Sunday, 12 December 2010
Brrrr. 8.9 degrees and time for another Sunday ride-out. A long time ago I promised myself that I wouldn't go out if it was 5 degrees or less (been there, done that) so wrapped up warm and off we went.
This time, we headed out towards Ontinyent and then turned off towards Fontanars on the CV-656. This is a valley famous for it's grapes and bodegas (wine making). The valley was quite pretty, but winter is not the best time for viewing vinyards! Along the left hand side of the valey, we could see where the terrible fires had been earlier in the year. Here, there were many houses that must have been terribly close to being set alight - very scarey for the owners.
We then jumped onto the A-31 towards Albacete for breakfast. Ed and I had been this way before, at a similar time of year. Yep - as we went along, it got colder and colder as we quickly rose to some 800m above sea level! My arms were a little cold by the time we stopped at Alpera, but poor Victoria was frozen - she vowed not to go out again until spring.
Breakfast turned out to be a very hearty meal, shared by all. Chops, sausages, peppers and fried potatoes, washed down with wine (coke) as usual. Yum. Even the toast was nice - baguette, cut in half lengthways, toasted and drizzled with olive oil.
We wrapped up again, and set off via the CV-590 back home. Not the shortest route, but definately the prettiest. As we climed higher, we encountered lots of windmills. Then I realised that we were going to ride right amongst them. I didn't know what to do... I couldn't take my gloves off, get the camera out and take a photo whilst riding along, but, equally, it is frowned on to stop at the side of the road. (Not that the road was wide enough to block with 5 bikes anyway.) Thankfully, as we neared the top of a crest, I saw Julian's indicator come on. We were able to park right next to the windmills, as they all had really good access roads leading to them. Evidently, this is a very popular spot, as while we had a break, another bunch of bikes came from the opposite direction and stopped for a while too, at another windmill.
As we dropped from 1000m, the temperature soon warmed up, and the remainder of the ride was much nicer. Good roads, beautiful views as well as great company. Next weekend the weather is due to be somewhat colder, and then it is Christmas, so it may be next year before we go out again. Ah well. Today was (yet) another one of those days that I was glad to have got the bike back on the road again, but roll on springtime, when I don't have to put so many layers on.