28 July Ávila to Madrid

I only cycled 40km today. But I made it all the way from Avila to Madrid.

I had been cycling every day since Monday and it was Sunday. But I needed to get to Madrid where Paola was waiting for me, and so that I could rest there for a couple of days.

It was 110km from Avila to Madrid, which seemed fine but even after breakfast, I felt hungry, and tired. My legs were aching and just didn’t seem to want to go round. I had a little talk with them but they just ignored me. I had done over 800km since Monday and the legs just didn’t have anything left. So I crawled up the hills. At the top of some of the hills were cows sitting down. They were completely uninterested in the view. I felt some sympathy for their boredom. I had seen enough hills and valleys. I just wanted to be in Madrid.

I sent a message to Paola: “Baby, it’s hilly and I’m tired so progress is slow today. I think I am ready for a day off!!!” And then a car pulled up next to me. He said “Me llamo Jorge. He vuelto de un tour de America en bici como tuyo”. He had just returned from a similar adventure in America. We stopped to talk and he said the rest of the way to Madrid would be very boring and if I preferred, I could put the bike in his car.

The traffic would not have been too bad because it was a Sunday, but coming into Madrid wouldn’t have been the most interesting or pleasant ride. I wasn’t aiming for a world record and I had already caught a train at one point. My route is not direct or straight so I think I have nothing to prove but I did think about it before accepting. If he hadn’t offered I would have cycled another 70km and arrived in the dark. Instead I saved myself from more pain, accepted his offer and made a new adventure-cycling friend.

So by the afternoon I was in Madrid! I ate some food and had a 3 hour siesta. In the evening we celebrated with beer, Gin Tonics and Karaoke! A Spanish guy called Julien sang “A mi manera” (the Spanish version of “I did it my way”). So I got up and did it in English too! (Julien thought I was pretty good and asked if we could do a duet!). I don’t think we will be forming a new boyband but it was great fun. And “I did it my way” seemed appropriate considering I had cycled 3354km and finished a very strange and convoluted route to Madrid 🙂