[EN] Two days to go… (22:00 2/08/2016)

Okay, so picture a moderately handsome intellectual-looking guy on a bus eating his last tortellini with wooden chopsticks. As he swallows with deep sadness (because there are tortellini no more), he stares out the window and sees this…
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The guy is me, (except that I’m probably more handsome than the guy you were picturing), and the landscape is what I see from the bus, road to Pamplona, where my actual cycling trip begins. Quick question… If I say biking trip, does it imply that it’s a motorcycle trip, or is it also used for bicycles? Anyways, it’s happening! I managed to pack all my things into the saddle bags, wrap my bike spider-man mode and fit it in the bus.
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I thought it would be interesting to share the 40 kgs (wtf?) of stuff that I am taking on my trip. Here it is, all neatly spread over my bed…
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To prepare all the gear, I looked at forums, survival guides and used my common sense. But most helpful of all was my cousin Gonzalo, whose previous experiences (which may be checked out at www.gonzaventuras.com) have taught him what to take and not to take in such an adventure. I guess I could go over every item, but I won’t because it’s very boring and time consuming. imageIf you’re curious about any particular thing, just drop a comment and I will get back to you. I will say, though, that I made myself 2 kg of organic cane sugar nut bars. They are for when survival-mode is on. Then I covered them in vegan protein powder from Peas.

NOTE: some of you may have noticed that I have blog posts in both English and Spanish. It’s because, as a Spaniard, I have friends and family who are not comfy with English, so I thought I would make it a bit easier for them. I will try to keep a high level of purity in my writing, but if stuff starts to sound Mexican at some point, this is why… 馃槈

I also wanted to share the following pic with you guys…
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These two great fellows from www.secondbikemadrid.com have given me their undivided attention for the past two weeks, helping me prep my bike for such a long journey, mentoring me on how to react to certain situations while on the road, how to repair the bike, etc. A special thanks goes to both of them. David and Fernando, you guys are awesome!!

I think I’m going to cut this post short for now. I just spent 2 hours writing the previous post in Spanish and my brain is liquifying and oozing down my ear. Plus I think I’m falling sick because my throat aches and my stomach grumbles. Perfect, this way I can start my trip with loads of energy haha. Maybe it’s the stress of getting everything ready. Anyways, I’ve been on this bus for 3 hours now, and there’s still another 2 hours to go, so I might nap. When I get there, my cousin Alejandro (who will be riding with me for the first two days) will pick me up and take me to his place. Will write more tomorrow! Good night world 馃檪

NOTE 2: There will be a huge difference between the moments when I write these entries and the moments when I actually upload them to the site. This is inevitable, as I am not traveling with a smartphone nor do I have wifi on me, so I will upload entries as I get to establishments with free wifi. To make it easier for readers, I will always accompany the entry title with the original time and date at which the entry was written. My treat. 馃槈

[EN] 4 days to go…

Today I finally finished prepping my bike for the road/trail/whatever awaits. It’s a beautiful Lapierre mountain bike. Great for mountains, imagenot聽so much for long distance. Anyways, I won’t get into technicalities (unless requested). So with my bike all set, I took it for a spin. Any other rational person would have probably planned a 2-3 day trip to test out the gear and everything before the 4 month journey. Not me.

imageI learned two lessons from my 1 hour outing today.

  1. When you’ve never worn rigid cycling shoes before (these are the ones that cling to the pedals of the bike), you should take it easy and practice in a safe spot until you’re confident putting them on and off while sitting on the bike. Not what I did. I just took the road, and at the first stop I reached, I tried to set my foot on the floor but, to my surprise, it did not want to come off the pedal and so… I fell flat on my face, and the bike behind me.
  2. Don’t attempt to pitch a tent on dried out soil. I know this is quite straightforward, but I guess I just didn’t think it through. After countless strikes to stick the stakes into the ground, I broke the back of my knife-hammer in half. Ups! Had to use a cement block to keep the tent upright (really? hahaha). Anyways, that’s what my house for the next few months looks like. Wish me good luck…

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