Cycling Europe Days 9, 10, & 11: When Times Get Tough

I’m sensing that my attitude is slightly changing. When I started cycling seriously last

My bike when it's all loaded with the panniers. This is what I lug around everywhere I go.

My bike when it’s all loaded with the panniers. This is what I lug around everywhere I go.

year, I’d curse at every hill and come home a dead woman after 50km of cycling, unable to move or do anything for myself.

I have had real anxiety issues on this trip. But they are always pre-cycling anxieties. The moment I put my foot on the pedal they are all gone and I take things as they come.

Exhibit A:
Day 9 (my 8th day of actual cycling) took me from Toledo to Guadalajara. According to the calculations of the route I mapped out for it, it should have been a 127km journey. Instead, I cycled a crazy 186km that day. I’ve wanted to do a century ride (100 miles) ever since I heard there was such a thing. But I certainly did not want to do it on this trip. Suffice to say I got lost in a really really bad way. So bad that I cycled one road three times and cycled down a huge hill that I ended up having to cycle up again to get myself back on track. I went into a police station in a town near Madrid to ask for directions. Some four hours later I stood in a gas station with all the staff and several motorists standing around me all trying to figure out how to get from where I was to Guadalajara. Their final conclusion: it’s too far, too difficult, take the train. They couldn’t even point me in the right direction it was that complicated. But they couldn’t possibly understand. (more…)