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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Archive for Enero, 2010

The Economic Crisis and Sports

Posted by admin On Enero - 31 - 2010

JL: In my opinion there is a connection between the absence of sport values and the economic crisis. If we understand that in the end everything is a consequence of the attitudes and behaviours that follow it, we will see everything more clearly.

Wewho practice sports know there aren’t any benefits without efforts, that arecord can not be achieved in a short period of time, that wishes mean nothing without and intelligent and sustainable plan, that effort must be constant, that if you stop too soon all that has been achieved will be lost, that risks and overexertion must be controlled, that if you win without respecting others you will have to celebrate victory on your own and pray never to lose, and that the best reward is not cash but experiencing pride for the things achieved playing fair. We also know that those who do not accept these rules and want to take shortcuts will end up hurting themselves and others around them, they will lose what has been achieved so far and make their teammates lose as well.


Although these values are not very popular nowadays, and therefore have done little to prevent us from falling over the cliff, sports can, at an individual level, help us fight the demoralising effects of unemploymentor the loss of a business.

To begin with, being involved in sports on a regular basis forces us to establish a small personal goal and carry out some sort of activity planning. At the same time, this will inevitably provide a certain structure of our time and a sense of purpose for our actions, both things that get lost when we stop having a labour activity and that can disorient us.

On the other hand, practicing sports produces effects on our self-esteem. Self-esteem has to do with how we value ourselves: either in a positive or negative way.  Sports benefit a positive self-conception since it favours an attractive personal image, it improves our physical appearance, increases self-confidence, provides us with higher levels of energy and vitality, makes us sleep better and have more rest, a better mood, a feeling of interior power, orientation, confidence in one’s capacities and a feeling of being useful. All of this helps us relate with our environment: we become more optimistic, pleasant, sociable and assertive. Without a doubt, it increases our future employability. I assure you that these things are part of the hidden curriculum and are greatly appreciated.

Sports teach us that both successes and defeats are possible results and that these depend directly on our personal characteristics and efforts. We learn that we have the ability to change our destiny. We also learn to keep a longitudinal vision of our self-perception, since this must not be based on momentary successes or defeats, but rather see life as a deep race where we have time to improve our results provided we set challenging and realistic goals. We learn about the power of will. This vision is an antidote against depression.

In any case, imagine this will be taught in schools and Business Faculties.

So now you know, choose your discipline and you will love yourselves more!

The Green Track Program

Posted by admin On Enero - 31 - 2010

Due to ourtrainings and the need to cover many kilometres in our tandem bikes, we are discovering true gems of our Spanish geography.

Many of these gems are provided by the Green Track Program. And since Internet is about sharing knowledge and information, today we are going to talk about this program.

What are the green tracks? Many bicycle and outdoor sports lovers have probably already heard about them: they are 1,700 km of out-of-use railway infrastructures transformed into cycle-tourism and trekking routes in collaboration with the Spanish Railway Foundation (FFE-Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles). Thanks to this program, a valuable cultural and historical patrimony has been rescued from oblivion to be used again by all of us, and without age or physical limitations.

In our trainings, we try to incorporate some kilometres fromthese green tracks to enjoy the wonderful views. These pleasant trips are alternated with ascensions to mountain ports with much more demanding edges and irregularities. At the end, everything favours our physical preparation!

Moreover, something very interesting is that the FFE offers the possibility of collecting stamps when going through any of the green routes in order to complete the GreenTracks Passport. We have already done some of them, specifically the Green Tracks of Bajo Ebro and Tierras Altas (as you have seen in our blog) and the Green Track of Ojos Negros where, like we commented on the previous post, we ran 8 km. We will write a post about this last one including pictures of when we did it with or bicycles, you know, to continue sharing experiences ;)

We leave you with a video of the Vasco-Navarro Green Track:

Greetings from the tandem!

Running through the Green Track of Ojos Negros

Posted by admin On Enero - 30 - 2010

Hello to all the tandemeros!

This week, our business affairs have taken us to Segorbe (Castellón). We had little time and it was snowy and very cold. And since we are a little bit of sports addicts and we must continue with our training for the Europeans solidarity route, on Wednesday morning we decided to wake up at 7 am and goout running in this incredible place.(imagine the cold, the need to continue training and the impossibility of taking the bike due to lack of time). So we did a part of the Green Track of Ojos Negros, which we travelled last November, but this time running;0)

Here is a picture of how we ended up after running 8 km while trying to keep up with our colleague Carlos, an experienced foot runner, and we assure you it was not easy… Next time Carlos, we challenge you to follow us with the bike! ;0)

And this picture on how it snowed afterwards! (It seems unreal, and today the sun is out in Castellon!)

We will keep on telling you more things about our outings since today we got back on our bikes!

Greetings from tandem!

Second training outing. An invitation for February

Posted by admin On Enero - 19 - 2010

JL: Hello everyone. Having the aerobic performance to pedal 150 km every day is not very difficult to achieve. What is complicated is finding out if your muscles can resist this pace over many days. Therefore, our physical trainer, Sonia, has planned for us three long outings prior to the definite one in June so they can serve as practice.

Our second training outing will be during the 10th and 14th of February 2010, both dates inclusive. If any of you are nearby and feel like pedalling a stretch with us, here is the route. You will have no trouble recognising us: there are very few tandems and we will be wearing red.

1.     10/feb: Málaga – Tarifa.

2.     11/feb: Tarifa – Arcos de la Frontera.
3.     12/feb: Arcos de la Frontera – Carmona.
4.     13/feb: Carmona – Osuna.
5.     14/feb: Osuna – Málaga.
You can see the route in Google Maps here:

The total distance is about 800 km. We have chosen this area escaping from the cold of inner Castellón, Cuenca y Teruel and also because Malaga has a delegation of our companyRecord Go, with work colleagues who we hope to greet on this occasion.

We encourage you to visit the South with us! See you on the road!

Cold in Castellón

Posted by admin On Enero - 19 - 2010

Iván: This was the last outing since we are in the hands of the doctors due to the knee injury, an obligatory interruption in our 10-day training. Better here and now, than in Norway and too late.

The picture was taken on Sunday 10th January at 0 degrees, neither too cold nor too warm (as it is commonly said). Although you can barely see it, behind us is the Peñagolosa peak next to the rest of the mountain range. From La Barona, place where we are staying, you can see it completely white due to the snow. It was a very cold weekend. We found ice plates were we started, that is at sea level. So imagine how it was up there.

Regarding the brake we took to recover from the injury, I must say it was relative since I have been swimming so much to maintain a good physical resistance, I have started to grow scales. Leg press and quadriceps chairs are completely forbidden, and of course, the bicycle is off limits during these days, and let’s not forget the physiotherapy sessions. What…what is the injury? Well, we are not very sure. The traumatologist says it is a patellar tendonitis and my physiotherapist talks about the possibility of an additional patellar chondropathy, something much worse, because the first is healed with rest since it is just a tendon inflammation, but he other is a cartilage erosion, pff… if it worsens, they will have to operate. In any case, I want to let everyone know I have no intention of losing heart. And a knee pain will not make me pull out from this magnificent project.

Descriptive image of the knee and its possible injuries.

In regard to the bicycle, no hard pedalling rhythms, the seat must be as high as possible, and in my case, I have found a comfortable position pushingit backwards. In this way, my body load does not fall on my knee so I hope not to damage anything else. I will keep you posted on the injury’s development, but I must say the improvement can be appreciated after just a 5-day interruption. The problem will be getting back on track, since these injuries have the bad tendency of being recurrent. I hope this is not the case, or at least that it doesn’t come back until after France, that is mid-July ;)

Hello tandemeros!

Following our goal to support the fight against cancer, we want to begin a section of informative diffusion regarding this disease and share with you those projects, web pages, blogs, organisations, professionals … that work daily for this cause. In this struggle, informationis a priority, and that is why sharing it is our duty.

We would like to communicate the existence of the Cancer World Declaration, promoted by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). If you wish to know more about this declaration, you can unload the explicative document from the UICC web page and, if you want sign in support of the fight against cancer. You can sign as an individual or as an organisation. Europa en Tandem has already signed ;)

Acting as a small directory, there are diverse organisations that dedicate its efforts to this fight against cancer. They work together for the same cause but are usually organised geographically. Therefore, we will find local, regional, state, communitarian and even world organisations. Here are a few links of some of these organisations we find relevant.

Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC). It fights cancer in all the modalities known at present or that will be known in the future. Its line of action include informing and raising awareness about the need to prevent, of improving the life quality of the patients and their families, of promoting research, and of protecting and diffusingthe patients´ rights.

EUROPEAN CANCER ORGANISATION (ECCO). The European Cancer Organisation aims at defending the right all cancer patients in Europehave of getting the best care and assistance possible. It tries to promote the interaction between all the organisations involved in cancer research, treatment and health care at a European level.

EUROPEAN CANCER LEAGUES (ECL) The ECL is a non-profit organisation and an alliance of national and regional cancer leagues.  It tries to promote a healthy life style for all the European citizens, improve the access to programs working against cancer, guarantee a better access to the diagnosis, treatment and support and protect the establishment and application of national programs against cancer.

American Cancer Society (ACS).With departments all over the U.S. an more than 3.400 local offices, the American Cancer Society is committed to fighting cancer through research, education, patient care, promotion, and rehabilitation programs.

UICC (International Union Against Cancer) It is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the global control of cancer. It connects organisations, professionals and volunteers that work together to eliminate cancer, the biggest death-risk disease for future generations.  Its mission is networking, mobilising and providing support to the organisations and individuals with the necessary knowledge and abilities for an effective fight.

We hope you find this information useful.

Greetings to everyone from the tandem!

Invisible Heroes

Posted by admin On Enero - 11 - 2010

JL: Preparing a sports challenge of these characteristics demands a very big personal sacrifice:

  • A considerable physical effortand the injuries can appear at any time.
  • It requires moral strength and commitment to maintain perseverance and discipline in fulfilling the training plan.
  • You must have capacity of self-motivationwith a long-term objective.
  • And many hours of training that will force you to give up other activities, rest and family time…

And when I get to this point, I realise that I am not the only one making a sacrifice. I am not the only one renouncing things I like, needs, habits and commodities.

Our couples have exemplarily accepted the fact that we can’t give them so much attention, company and help in assuming the daily obligations. This has an inestimable cost for them, even more because it will probably go unknown. I applaud that and appreciate it impressed. I don’t know if I would be capable.

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