Our 2017 Search for a Star joint winner, Gurinder Singh is, right at this very moment, cycling around Spain as part of his one-man, unassisted European Tour. Along with dodgy roads, dodgy locals, nice locals, mountains, hideously painful knees and birds of prey circling him(!) it’s been an eventful few weeks. Here’s Gurinder’s latest update…
May 21st – this was my longest day cycling, crossing the mid Spain span and desert and clocked up about 80 miles. On the road to Zargoza, I often lost my way and found myself on flavelas (dirt roads) or in the middle of nowhere! The main road also became a motorway and I was asked twice by the Police to get off the road and they kindly guided me to a deserted field, heading towards a storm! The second patrol were very helpful and gave me a route to Aaragon but when I got near there was no clear route and I ended up on the motorway again until I could find a hotel.
It was late and dark and I’d been cycling all day and my outer quad muscles were starting to feel really sore. The desert part of my route was both captivating and hostile with snakes and birds of prey, mountains and an occasional small town. I should be cycling a few hours tomorrow and hope to get some rest and let my legs recover.
May 23rd – Its my second day in Zaragoza. The surface pain in my legs has gone but ,I suspect there may be some tears and strains. I’ll have a good relax today in the hostel though it feels a little more like a prison.
Ibuprofen, ice and cold showers are currently my best friends to help with the pain and I’m sharing my hostel room with a Romanian bouncer who is exploring life, a retired British chef who is on the christian trail to Santander and a Columbian engineering student. An interesting bunch!
My friends in Barcelona have offered me accommodation and are encouraging me to push through the pain for the next 190 miles!!
May 24th – My final rest day Zaragoza. I visited some coffee shops yesterday with friends but need to move on now. I just need to sort my bike and my kit. I’ve given some cord to Francis the chef who left today to begin his spiritual quest. We visited the hostel bar last night which is slightly odd as it’s underground. Also odd was some chap dressed as a crow jumping around scaring people! My legs are sore but feeling much better so it’s off towards Barcelona once again. I have visited the local doctor, she thinks I have mild tendonitis above the right knee but has given me the all clear to continue. Where are Elite Therapy when you need them!!!
May 25th – After another icing session (not the cake kind, the really cold knee kind) I’ve managed 45 miles and need to find somewhere to rest. The desert is hot and the wind is against me.
May 26th – I’m about 150 miles from Barcelona. There were few towns on my route yesterday, just deserted ones, a bit like a scene from Mad Max…
In a scene from a Ray Mears program, as I got hungry by 7pm last night, I ate my last ration pack and took some more painkillers and mapped out the next 20km to the nearest hotel and food stop. I walked some of the way which was actually pleasantly peaceful other than the odd truck! The hotel is basic and expensive but it will do to rest my tired and twisted body.
Today will be another long day, I’m planning to cycle 45 miles to Lledia.
First half of the day was slow up hill climbs, just not what I needed!But the cool Coastal breeze was nice and uplifting. I also took some back roads and saw some trees, which I haven’t seen in ages! Strange what you miss!
I’ve arrived at the hotel in time for the Champions League Final so I’ll watch that and have a nice relax and plan for tomorrow though I’ve just realised that my favourite green fleece jacket has departed from my bike somewhere on todays route 🙁 105 miles to go…