Holiday Ride Notes
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Tuesday 24 April. Ride up the Pico Veleta road.

Today weather was perfect with clear blue skies all day and temperatures up to 24C.

Most of the group took taxi and car to Granada to visit the Alhambra Palace. Phil, Ernie and myself had our bikes loaded on a car to go to Granada to ride the big climb up the Sierra Nevada mountains towards the 11000ft peak of the Pico Veleta

Our driver Ian runs a cycle tour business in the area associated with the accommodation provided by our host Ann. Ian and his nephew James joined us on the climb on lightweight road bikes.

We unloaded the bikes about 5 miles up from Granada and about 200 meters in height above the city. April is too early to get all the way to the top and we planned to go as far as possible before the road was closed.

My injured back was improved enough for the climb but taking it steady at a slow pace which Ernie was happy to join me in. Young James sprinted ahead and Phil and Ian rode on ahead with Ian sometimes riding down to see how we were doing.

The suburban towns south of Granada gradually got smaller below us among serrated ridges and a lake. We had an early start and had started climbing about 9.00. After about an hour we regrouped at caf? for a pleasant stop in the warm sun.

We continued and the road climbed higher crossing to the western side of the ridge with Granada tiny in the distance. I had cycled the entire route previously in 1989 but then the middle part of the climb was in mist as we rode through a cloud layer later emerging above the clouds. This time I was able to see all I missed before. The snow covered peak of the Pico Veleta was soon visible ahead of us.

We passed a broken rock bridge over the road with snow-capped mountains visible behind it. Ian came back down and took some pictures of Ernie and myself cycling up using my Camera.

We continued on and up to the edge of the Sierra Nevada Ski village and the road looped round and above it passing the Auberge Univeritario where our group stayed on the 1989 visit. Then on higher to a closed road barrier which we went round as bikes are allowed. We stopped at the "Our Lady of the Snows Statue" where there was a view of the Pico Veleta peak through the triangle of the base.

We had reached the first snow at the town and as we climbed higher there were sometimes walls of snow beside the road. Our highest point was at 8600ft about 2500ft and about 5 miles short of the summit.

We descended to a caf? just below the statue for a coffee and picnic lunch in the sun which was pleasantly warm even at our great height. Our 17 1/2 mile climb had taken about 4 1/2 hours. The fast swooping descent took 35 minutes.

We returned to base to relax by the pool.

The main group had a good visit to the Alhambra Palace with a lot to see and do although they had to queue over 2 hours to get in.

35 miles for the day and 6069 ft of climbing.


remote Posted by Edwin at 2:16 PM EDT
Tuesday 24 April. Edwin and Ernie, photo by Ian.

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:06 PM EDT
Tuesday 24 April. Ernie and Phil cycling through snow.

remote Posted by Edwin at 1:56 PM EDT
Tuesday 24 April. Phil cycling beside snow banks

remote Posted by Edwin at 1:56 PM EDT
Tuesday 24 April. Alhambra group tea by the pool.

remote Posted by Edwin at 1:44 PM EDT
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Monday 23 April. Ride to Niguelas

Weather today was very good with clear blue skies and temperatures up 23C.

There were 2 rides a medium one up to Niguelas to the NW on which most people went and a longer ride led by Phil and Mary and joined by Ann and Gill. On the medium ride there was Richard, Edwin, Mike, Jim, Alan, Liz, Avryl, Ernie and Nicola. Mike borrowed Phil's bike which he keeps in Spain and Jim was on a very lightweight hired road bike.

Both groups stayed together down to the Motorway bridge. Going through town my chain snapped requiring use of my chain tool to repair.

We headed down the hill and took a minor sideroad closed to traffic due to a landslide which we wheeled the bikes over. Then a gentle climb to stop at a bar for elevenses at Lecrin.

Then on up to Niguelas a quiet town at the base of the mountains. We stopped for a picnic lunch in the Garden Romantic , some gardens next to local Council offices. We noticed a giant sized grasshopper on a hedge and Ted posed for pictures beside it.

We headed back on another road adjoining the motorway and went to view a Roman Bridge. Then back up to town where we met up with the riders on the longer route. Then the climb back to base and tea on the terrace looking down on the valley in the warm sunshine.

26 miles for the day and 2677ft of climb.


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:58 PM EDT
Monday 23 April. Descending to Lanjaron from Base

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:25 AM EDT
Monday 2 April. Main ride headed towards mountains

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:18 AM EDT
Monday 23 April. Ted inspects a grasshopper

remote Posted by Edwin at 2:09 AM EDT
Sunday, 22 April 2007
Sunday 22 April. Circuit via Pinos de Valle.

Today weather started with rain in the morning eventually clearing and some sunny spells in the afternoon. We split into 4 groups in the end, a long 45 mile ride, a short 25 mile ride, a short short ride of 10 miles and a walking group.

I decided to take it easy with my back problem and joined Alan and Liz on the short short ride. We rode down the narrow road to Lanjaron with a descent of 600ft down the cliff. We joined the walking group, Mike, Jim, Eileen and Elizabeth for coffee and waited out some heavy rain.

We then rode on a little way and stopped for a picnic lunch and then down to some giant windturbines. Then back up the hill and some relaxing by the pool.

The short riders were Avryl, Richard, Ernie and Nicola who went down to Pinos Valle and then a loop round the lake of Embase de Beznar and then climbed back up to Lanjaron and then up the hill back to base.

Phil Mary Gill and Ann did the long ride. From Pinos de Valle they did a long backroad downhill to the south and then up and along the valley on the far side from Lanjaron and on to Orgiva and a long climb from there back up to Lanjaron.

Phil and Ernie impressed onlookers with short swims in the very cold pool.

We rounded off the day with another splendid meal prepared by our host Ann including Roast Pork and vegetables


remote Posted by Edwin at 1:16 PM EDT
Sunday 22 April. Alan and Liz and wind turbines near Lanjaron

remote Posted by Edwin at 1:16 PM EDT
Sunday 22 April. Relaxing by the pool after the ride.

remote Posted by Edwin at 1:06 PM EDT
Saturday April. Gatwick to LanJaron.

Day 1 of the 9 day trip by 15 Club members to southern Spain staying fxed centre at LanJaron in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range south of Granada.

Phil and Mary organised the trip staying with Mary's sister at a house with a complex of outbuildings turned into Guest cottages.

Cast of characters - Phil, Mary, Alan, Liz, Jim, Eileen, Richard, Elizabeth, Gill, Ernie, Nicola, Avryl, Ann, Mike and yours truly Edwin. Unfortunately Christine had to cancel the day before due to flu.

Most of the group travelled to Gatwick by train. Ernie Nicola and I shared a large taxi which took the 3 of us and 3 bikes.

Checkin and the flight went without a hitch except that as we boarded a forlorn looking bike was propped up in the entrance tunnel with a sign saying ID required. The tag must have come off but it turned out to be Avryls and was duly loaded. Luckily it didn't jet off on its lonesome to Timbuktu.

Normally when flying to Med we leave a dull and dismal England to the sunny south. This time fortunes were reversed with clear blue skies over England and much of Europe and cloud over southern Spain. Luckily for us a reversal back to normal state is forecast for the coming week.

We arrived at the small Granada Airport with an unusual few hundred yards walk to the terminal instead of the usual bus. Everything was organised with a van for the bikes and 2 small minibus taxis for the group to take us the 30 miles to Lanjaron. Towering above the scene were the snow-capped peaks of the high Sierra Nevada floating above a band of low cloud.

Lanjaron is situated on the SW edge of the Sierra Nevada Massive. After valley roads the route took us up hairpin bends to Lanjaron. Phil pointed out the houses of our accommodation about 500ft above the town clinging to a cliff tumbling down from mountains above.

The taxi made its way up a narrow concrete road clinging to the cliff edge and no more than 1 car width. There were 1 or 2 murmuring about the climb at the end of each day.

The upside (unintentional pun) was the great views from our accommodation down to Lanjaron and the valley below. We had a splendid evening meal with our hosts and were entertained by the dogs and cats. The big alsation believed the cats were its puppies and that it had to gently carry them in its mouth by their necks. The cats didn't seem to appreciate the idea.


remote Posted by Edwin at 6:28 AM EDT
Saturday 21 April. Loading the bikes

remote Posted by Edwin at 6:20 AM EDT
Saturday 21 April. Evening meal

remote Posted by Edwin at 6:20 AM EDT

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