Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:43 PM
Just got back from 2 weeks trip to Spain. This is my 1st real bike trip since big accident last June in Santa Fe, N.M., and a trip I had been looking forward since being in rehab all last summer.
The trip was actually arranged before my accident, so there was a financial as well as spiritual investment that motivated me from my hospital bed to be physically able to do this trip, as I quite successfully did.
For 2 weeks we rode in beautiful weather on wonderful roads, with only slight problems with shifting my Ergo levers with a right hand that isn't quite so co-operative as it once was. As the days accumulated, the shifting became more natural, and I was able to ride with the group comfortably, often leaving a good portion of them behind when the roads pointed skyward. One of my favorites was a stretch of Cat. 1 climb used in the Vuelta a Espania from a town called Monochil to another area called la Purche. Mostly 12-13% climbing for 10 miles, with even steeper pitches thrown in. I surprised myself by finishing well ahead of all but 3 of our group, 1 who is a U.S. national champion. That on a 100 degree day. A really cool thing about this climb is that we saw Oscar Sevilla training here, and what a very nice person he is. He said he trains here for the Tour, but doesn't go completely to the top, as we did. No wonder he passed us twice!
We saw many more hills and climbs like this for many more days, climbing our way to the coast, then back to our base in Alhama de Granada. How fortunate that I have recovered well enough to have done such a long and grueling ride that even pre-accident would have been extremely difficult. From this I know that my racing days may be over, but cycling will still be a big part of my life, and for that I consider this an exceptional personal exploit.
keep up the good work.