So it’s over. We rolled into Algoz at 5.50 on October 27, 29 cycling days after we left Paris and a final leg of just over 90km from Castro Verde. They had even tarred the notoriously bumpy back road from Messines for us to ease our final 13km. The sun shone as it had all day and we took the time to straighten our sponsors’ logos (some hope!) and smiled for the assembled press and media. Well my sister was there with her camera. It had been a long hot day in the hills, but we felt a sense of arriving at a proper finish for sure.
The stats are now in.
Total meters climbed? 21,313. Let’s say 63,000 feet, it sounds better that way.
Longest day? 111.1km, Burgos to Palencia.
Biggest climbing day? 1419 meters from Monfortihno to Valancia de Alcantara. This was also 107km long, so contends for toughest day, but the scenery was so stunning we hardly noticed.
Averages? 77.5km a day, pretty well on the target we set ourselves, and an overall 14km per hour, a little less than we would have hoped for perhaps.
Duration? We cycled for 29 days and had 3 rest days.
Mishaps? There were no real mishaps. Jacqui managed a slow speed fall in Toro, Spain after an encounter with a manhole cover. No serious harm done.
Mechanical issues? None. The bikes performed faultlessly. No punctures. I didn’t even put air into the tyres. I did have to clean the rims after a downpour all day going to Ledesma in Spain. All the kit worked as we hoped, although Jacqui’s Revolution bar bag leaked a little water on one occasion.
Health issues? We performed well too! One cold, one tummy bug, no muscle tears nor serious saddle sores. No tiffs, and only the usual tantrums from me!
Weather? We were very lucky. We were soaked twice, and forced off the road to shelter under an olive tree once, when we could not see to cycle. We dried out on the road that time after the the thunder storm passed over. France was lovely the last week in September, but we were a little cold somedays, right until we arrived in Portugal.
Reactions? Are we pleased to have done it? Absolutely. Without doubt. Will we ever tour like this again? No. No more time limits for us in future tours and we will return to our preferred “micro-touring” moving on every 2-3 days while saturating ourselves in places.
France, Spain or Portugal best? Difficult to say. France was more relaxed and it is good to have some language. But it’s 2 to 3 times more expensive. Cheapest night’s stay? 19 euro in an auberge in Ventosa, Spain. Cheapest night with breakfast? 35 euro in Monseraz, Portugal. Dearest night? Paris of course, 170 euro, no breakfast! Bikes were in secure accommodation every night bar 3 and then they were in internal courtyards.
Overall feeling? We were so lucky to get this chance and to be fit enough to do it and to do it together. Pedal stroke for pedal stroke. Jacqui gets the polkadot and me the green jersey. We will share the yellow one! But we deserve all three for sure!
More photos and video will follow sometime soon I hope.