Sat, 07 Oct 2006

From Teruel to València under the full moon

For a few years, the probably most intrepid group of triathletes in my club have been doing cycling tours during the long weekend of the 9 d'Octubre in València. We once did a good chunk of the Ruta del Cid, covering around 550 kilometres in 3 days and a half, carrying aproximately 25 kilograms of sleeping bag, food and clothes on our bikes, and going from Teruel to Albarracín, back to Teruel, then to Morella and back to Albocàsser and through the Serra d'Espadà. The next year, we started the trip in La Sènia, and crossed the Valencian Country all the way to Requena, through Linares and Rubielos de Mora.

This year, we intended to cycle across the Pyrinees, from the Basque Country to Catalonia, but in the end my travelmates have to work on Monday, so we had to quickly settle on a one day alternative. As this is the 9 d'Octubre, the trip had to be a bit crazy, so we've decided to get the last train up to Teruel, arriving there at 21:30 or so, have a very good dinner around El Torico and soon after, start our way down to València, under the full moon.

Our itinerary for tonight

We'll be carrying a few forehead lights and a bicycle light, and will really hope that the sky isn't cloudy at all. We're really going to need the moonlight. The route follows the national road from Sagunt to Teruel, through an old train track which was turned into a cycling path. Most of the trip will be descending, so covering the 150 kilometres shouldn't be too hard, except that neither of us are specially trained now, unlike 3 years ago. If we end up having to stop and sleep, that's going to be a problem as we are carrying no sleepingbags or anything, just our winter cycling clothes. We pretend to take our time, aka most of the night, to get to our destination, as we obviously won't be able to cycle fast in the dark. But we'll manage. This is just crazy, not impossible. :)


I've never been into or even tried cycling, so forgive my ignorance. Also, please realize that this is more a question than criticism....

Isn't this a bit dangerous? Spain is my favorite country in the world, I've been 4 times now, and I've done plenty of driving there. I know that the Spaniards have quite a reputation for being fairly reckless behind the wheel (your road safety commercials are fascinating).

Or is it that that road more or less deserted at night?

Again, I know you've been doing this for a long time, and I'm sure your fully prepared and probably even have cycled at night before. I'm not doubting your experience at all. It's an honest question....

Having said all that, have fun!

Posted by dave at Sat Oct 7 19:56:58 2006

Wear retroreflectives, and enjoy your trip!

Posted by hpj at Sat Oct 7 23:41:10 2006

Dave, we cycled all of the night through an old mining railroad trail, which is now conditioned for horseback riding, cycling and walking. We're not /that/ silly yet (although I've cycled on roads by night, but just small chunks. It is indeed dangerous: roads are fairly desert, but the chances of coming across drunk drivers are probably big).

hpj: we did, but what happened to my halogen light after the first minute of use is a story for the full trip summary tomorrow. :)

Posted by Jordi at Sun Oct 8 11:19:22 2006