2nd June 2013

OK, that’s enough. I have had another day of dead ends and dying trails. I reviewed my paths carefully on Google maps and my satnav, and there was no warning that the paths were to descend into unfeasible tracks –  no change in notation.  Here are the issues:

  1. The tracks that go where I want to go keep deteriorating into unfeasible single track (great down-hill, no good up hill with a trailer)
  2. Although these are relatively low hills the friable rock has given rise to steep valleys and gorges so alternative routes are few and far between.
  3. I have found what alternative routes there are and they are also deteriorating into unfeasible paths when I gain any height.
  4. This may not be accidental or random – this may be systematic. In the previous sierras there were high woods so tracks were maintained for woodland and maybe fire management. Here the hill tops have nothing – so only goat tracks are required.
  5. My new tires are NOT appropriate for the local tracks – they slip on climbs, slide on corners, and fail to stop on downhills. They have turned my all-mountain bike into something one step up from a road bike.
  6. Although the scenery is nice, I am not in Spain to piss about in the foothills. I want to be in the Pyrenees.

Therefore, my response is

  1. Abandon the strategy that is not working.
  2. Take advantage of the serendipitous conversion of the bike into a road bike.
  3. Head for the Pyrenees wiith all possible haste, even if it means, gulp…
  4. …using tarmac

My experience is that on tarmac my speed increases by 70%. Also roads (Carreteras) are straighter than Caminos – and increase my velocity by around 70% also. Combined this means my progress towards the bike park in Andorra could be accelerated by 140% by this new strategy. Instead of 3-4 weeks, I could be there in 1-2. An attractive proposition.

Check out the logic as it emerged blow by blow on my video blog: 

Some of you may not recognise the reference at the end of the video, to my being on a mountain bike: it comes from the Old Spice advert. But after a long day in the saddle you may not want your man to smell like me.

Look, the views are still good from the devil’s brew…er, I mean tarmac

And while I was resting near to the end, I spotted this little wasp with the most gorgeous paper nest

Oh, and another thing. While writing this I have just been listening to Awol Nation. It reminded me that you should all watch this as it is Epic.Jeb Corlis

I have logged the route for completeness and added it to my full GPX file, but maybe one day someone will find an off road route and we can replace this entry. 

Published by jhalstead1

This is my blog of my trip around Spain, off road, on my mountain bike. The story is told in full in my book "Three Wheels on my Bicycle", available on Amazon in Kindle or hardback.

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