I’m finally writing a first update from Spain as I haven’t had access to the internet until today. The trip is going well enough, but it hasn’t been lacking in challenges. I guess we can get started back in Vancouver with Patricia crashing her bike on a descent and getting pretty scraped and bruised up but okay. Then I had all sorts of problems with bike preparation and getting everything together last minute. However, it all worked put with only a little additional stress.
We arrived in Madrid on Sunday afternoon and our bags were left in Barcelona. Thank you Air Transat. However, in their defense they got them to us quickly enough and we had our things the next day.
We were just in time to the cafeteria to watch the World Cup final and all I can say is GoldIniesta! Campeos del Mundo! Venga España! Woot! It was great watching the match here, with the entire country in suspense. The beautiful game wasn’t so beautiful on that day, as it was pretty ugly and chippy, but the result was, so we’ll take it.
Next was to the Chalet to prepare the bikes for a warm-up ride in Extremadurra on Wednesday and Thursday. Here, more problems. I swapped all the Chorus components from my Look to Patricia’s Cinelli quickly enough, but then had major problems with the Look when I discovered massive resistance to the shifting of the front derailleur. This was something I didn’t remember or had forgotten.
So, what do you do when the cable isn’t moving on the front derailleur? You try to get it moving, I guess, to trouble-shoot the problem. The problem was, that in doing so, the cable guide that routed through the carbon frame actually snapped out of the inside of the frame! That’s correct! There was enough tension from the shifter to pull the cable guide right through the frame! and…this Ladies and Gentlemen is when I freaked out!
–2 minute intermission for you to imagine my sudden panic.–
After a complete loss of my mind, I went to work and was finally able to free the cable from the guide which was now hanging from my bike with a nail-head-sized hole in my downtube. I quickly discovered it wasn’t nearly as bad as I though as the guide was glued in place and butted up to the exterior surface, then painted over. Why the cable wasn’t moving, which is essentially just a peice of brake housing, is because the coiled steel inside had snapped. Who knows how? Because it broke, it was dragging against the cable itself prohibiting movement. When I finally pulled the cable out. I couldn’t get my new front derailleur cable in and had to cut the housing end. After about two hours, much swearing some glue and patience I got it all back together and working well. The only thing left, is a stern letter to Look asking them WTF?
From there is was on the train and off to Extremadurra for the first ride in the killer heat. 40km’s of nearly all climbing from Plasencia to Seridilla and we arrived at Patricia’s Grandparents nicely tanned. The next day we rode the longer cicuit 65km through the beautiful Parque de Monfrague with more Spanish-style super steep ups and downs. Made more difficult by my amateurish mistake of forgetting my 6mm allen key. Yes, of course my saddle rattled loose on the rough roads and I rode about 20km standing until I got a hold of an allen key. Stupid on my part.
Oh well, the next update should be from Huesca on Sunday as we head there from Madrid and the night before we’re on the bikes again to Laruns. Hopefully we’ve had enough drama for the trip in the beginning and it’s all smooth sailing and great riding for the end.