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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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From Carmona to Osuna. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Posted by admin On Febrero - 15 - 2010

JL: I spent all night listening to the rain and praying that the rain will stop. Finally we had to leave Carmona at 10:00. It made no sense to wait for the rain to stop. Two kilometer after starting our trip we were soaked and we still had 70 km ahead to ride. Luckily temperature was not too cold (9º – 12ºC).

More rain. More than Seville, Cadiz and Malaga have seen in many years. The countryside was a river. There was even water running through the sown fields. Every downhill was a torrent.

The road did not drain the water. Every time we were overtaken by a big tonnage lorry, it was like if someone had thrown us a bucket of water.  Our hands were so frozen that we could hardly trigger the speed shifter. Our muscles couldn’t get warm, and they hurt with every effort we make. The rain run down our faces our necks. We hardly felt our feet. In addition to this, a mild wind was blowing from the East.

We were getting our destination under these conditions, when, suddenly, 4 km from Osuna, the rear tire blew up. We couldn’t fix it since we were run out of spare tires. Anyway we had been unable to repair the tire as our fingers were too weak at that time. So we had to walk under the rain 4 km pushing the tandem while eating an apple.

Lessons to be learnt:

  • You should have good equipment.
  • You should take a lot of spare parts.
  • We need better tires.
  • If you travel by bicycle, you cannot commit to arrive on time.
  • It is very important not to be scared and not to lose your sense of humor. It is vital for survival.

So we can say we have trained “adversity” more than our physical state. Today our route is over and tomorrow we will back home. Our tandem needs to be repaired and it seems the weather is not getting better.

We have seen a beautiful countryside; however it could be more beautiful; each three meters beside the road belongs to the Spanish State. These millions of square meters are the biggest uncontrolled rubbish dump in Spain and nobody seems to be ashamed of it. These dumps are illegal and they are forbidden, but, as always, no one controls or fines the Spanish Civil Service.

If we took and recycled those tones of aluminum, plastic and rubble that you can find at the side of the road along the country, there would be raw material enough to build a whole new city. However, the ideal would be to be less dirty. I wonder if these kinds of things are taught to the children in the school subject “Education for the Citizenship”.

A responsible and respectful driving should be also taught in this subject. Drivers would rather arrive 5 minutes earlier even having to run over a cyclist to get it. First things first.
The rout has been…

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