Wednesday, October 24, 2007

20 October 2007

It was nice to wake up this morning to rain and a chilly 14 degree day (Celsius). It really wasn’t, but since the temps were what they were my plans were a bit changed and I moved on before a walk around of Alhambra. The temps weren’t bad, but the front desk told me that there was rain predicted today and that is not much fun to ride in, especially when it is cold. Instead, I just had to ride in the cold.

Since this is about the same elevation as Evergreen, CO, and the same season, you can expect any type of weather in the direction I was going. Fortunately I wasn’t headed over the Sierra Nevada’s to the West, but I had several other passes to cross. For a couple of hours the warmest I saw was 16.5 C, but after that I could watch the gauge steadily climb until I reached Benidorm around 4pm. Then it was so warm that I had to take of my coat and sweater before I could look for a place to stay for the night.

This may have been my biggest push on the motorcycle yet. I think I did over 400 kilometers and an elevation change of 6000 ft. It felt really good for the first couple of hours and then I had to stop to walk around every hour for a bit and stretch. It also helped to listen to some of my play lists, but I have to be careful that I don’t keep the beat while driving. I took to singing to the music instead of tapping my toes (might not be a good idea to tap them on the pavement at 130 km per hour). Since I don’t sing well at all, it is excruciating for me to listen to the songs reverberating within the helmet.

At this point, I think this is the max distance I can ride in a day and still feel good. I am sure that that will change by this time next year, but will I want to ride longer? I didn’t see half as much as I have on other days. I suppose if I have to, it is good to know that I can.

So, the joke is on me. I rode through Benidorm last week and hadn’t noticed that the crowd was predominantly of my parent’s age, so my plan for a raucous time watching the rugby world cup has come to a crashing halt. I did manage to locate about 10 non-descript places that were showing the game and about 4 others that were real options for a good showing. The first choice had satellite issues and suggested that I go elsewhere, so I wandered down the street until I found bar choice number 2 and it was now flowing to over capacity, so I walked in found a pint right away and a standing spot in one corner. With hundreds of drinking and smoking Brits all in one place, you can imagine how warm it was. You can also imagine how hard it might be to get back to the bar and get as lucky as I was when I walked in…so I walked out at halftime. Instead of going to bar #3 and #4, I headed to the hotel to watch the game, since the bellman did tell me that the game was being shown in the lounge.

The main lounge can hold upwards of 200 people and there is a side lounge that holds maybe 30 AND there is the internet café that can hold another 45 people and each of them have a TV. You can imagine how crazy it was when I went back. Yes, there was SERIOUS madness going on. The main lounge had 2 people watching the local Futbol (soccer to the folks in the US), the side lounge had another 2 people watching the SAME game and about 70 people were crammed into the internet café trying to see the screen. Who the fuck planned that crap!??? That is some SERIOUS madness!!!

For those not familiar with Rugby, let me go over a few things. Every four years Rugby holds a World Cup in a different city; each team is in a bracket and plays elimination rounds until the final two brackets for 1st thru 4th places. The two teams playing for the Rugby World Cup were England and South Africa and they were playing in France. Without boring you with the details, I will cut to the chase and get right to the end… South Africa won 15 – 6 and were the dominating team throughout. None of this is truly important though. What is important is the importance of this game (Rugby) to the world.. The French President, Sarkozy presented the Cup to the African President, who presented the Cup to the Captain of the team. The team then hoisted the African President on their shoulders in celebration. I can’t name any sport in the US that has the President of the country present the trophy. Can you imagine this occurring with Bush? First of all, which sport would want him to present their trophy? Second of all, would anyone actually want to touch him? Who wants to touch the devil - if he isn’t truly evil, he certainly has some traits.

Nelson Mandela was intending to go to the World Cup, but he was busy opening up his newest Mandelacatessen in Praetoria, South Africa.

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

We have the same picture of the Rock...fogged in! To go all that way for fog, I guess it's true heart is British! :)