Andalucia and Olives

About this time in a long bike tour, conflicting emotions bubble up for me. On one hand, I am a bit weary and looking forward to knowing that the voyage ended well. On the other hand, I’m sad that the adventure is coming to a conclusion. Even in the faux ride, I’m feeling that. Soon, … More Andalucia and Olives

Getting Around Things

We humans are really good at getting around things, sometimes to our own detriment. Bridges, tunnels, switchbacks, and other infrastructure help us overcome geographic obstacles. Spaceships get us to the moon. It’s too hot? We make air conditioners. It’s too cold? Burn some coal or wood. Today in Spain, from Guadalupe to Almaden, we’d have … More Getting Around Things

Solar Searching

Today’s ride in Spain from Arenas de San Pedro to Guadalupe would have been quite ambitious at 91.4 miles with 5835 feet of climbing. Temperatures in the 90s would have added another level of challenge. Record heat and drought in September 2019 exposed an ancient Spanish “Stonehenge” in the Valdecanas Reservoir we’d have crossed. We’d … More Solar Searching


Today we were to cycle through a gap in the Sistema Central, a string of mountain ranges that splits the Iberian Peninsula into two parts. At 81.6 miles with 7261 feet of climbing, this would have been a very challenging day. I took a gap in my actual cycling to “ride” this route on my … More Gaps

Gira de l’Agua

On the way to El Escorial, home of a gigantic monastery on the outskirts of Madrid, we’d have cycled past two reservoirs, the Atazar and the Santanilla. For a substitute ride, I had to think what the equivalent would be at the beach. Water towers! I located six of them on maps on a 50-mile … More Gira de l’Agua


Early today we’d have cycled past the Moorish Fortress of Gormaz.  On a topographic map, you can see that the fortress sits strategically atop a hill that pops out of a plain and overlooks a large bend in the Duero River. Though it is probably a huge oversimplification, back in the day, Arabs dominated south … More Forts


Today’s 72.5 mile ride in Spain from Anguiano to El Burgo de Osma included 6866 feet of climbing. The first 30 miles would have been a steady climb to Puerto el Collado at 4612 feet. A second summit was a mere 4190 feet above sea level. I was warned about two things: cold and wolves. … More Switchbacks