Cycling the Meridian Line

We’ve been very well looked after today. Firstly, breakfast was served in the pool house and there was a huge choice. Concerned that I wouldn’t be able to cycle if I ate everything in sight, I restricted myself to fresh fruit and yoghurt, followed by a croissant. I wasn’t quite so restrained when we returned from our bike ride and I had crisps and peanuts and two slices of home made lemon drizzle cake with a lovely pomegranate coulis.

After breakfast, Dave took us for our first bike ride of the week. We agreed to start with a fairly easy one so we could get used to our hired bikes. He settled on a ride that crosses the prime Meridian Line a few times, and is about 60 kilometres long with 600m of ascent in total. A Belgian guy called Marvin joined us. He and his partner, Shelley, have stayed with Velo Tours Spain several times and spoke highly of Tiffany and David. Already we’re pleased with our choice of holiday company!

We are very fortunate to have sunshine. The weather has apparently been cool and rainy over the last few days, but today is glorious. That said, we did need long sleeves to start with because there was a chill in the air before the sun got going. We put our pedals on our bikes and amended the seat heights. John pointed out that my lovely ebike has an Ultegra Di2 groupset, which is far more expensive than Ruby Ribble’s 105 groupset. The gears change electronically… very posh! When we were all ready, Tiffany and their small and cute son, Albert waved us off.

The route began through vineyards, olive trees and orange groves. The smell in the air was divine and everywhere was peaceful, with very little traffic, except when we went through towns. I had no trouble using the motor on the ebike because it’s the same as on my bike, and it didn’t take me long to get used to the gears… Or the brakes which are the ‘wrong’ way round!

I didn’t have any trouble keeping up because Dave kept the pace steady and there were few big steep hills. In fact, the only times I got left behind, John was in front, getting carried away with his super light, shiny red road bike. This was the first time he’s ridden a road bike and he did really well, even getting up the long hill towards the end of the ride with no problems, despite not having a motor. On that particular hill, Dave suggested I try out the highest level of assistance on my bike to see what it was like, so I did. I shot up the hill, still pedalling hard but flying! I think Marvin, who had been way ahead, was surprised to see me pass him!

There was no pressure to ride fast or non-stop and the whole day was leisurely. We stopped for coffee, then for lunch, as well as to take photos of the markers where we crossed the Meridian Line. It’s strange to think this passes through London, and even stranger that Spain isn’t in the same time zone as us. Apparently, this is because General Franco wanted to be in the same time zone as Hitler!

Finally, we arrived back at the villa. We changed out of our cycling shorts, while Dave brought us beer, cake and nibbles. The pool looked very inviting but was too cold for me to go any deeper than my ankles. John was much braver and took the plunge, but only managed two rather short lengths!

We showered and I spent some time writing my blog with a cup of tea, while John followed the Liverpool – Man Utd match. A convincing win for us, which went down well! At 7.30 it was time for dinner so we wandered over to the pool house where little Albert came rushing to greet us, and threatening to go for a swim! ‘Not a good idea’, John warned him!

The meal was delicious… Three courses of home cooked food, washed down with local wine. Tiffany and Dave joined us to eat (as did Albert until he fell asleep and was put to bed) and we enjoyed chatting over dinner. There was a lot of complaining about Brexit towards the end of the evening, but the less said about that on this forum the better! We’re now ready for bed and looking forward to cycling to the coast. Maybe I’ll get an ice cream 😊

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