Thursday, June 20, 2024

February Chills


February Chills. End of Feb Tallies

  • Countries — 3 (2010 Total 4)
  • Hotel Days — 7 (Total 25)
  • Hotels — 4 (Total 6)
  • Flight Distance — 2126km (Total 23258km)
  • Drive Distance — 3063km (Total 3720)

So January was all sunshine and roses.

And then… KERTHUMP! Along came Europe in winter in all of her furious unpredictability! My first night in Girona was one of the very rare times that it snows in town. We’re very close to the Pyrenees, so on clear days you can see snow on the mountaintops deep into May, but snow in town is rare. I’d love to have photos to show, but I was too freakin cold to be worrying about such! Not only was it super cold, but Mands and my central heating had drained of water while we’d been in Australia, and so there was not only no hot water, but also no heating. Ohhh the joy!

And then for the final indignity. Upon opening the fridge I realised my schoolboy error when, after dutifully emptying and unplugging it back in October, I then closed the fridge door. A wonderful breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and germs. So I also had the awesome task of cleaning the fridge and freezer out with boiled water while I awaited the central heating dude to come and rescue me. Not my most triumphant return to business ever!

As for the team, we’ve been a little in the wars, as has most every Pro team at this time of year — sketchy road surfaces, high wind, cold hands and not yet being fully in the swing of things means that crashes happen a lot more regularly than any other part of the year. One rib, two collar bones and a scapula (!!!) in the space of a week had us all looking to the sky wondering what would come next!

One of our boys was so bad he had to get his shoulder fixed up at a guru surgeon up in Belgium, and I went up to make sure we were on the right page as far as rehab expectations, and also just to make sure that the poor bloke wasn’t stuck in a foreign airport a day after an operation and finding out the hard way that he in fact wasn’t ready to head back to the team base. Not a bad diversion for a day I guess!

My other trip was down to the Volta ao Algarve , which is on the far side of the southernmost end of Portugal (translation: frickin MILES from Girona). I drove down at warp speed, gaining first hand experience of the Spanish version of “driving to the prevailing conditions” which apparently translates “to drive as fast as your car goes at all times.”

February Chills
Mist and fog? – no need to slow down.

The photo is of the road just after I’d woken up to notice we were still shifting along at well over comfortable speed. Needless to say I drove the majority of the way! The racing was intense, with two of the boys needing to have their wrists worked on after a 200km+ day when they’d cramped from being on the brakes so often through the day, as well as a couple of big crashes, leading to stitches for one, and a bunch of skin off for another. Another day in the office!

Algarve is a beautiful part of the world, though, and if you’re ever looking for somewhere nice and a little out of the way, I’d suggest it strongly. The town we stayed in, Lagos, sat next to some truly gorgeous cliff formations (like a more close-up, intense version of the Twelve Apostles off the south coast of Australia). I had a run out there, got distracted by the beauty, and ran for the longest period of my life. Coolness!

I think that should make the page show the details of the run, but we’ll see.

Until next time, then.