Today’s ride is sponsored by The Station Hotel, Birstwith

Terreperrogil – Fuensanta

After the emotional day that was yesterday we had the odd glass of local wine 🍷 – I say the odd glass, it ended up more than a few bottles between us and a late night!! After all today was only a 60 mile day so we could set off late.

So we had a lay in and no bad heads so the wine must have been good. It was a cold start as we were still at about 2000ft in altitude and guess what, the wind was still there and still on our face. We had a decent descent to start with but boy was it cold. We soon put in 30 miles before stopping for a bit of food then again put in some good miles. The terrain was very up and down with long climbs and long fast descents. Five miles to go and we would be at the hotel – sorted, or so we thought! The road was narrow and all we could see in front of us was mountains 🏔 big cloud topped mountains. The road quickly turned into a steep climb  – very steep, hitting over 30% most of the way. The climb went on and on. It got that steep in places that Dave’s chain started to slip due to wear of the trip forcing him to get off on the steepest parts. My legs were burning and the front wheel came off the ground at times. We climbed about 1500 feet in about 2 miles! Eventually we got to the top and the view was out of this world. I don’t think the photos can do it justice. The altitude at this point was about 3600 feet and cold but sunny. Then we had the descent into Martos where we were staying. This was also very steep with a lot of hairpin bends but the surface was good and Dave flew down. Since my fall over a week ago I have struggled getting my confidence back especially on the tight corners so I came down gingerly getting my confidence back. The day finished with 6000 feet of climbing but only 60 miles, so an easy day really!

We only have 3 days to go until we finally make it to Africa and I want to put some words down over the next few blogs about those who have been involved in this amazing adventure.

Rewind the clock back over two years to the very start in Nordkapp. Six set off at midnight on midsummers day. Six you might ask? Dave, Lee, Paul, myself and Amy, who had just found out she was pregnant with who is now the beautiful Eva. Obviously as Amy was pregnant she was not going to do the complete trip and to be honest she scared the hell out of me when she was riding. Amy did about 15 miles on most days in the mornings which was amazing considering the temperatures and terrain.

Lee did the first leg and considering he had only just bought a bike and his training was based around Selby where he lived which is very flat did absolutely amazing and always rode with a smile on his face no matter how hard things got. Lee, if you are reading this, what you did in that first phase was outstanding I am very pleased and proud that you came along, I hope you remember it for a long time. Unfortunately, Lee could not commit to the rest of the trip but he was a big part of our journey and we will raise a glass to him at the end.

Also for the first phase was the back up. We had two vehicles – mad Maureen and turbo Terri. Kathleen and Kayleigh were in Mad Maureen (I will mention them in another blog) and Dan, Gary and when not riding, Amy were in Turbo Terri. Without Dan and Gary we could not have done this trip. Their support and driving was fantastic. In the Arctic tundra the back up teams would drive ahead of us about 30 miles in the morning, boil a kettle and make coffees for us all along with a warm car to sit in. Remember some days it was snowing with temperatures as low as minus 2. Their dedication and hard work made the first phase possible and we cannot thank them enough. Well done guys for being part of the Arctic to Africa Team. I also want to mention Amy at this point. As I indicated earlier, Amy had just become pregnant and therefore could not do all of the ride. “Phew” she thought 😃 but really I am sure there were a lot of mixed emotions. However, Amy has been a big part of us doing this challenge. I am sure most of you who read this know Amy has this bubbly infectious attitude – always positive and always happy. I am also sure that on drunken nights when we are all in the station pub and someone comes up with a daft idea ie ME, Amy encourages and develops the idea. She also gets fully behind the idea and supports in many ways.

These are just a few of the people who have been involved and I will write about others in the upcoming blogs.

You will notice that the heading for today’s blog was “Milestone” – why?

I can now announce that we have raised over £20,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK which is a great achievement and I thank everyone who has donated so far.

– Sean