Monday, May 08, 2006


Trip dist: 120 kms. Trip time: 7 hrs, 59 mins. Tot dist: 758 kms.

It appears I have miscalculated. Oviedo is not 2 days away by bike, but, at 238 kms from Lugo, and assuming a respectable 80 kms of pedalling a day, it is actually 3 days away.

Still, it may be worth attempting to do it in two days, 120 kms, after all, is not much more than 110 kms, and I've comfortably done that on two occasions for this trip already. Something to think about.

Anyway, although the Gods have the general plan of sending me to Oviedo, the details are still up to me, since letting them, or worse, asking them to, micromanage, as any good engineer knows, is a recipe for disaster (especially given the God's well known fickle and sadistic nature). It turns out there are two ways to get to Oviedo, one, following the Primitive Road to Santiago, through Fonsagrada, at elevation gains reputedly of up to 1060 meters, and another, along the northern Spanish coast, through Ribadeo, a lot less direct and longer distance (hence 240 kms away).

Which one do you think I chose, with my aversity for steep hills with 30 kg-laden panniers?

Yup, Cisa Pass still gives me nightmares and flashbacks, and 1060 meters is sufficiently worse than Cisa's 1040 for me. So.... It turns out to have been a good choice, after all, since for about 40 kms in between Meira all the way to Castropol, it was all downhill, with an actual, terrific descent right after Meira that lasted (coasting!), get this....a full 25 minutes! (You can imagine, right? How very, very, very, very happy I was that I was not heading in the opposite direction...?). I have no idea when or where I gained that elevation in the past few weeks. Turns out Lugo is at 441 meters above sea level. Makes for a nice 15 kms of coasting to the sea then. :)

Anyway, usually, I start the day with a plan of where I want to get to by the end of the day, while this time, the plan was mostly "pedal as far as you can before Witching hour" (Witching hour is 8 o'clock, a full hour and a half before sunset). Curiously, Witching hour happened almost exactly at the half-way point (you'll see from the stats above how I stopped to the minute before the hour!), which was kind of poetic, in a mathematical sense. :D. The views, of course, were amazing, and the ride was as beautiful as the one two days ago, with the rest of the way rather flat or with some fairly benign hills, ergo, the 120 kms (you can see some pictures here).It was a relief, too, to abandon the old Road to Santiago, for all is history and beauty and significance (as Fernando, a fellow biker I encountered on the road while mountain biking the stones and tree roots of the way to Lugo pointed out, my back tire will soon need replacing, and I owe it, I'm quite sure, to the harsh environment of unpaved side-roads), and finally turn back into a normal person once more.

Still, not sure can do the same distance tomorrow again. Even if the flat terrain remains, there seems to be an ascent to Oviedo (I am now almost at sealevel, of course), so it could be that this long pedalling day may have simply been an exception and it will still take me 3 days to Oviedo, after all. We'll see.

Stayed at a nice little pension in downtown Navia: for 10 Euros, you find a nice, squeaky clean room with queen size bed, TV, and get this: private bath with shower! Aaaah, the joys of tiny unknown coastal towns during low season! :P

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dice H. que hay que rotar las llantas (como con los carros, cada X Kms.) Bueno pues para tomar en cuenta verdad?