Sunday, July 27, 2008

Starting to wind down in Spain

I took things pretty easy for the fortnight following the ride. I was pretty sore from the crash, though just scrapes and bruising. I was also plain tired for the first couple of days from a demanding weekend of travel arrangements.

But it gave me time to start slowly packing up our belongings for the imminent departure from Spain.

I was also able to watch quite a bit of the Tour live, in real time. Spain was in a state of vergüenza - disgrace or shame, following the two cyclists and the Spanish based team out of the tour on doping charges. The daily sports newspaper, Marca, which runs six full pages daily on the Tour, ran a Salvemos al ciclismo - save cycling campaign.

We also caught the bus to Malaga, and went to the beach. Such a treat in the heat, swimming in the Mediteranean.

And the British Olympic Triathlon team turned up in Antequera for some last peak training. There's a strong triathlon club in Antequera that uses the Aqua Slava training facilities, and they pull in some pretty good results in National championships. Two members, one woman and one man, are in the Spanish Olympic team. One of the Brits reckon the ride up the Torcal is the toughest he has ever done. I wonder.

Friday night is club night for the cycling club, and since the last Friday night in Antequera has come around Deb and I knocked up an invitation to members to join us for a few drinks and nibbles at the club rooms. It was a pleasant evening with a good group turning up to say goodbye to us.

What was somewhat overwhelming was being presented with a plaque which translated (from the usual poetic and flowery Spainish) read:

club logo.

El Club Ciclista El Torcal de Antequera

To Max and Deborah

"In acknowledgement of the friendship that we have been offered, and always for the memory for this group of cyclists and the many friends that you have made. Until always. Antequera July 2008."

It was nice to think that I had made a bit of a mark during my time with Club Ciclista El Torcal de Antequera. The plaque suggested as much.

We were heading to Menorca for a week next morning, and my last ride with the club would be the following Sunday, when it's Antequera's turn to host the regular get together of clubs from other towns in the district. That will be it for Spanish cycling, for now, as we will leave four days later.

aka Max

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