Day 21 - San Vicente de La Barquera to Gijon - Spain
Crazybikeguy has cycled 2000 kilometers for Autism Awareness and to raise funds for neuro diverse adults in South Africa!! Wooohoooo!!
Leaving San Vicente at 8.30 am after a good sleep and breakfast Grant knew that the day ahead brought with it hard climbing and a long way to go.
Straight out of the starting blocks just outside the town the terrain brought with it a steep climb up the hill...when Grant reached the top he could see snow capped mountains and felt the freezing wind coming toward him.He knew then he was going to have to get his head around dealing with the stinging wind blowing in his face and the cold conditions.
He continued on the Camino trail, cycling over a bridge with a river flowing below, heading toward the coastal path.
At Ribadesella, things started to " get interesting" as the trail entered marshlands which made cycling near impossible. He managed to get through and then at La Lera with another climb looming on the way to Villaviciosa, just when he thought his day couldn't get any tougher, things started to get really intense with hectic gradients which made cycling with the panniers on his bike into the headwind very hard work.
"I had to ride up steep single track with mud and huge rocks and water gushing down through the track down the mountain, some of the climbing was on concrete roads and those had grooves cut into them and they were filled with loose stones and leaves and this made it impossible to ride on them. The angle of these climbs was well over 20 degrees because I couldn't get the wheels to get traction up these paths without spinning, I had no choice but to push my bike up most of these tracks."
- Grant's voice note
The down hills were fun but it started to rain again and Grant had to slow down as it became quite dangerous to pedal too fast for fear of skidding and slipping and having a fall. He started to think that it was going to be a bit easier as he was now steadily making his way to Gijon and it was late afternoon.The light was starting to dim and just as he started to relax he realized that another mountain climb awaited him before he could descend into the city of Gijon for the night.
I spoke with Grant at this point as I was worried that he was still on his bike and had spent most of the day in the wet and cold.He sounded tired and flat but determined that he would make it to Gijon and thrilled that he had passed the 2000 km mark!
This was by far the most difficult climb of the day.With thick mud up to his knees and big boulders in areas and other paths with loose stones and deep ruts, he had to push his bike as the paths were simply not meant for riding in these weather conditions.
When he made it to the top he could see the town into the distance and this spurred him on to complete the down ride and find the accommodation that I had booked for him in the center of the town.
As he got closer and the lights became brighter he knew that the worst was literally behind him as there were no more mountains to face today!
"This was by far the hardest riding day for me. With 2 kms of climbing today and a distance of 130 kms of cycling it was exhausting and not a day that I would happily tackle without being 100% well. I have to have a rest day tomorrow.I have to do my washing, eat some good food, sleep and try and shake this cold once and for all.
Heading out of Gijon is going to be as tough as it was to get in...so another thing to get my head around."
-Grant- voice note
Our mission.Their future.
Be a voice.Not an echo.
- seen sprayed on a road sign in Bedfordview.I thought it was apt!
Crazybikeguy is pedaling furiously towards Portugal now! The children are counting down the days and looking so forward to seeing their Dad again!