Saturday, 11 July 2009

It's Not About the Bike



I've never read Lance Armstrong's autobiography, It's Not About the Bike, so I cannot say what conclusion Lance makes as to what it IS about.

But as for my own upcoming cycling adventure, which consists of four middle-aged friends and their five teenage daughters attempting to cross Catalonia by bicycle, I can say that it is about nine suitcases, padded bike shorts, lots of granola bars, many bottles of suncream, sunglasses, water bottles, about 30 swimsuits between us as a rough estimate, maps, moaning, whining, fear, teasing, nicknames, lycra, chamois butter for our bums, sandals and smelly trainers, several cameras, a copy of The Shadow of the Wind, and hopefully, lots of Rioja at the end of each day.

It should have been more about the training. I went on exactly one bike ride, and had to push my bike up the steep hill. Sigmund has trained by drinking red wine almost every night; my teenage daughter has been on a strict "resting" program; and little daughter thought about taking a bike ride, but discovered that she had outgrown her bicycle . . . probably a few years ago.

Wish us luck.

And by the way, does anyone know the word for "taxi" in Spanish? Or is it Catalan?

42 comments:

julie king said...

now that sounds like a fun yet somewhat daunting adventure. i wonder how many miles the total trip is and how many miles (maybe 2-3) before my bum would be screaming "STOP"!!! smile!

the spanish word for taxi is taxi -- pronounced tox-eee. i'm not sure how the dialect in catalonia will affect that. i'm sure you won't need to know' you'll all do fine!

have a great rip!

B said...

Have fun!!!!! Everyone would understand taxi (in both Spanish and Catalan) but you won't need it!

Maggie May said...

i love bike riding...that sounds rough though

willow said...

I am so impressed! What an adventure. Godspeed and enjoy!

David Cranmer said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. Best of luck!

Delwyn said...

Hi Bee

good luck with the bum...could get a bit sore...

and where do the suitcases go...on your backs!


Happy days

larkspur said...

Better be careful! This biking bug will bite hard! Next bike adventure will bring you to Iowa and RAGBRAI -the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa - and thousands come from all over the world. Maybe see you next year ;}

Yvonne Anderson said...

I was wondering about the suitcases too Bee!

Have fun, what an adventure!!

Anne said...

Lucky you to be heading off on such a great trip! Okay, maybe you don't feel lucky, but I, for one, am envious.

I never have gotten into the whole chamois butter thing--I confess I find it rather icky. So far I've been okay with some good bike shorts and a saddle I really like. But hey, whatever makes the trip more comfortable for you!

If you happen to stop for an evening in Barcelona, and if you aren't too wrecked from all the riding to go out to dinner (let alone to stand in line for a bit), I highly recommend a place called Cal Pep. They open at 7:30, and it's advisable to get in line a good 15-20+ minutes beforehand, otherwise you'll wait for quite a bit longer. It's good. Very good. If you can stand to wait, that is.

Be safe, have fun, and tell us all about it when you get back!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

You are SO.VERY.BRAVE. I mean it. Seriously. BRAVE. Can't wait to hear about your adventures, and I know you will have them!!!

Alaine said...

Yes, Brave's the word. Good luck, take care and have fun! Looking forward to the travelogue.

Lucy said...

Oh, brave girls! Not sure I could even think about such a trip at sucha hot time of year. Or at all really.

Do you know Dervla Murphy's travel books, her bike was called Rosinante!

Chairman Bill said...

Shades of Jerome K Jerome?

Celeste Maia said...

Your adventure is where living "by the seat of your pants" is literally what you are going to do... Bon voyage!

Elizabeth said...

It all sounds a bit daunting to me.
The sort of thing you will enjoy better when it is all over......
but it might be a wonderful voyage of discovery.
Keep us posted and hoping you love it.

Reya Mellicker said...

I know lots of people who have taken these extended bike rides without doing the training you're supposed to do. I bet you'll be fine.

Enjoy!!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Have a great and safe trip!!
Tracy :)

julochka said...

oh i cannot wait to hear about this when you get back. and lemme tell you, i'd have prepared the same way. especially for the wine. ;-) enjoy!!!

Emm said...

How exciting! I am so unfit that I'd be scared to get on a bike now.

Jennifer said...

The best adventures, I think, are the ones which challenge you. You'll feel the best achievements and have the best memories.

Fantastic Forrest said...

You have clearly taken leave of your senses.

But I love you anyway.

Forget about the bikes. If you are going to do Spain, you should do it like Tim Moore did.

With an ass.

Check out one of my favorite books to learn what I mean. http://www.amazon.com/Travels-My-Donkey-Pilgrimage-Santiago/dp/0312320833

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

You are a brave woman. "Ayuda!" and a few tears should get you the help you need--LOL!

Wishing you fun in the sun. Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Spain.

spudballoo said...

Waaaah, um...I think you might be in trouble. Hopefully your friends have been equally 'relaxed' on the training front?

I know, drink rioja from 8am each day. By lunchtime you'll be so catatonic you'll be able to order an ambulance to take you to the next place. That will work.

Have a wonderful holiday! x

Stephanie said...

Sounds like heaven to me, I adore cycling!!! I can't wait to hear how about how much fun have. Just finished Shadow of the Wind and LOVED it!!!

Margaret Gosden said...

You are adventurous amazing! I would much rather potter about in the garden of The Barn which I always like to see on your blog. I am still curious about the The Barn, as a name!

Nimble said...

I am impressed by the biggitude of the adventure you're all going to have. It sounds very epic. Hope it's lots of fun.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my goodness, what a riot!!! Good luck wishes coming your way ... enjoy!!!

A Cuban In London said...

Spanish words for 'taxi': taxi, chevy and alfita (the last two are only used in Cuba, of course).

Fabulous post. I will be in Spain, hopefully, but in the north, Asturias. Have fun, the Catalonia region is so beautiful. I have been to Granada a few times because one of my brothers-in-law lives there. I look forward to the photos and commentary.

Greetings from London.

Beth said...

I so admire you even attempting such an adventure!
All my best wishes for success – and, yes, I am also wishing you lots of luck!

(I’d want/need a cushion for the bicycle seat…)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I love the description of your family's "strict" training regime. hehehe

Good luck! Regardless of the bumps, sores, etc, I'm sure you'll have a blast!

Yummy Mammy said...

Have a great trip and try not to get saddle sore ;-) xx

Fantastic Forrest said...

This trip is going on way too long. I am getting very grumpy without a Bee fix. Please find a computer if you're not back yet and write something wonderful.

XO

Pete said...

Sounds wonderful. I'm sure you'll have a great time. (Incidentally, I was watching the Tour yesterday and Alberto Contador was incredible.) Good luck with the trip. If you want some advice, just get a rhythm going and try to stick to it.

Barrie said...

Ah, you are so very brave! Have fun and take lots of photos for us!

rxBambi said...

I can't wait to see the photos and hear the stories! What a wonderful idea (especially the rioja).
Can't wait to hear from you!

Bee said...

Dear Everyone who has commented here:

Thank you for your good wishes. We did indeed survive, although there were a few tricky moments. FF warned me that Catalonia was hilly, but more on that later. Much Rioja was drunk, and even more Cava. We had just enough granola bars and more than enough suncream.

Pics and commentary soon to follow, although first we are going to see Harry Potter!

Anil P said...

This will be more than an adventure, a discovery of self and the road.

In all probablity you will return different from when you started out, enriched and fulfilled.

Bike adventures are like that, they cannot be any other way.

It will be exciting, and I cannot wait to hear about it, and yes, many pictures please :-)

Happy journeying.

Anil P said...

Popped back in to suggest that maybe a Flickr account might be able to hold all the pictures taken on the ride. Curious about the 'tricky moments' you alluded to.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Fantastic Bee - Very funny! Buono viaje... I think that means, More Wine, please, Waiter?! Good luck!

Anne said...

Welcome back, Bee--glad to see you've returned in one piece! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

Shauna said...

Sounds SO much fun. What a great adventure! I can't eait to hear how it went.

Anna said...

Bee you are funny, and this sounds like fun! I think taxi is universal word, you shouldn't have any troubles getting one then, lol. Anna :)