (including MotoGP ticket, wet weather gear and maps are all safely locked away without a way of us getting to them. It was very fortunate that I had my wallet on my person otherwise I’d be really stuck. At this stage the problem isn’t insurmountable and we will probably need to find a BMW dealer when we get closer to Barcelona before going to the track. The guys at IMTBike are chasing it up for me.
For the rest of the day we took a number of other interesting roads, and ducked down small roads that led to lookouts or old ruins that we wandered around.