Yesterday it was time for another venture into the unknown, planning a route from the map and hoping it turned out OK. It did turn out OK, and very similar in stats to the previous one. About the same amount of climbing for about the same distance, except the overall distance yesterday was a bit shorter.
I headed south along the coast initially, hoping to avoid as much main road as I could. However, a stretch of the N340, the dual carriageway between Barcelona and Tarragona was unavoidable. Most of the main roads here allow a generous cycle lane, marked by a white line. On the major roads these seem to be about 2 metres wide so plenty of space and you dont feel harrassed by the traffic. Not that there is that much traffic to be honest. There is a Toll road that runs parralell with this road that takes some of the traffic which eases things even more.
After about 4km on the main road I turned off and headed inland. the climbing started from the beginning, but only in a gradual way. It started in earnest a bit further on and after I had been climbing properly for about 8km I came across the ‘Alt Camp’ sign which signified the summit of the climb called ‘Camp’. I took a bit of a rest and a drink at this point, thinking all the hard work was done and it was all downhill from now on. I had seen the temperature indicated on my Garmin as being about 36C so a pause to cool down and a well earned drink was in order. How wrong could I be, after I restarted on the flat road ahead of me it soon kicked upwards again and continued to do so for about another 5 or 6km varying between 5 and 6%. I stopped at one stage to arrange a handkerchief inside my helmet as I could feel the sun bearing down on the top of my head through the gaps.
Eventually the direction was downward and for quite few kilometres. On the way down the Garmin route stopped functioning properly so I stopped to reset the navigation.
This picture of the village of Bonastre in the distance was taken about half way down and looking down to the village although from this shot I don’t think it looks like its a downward view.
After the descent which went all the way to the N340 it was back along that for a short distance and then a return to the coast road and a cool breeze off the sea behind me all the way home. In the course of this latter part of the ride I noticed the distance wasn’t increasing on the Garmin. I realised that I hadn’t actually restarted the timer when I reset the route earlier. I belatedly started the timer again but a ride of nearly 60km only indicated as 42km. Never I mind I knew I had done it!!