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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 the ‘DIARY’ Category

Evolution of the Knee through the Sitjar

Posted by admin On Febrero - 2 - 2010

Iván: I have been meaning to write this post for a while, but between one thing and another I have been putting it aside, and this has been the first outing after the long brake taken due to my knee tendon recovery. Truth is, it were 80 km of real joy and pleasure through the borders of the Sitjar reservoir, which I decided to cover more than once considering the temperature we had that day and the wonderful views, mainly the water level of the reservoir.

If you look in the picture, you can see how the reservoir goes into the streets of the Ribesalbes town seen behind me, as well as the inexistence of the waterfall usually appreciated on one of the sides. You can see the amount of nature the marsh has thesedays with all the rain, snow and cold which have been so uncomfortable these past few weeks for my training. But anyway, like you can see here, all things happen for a good reason.

What I wanted to say is the knee is good, well, better. It almost doesn’t hurt anymore but it still bothersme, which I find normal because, after all, I have been with the pain for a long time and it would be naïve of my part tothink the pain and the injury would just disappear over night, mainly if I still continue with the thing that caused it, my precious bike, hahaha.

Greetings to everyone!

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 ;)

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.

Year 2010: Our year cero

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 31 - 2009

Our year cero: Day 31st December. This night will be a milestone for many people. A day to reflect, of nice wishes and good purposes, a night of celebrations, grapes and cava. You know what they say: New year, new life.
But we atTandemhave embarked a few months ago on an ambitiousproject with an exciting purpose. So today, 31stDecember, the day the year ends to receive the next one, we see it as an interim stop, a leap that helps us overcome new landmarks for the solidarity challenge that we are preparing.
And what better landmark than our training plan. Sonia, our physical trainer has given us the New Year with a new timing in our training. You heard right: an e-mail with a merry Christmas accompanied with a document that we must follow meticulously! (day by day)Anything to support thefight against cancer!
If we covered more than 600 km last month in tandem and more than 600 km on a free bicycle, several swimming hours, trekking and many stretching exercises, the next months of January and February hold 3,000 and 2,000 km consecutively. We will soon upload a post with the detailed training.
Tonight we will eat the12 grapes to welcome the New Yearof course! We are not about to forget the rituals, and precisely on our year cero!
Our biggest wish? We will probably ask for luck against injuries.
A purpose, a challenge without discussion: Europa en Tandemfrom North Capeto Spain driving a tandem bicycle.Probably the most ambitious aspect is the time goal: 30 days. The cause is what surely makes it into something important: collecting funds to support the fight against cancer.

Happy 2010!

Greetings to the Tandem!

Merry Christmas Supporters!

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 24 - 2009

Merry Christmas to all.

Like every year, with the holidays come the family reunions, the nougat candy, the friendly visits, and all those moments that are only possible in Christmas. And to avoid staying behind, your friends at Europa en tandem want to wish you happy holidays and a fantastic New Year filled with presents (for those of you fans of Santa Claus)and laughter (for everyone!).
Of course, a day like today, we remember all those persons and family members that live with cancer, and who we hope to give a special solidarity support with this project. Our effort is for you.


Day 0: The beginning of all this…

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 1 - 2009

By Iván.

I remember “day 0” very clearly, the first day. I already knew that José Luis, my partner in this case, was a supportive person, although you can figure that out through time and hours of conversation, but I’m losing track. “Day 0”, in a train from Alicante-Castellón, coming back from a workday at one of the peninsular delegations of the company where we work. We started talking enthusiastically, like in so many other occasions and THE IDEA that had been circling his mind for so long came up. Not only did he share it with me but he suggested I participate… THE CHALLENGE: a long-distance trip riding a tandem bicycle, and immediately the reason and the purpose, the why (the fight against cancer). We started giggling and making comments and suddenly the doubt… is it true what we are saying? Does it make any sense?… and what’s more, are we willing to do it? Let’s go for it!

After discussing the subject for days in order to properly approach the challenge, after revising calendars and dates and even checking out various routes, we made up our minds for this one and adopted it as our own, as if we were the first to do it. We studied printed and digital maps, balanced the pros and cons, the profiles and temperatures, and last, we planned our physical preparation that we are executing now.

Its like if we were preparing our bed to be able to sleep well and reach our dream.

Day 0: What if we organise a solidarity challenge?

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 1 - 2009

By J.L.

What is wrong with cancer? Why is it so hard to find a cure?
Either directly or indirectly, cancer has affected almost everyone I know causing them pain and loss. Cancer is a disease that does not differentiate between rich and poor. It receives less attention than other more recent diseases even though it takes more lives. It never gets a front page and it seems like famous artists are no longer interested in organising huge concerts to defeat it. It is as if its universal nature has made us resign. Practically, the only way to fight it is amputating or bombarding the organism with substances that sometimes attack the cancer and the rest of your body.
I have known so much suffering up-close due to cancer that I have always wanted to do something about it. But what? I am sure that curing it is a mater of money. I also know that we are capable of the best if we have a purpose that inspires us. I have seen videos of people achieving things that seemed impossible and they weren’t after all. Seeing them convinces me that impossible things are impossible only because we expect them to happen by themselves. To achieve what seems impossible we must abandon the traditional road and take on brave actionsthat can inspire others.

The words from Steve Job´s speech (creator of apple) “remembering that you are going to die is the best way of not falling into the trap of thinking you have something to lose, you are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart”, rattle us and leave us without excuses. For me, an inspiring reason is helping defeat cancer.  There are no excuses. This proposal was what finally made me decide to start a project that had been floating around my head for many years. That is exactly what my friend Iván and I talked about on a train trip from Alicante back to Castellón on February 2009: Why not make a long distance trip through Europe in tandem and use it to attract attention and collect money for the fight against cancer? Why not? The next day we started working without excuses to give shape to the project and obtain the necessary supports. Once these were achieved, nine months later we are in perfect physical condition to face the challenge we will begin in June 2010. Want to join us?

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