Day Ninety Seven: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

It was hot. I know, for I was slow cooking under a bright blue sky but the girl standing at the top of the dirt track was under-dressed even by Spanish standards. Was it some sort of heat induced hallucination? She had long legs that extended almost up to her armpits. Was that her arse hanging out of that dress? It would appear that upon waking this morning she had decided to do away with underwear and at the same time had picked up a dress designed to fit someone about a foot shorter than she was.

She watched as I struggled up the climb. The sand was as fine as powder, and was coloured an earthy orange, a bit like the heavy foundation that she wore on her face. Ahead of me was a long chain that lay across the road. She was holding a loop of it in her left hand. I wondered if she’d drop the chain to lower it so that I could get past.

‘Focus, Focus’ I thought as my front wheel began to wander. I was struggling to get across several ruts that cut across the trail. I did not want to have to get off and walk.  She bent down and lowered the loop of chain that was in her hand. The ‘working’ girl, (I’d figured that much out by now) was now directly above me on the trail and was crouching down with complete disregard for her lack of underwear, as I battled the terrain.

She was looking at me as if I were mad. Now, I am happy to admit that to some, cycling in the heat of the day may seem unusual but I am not mad. I mean its not like I wake up in the morning convinced that I am carrot or anything. So there I was cycling up the track thinking that she looked out of place and she there she was thinking I was out of place. Weird.

I have no idea who she thought she would solicit on a mountain bike trail but it gave me food for thought as I carried on up the climb. As I passed her she said something to me that sounded like ‘do you want a girl’? I laughed but my Spanish failed me.

As I reached the top of the ascent, the trail swung right. I looked back down the hill and she was still standing there, looking up at me. She smiled, one hand on her hip, the sunlight reflecting off her bright red high heeled shoes.

Tomorrow I shall attempt another route, hopefully I shall avoid the trailside ‘entertainment’ girls. If not, I’ll try to grab a photo 😉


Day Ninety Six: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I was 25 metres below the surface, the deepest I had dived to without a tank on my back. I thought to myself, ‘I guess this makes me a free-diver’. I had a quick look around and noticed a Barracuda, poised like a jet fighter off to my right. It was watching me. Below me, the wall that marked the edge of the reef, dropped away into a dark, purple abyss. It was time for me to head back to the surface. I was trying to keep calm, to be conservative, to make my last breath, taken almost three minutes ago, last as long as possible. The surface looked a long way up and the Barracuda was distracting me.

Recently on a bike ride I thought exactly the same thing. Well not exactly, but the bit about keeping calm, to be conservative, I thought of that. I wasn’t deep below the surface of the ocean in Curacao but tucked in behind a couple of race fit cyclists that were tearing along the coast road, with me for company.

You only had to look at their legs to get an inkling of how fit these guys were; not an ounce of fat, with veins the size of McDonalds straws, muscles that looked as if they were about to burst free of their tanned skin. These guys cycled a lot. I was, quite possibly, out of my depth.

My ride had started out as a sole effort, a nice steady ride along the coast. All was going to plan until I was overtaken at the entry to an intersection by a team of guys that would have given Astana a run for their money in the team time trial at the Tour de France. So what did I do? Watch them race off and continue on my merry way? No. I accelerated and jumped onto the wheel of the last guy in the line. Ten minutes later on I was cursing my competitive nature.

I paid the price for my exuberance and suffered horribly for the next half an hour. I woke up the next day with sore legs and wondered if they would recover in time for my jaunt across the Pyrenees with the cycling club.

We were all set for a ride across the Pyrenees into France. I had a plan. It called for some smart riding on my part. Conservation of energy was the key. I smiled as I thought about how similar it was to free-diving. The only thing missing was a four foot long Barracuda.