Archive for November, 2008

Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Eight

November 10, 2008


By the morning we’d accepted that there was no way to get to Barcelona by bike from where we were. We were within an easy morning’s ride on almost completely flat ground, after traveling hundreds of miles over a mountain range, but there was a motorway in the way.

It turns out that our map was out of date – by several decades – which is how it had managed to sneak up on us. Read the rest of this entry »


Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Seven

November 10, 2008


Being out in the open, we woke up early, ludicrously early. We were both very sore, tired and grouchy at this point, which could explain how we ended up cycling for 11km on a motorway instead of the road we aimed for. Later we found out that the police are pretty strict about this heinous crime, and tend to hand out 500 Euro fines. Read the rest of this entry »

Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Six

November 10, 2008


We woke up in Spain, and I had a quick wash in what we later found out was called the “River of Death”. It was actually very refreshing, and not at all poisonous/doomed.

Dave speaks wonderful Spanish, so we set off to find some people to speak Spanish at, and hopefully buy breakfast from, having wolfed down the last of our supplies the night before. We stopped at the first place we saw and ate rabbit for breakfast. Wild rabbit has virtually no meat on it, and we discuss the fact that I once heard (from Stephen Fry, so it must be true) that you die of malnutrition if you only eat rabbit meat. We decide to eat several chocolate bars each, just in case. Read the rest of this entry »

Biarritz to Barcelona by Bike, Day Five

November 10, 2008


I woke up in a comfortable bed and promptly forgot to continue the previous night’s whinging where I sleepily left off, so we had breakfast and set off for the Col d’Aspin – nothing compared to the previous two day’s hurdles, but a mountain nonetheless.

It was an uneventful climb, and the harsh, exposed landscape of the previous day was replaced with a sheltered route through forest. At the summit were a smattering of tourists and cows, the latter of which tried to knock Dave over. We ate, took in the scenery and looked over The Map for what seemed like the thousandth time that week. Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost bikes a haunting tribute

November 7, 2008

dsc_0007The number of cyclists on the road has exploded in the last few years. Soaring fuel costs, exorbitant public transport prices, the expanding congestion charge and increasing worries about the state of both our own bodies and the environment have all played a part. Few would argue that getting to work under your own steam is a bad thing, perhaps except the unlucky few that never complete their journey. Accidents with cars, buses and lorries invariably see the rider come off worse, and are sadly regular enough to warrant little media attention.

Some cyclists are trying to highlight these accidents, though, by placing ghost bikes at the scene of fatalities. Read the rest of this entry »