The Six Day Grind: Day 1

October 18, 2021

After our day of rest in Valencia we set off on day one of a six day grind to Granada. Most of the days are not that tough but day six looms ahead of us like a monolith with 2000 meters of climbing and over 135 kilometers of riding. It does no good to worry about it. What will be, will be and now is the time to live for the moment. That moment is taking us through orange, olive and mango groves as we leave the coast and begin to exercise our climbing skills.

The scenery is much as it has been, still beautiful and interesting. Much of our route is over farm roads and bike paths with little to no traffic until we hit a town. Even there, the traffic is light and the drivers savvy about cyclists and courteous towards us. A gravel truck passed me on a long climb that ended at a summit where the driveway to the gravel plant entered the road. By the time I reached the summit he had reloaded and was ready to get back onto the road just as I passed by. He acknowledged me with a toot on his horn and some applause for reaching the summit. It’s nice to be recognized.

Once again I encountered a fortress on a hilltop as I climbed that would have been right at home in Game of Thrones. It was perched far above my summit and seemed positioned to command any approach to the rich valley that it guarded. Unfortunately, there was nothing about its history or use that I could see as I rode by, so it will remain a mystery to me.

The rest of this day was just more olives, oranges and mangoes as we rode into our home for the evening. The beer was cold and the fellowship of the riders comforting at the end of the day.