Oomph! What a stretch! I’m currently hanging out in the van in Establiments, MA, Spain holding tight to refresh some guesties bottles on a hot avid route – Day 6 of Ride Camp. It’s day 28 of 29 straight guiding for this gal. It’s a complete whirlwind and time warp running 7 day trips back to back. It also tests your physical and emotional endurance. Honestly I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment and feel pretty fresh all things considered. I’ve F’ed up plenty during the learning curve but the show always goes on. It’s how you handle whatever comes your way that counts the most. Not to mention my rock-star co-guide, Jason, is a ball to work with! We’ve had some good laughs…gut wrenching funny at times.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow evening greatly as I hop a plane to Vienna for 5 days of TOTAL vaca! It will be my first time to Vienna and I plan tackle the city like a traveling fool! In March, I met a handful of great guys from Vienna here on Mallorca. The plan is to ride some bikes (steal some KOMs), explore the city, and eat too much, etc.
***Click on any of the photos for full view***
My apologies for not being the best at blogging, however with the lack of good wifi it is tough. Since I last wrote I had a 10 day break and checked out Girona, Costa Brava, and Barcelona. Savvy traveler, Gretchen Heim, made her way across the pond and we tore up Catalan Country real good! Just two fun loving gals drinking cava, hiking to holy places, starting the days off right with chocolate croissants, and foraging rivers in the Fiat 500! Rumors are Gretchen may be doing a run in Italy in September…maybe a reunion on crazy times?? We’ll see what the TT schedule brings my way.
In the next 2 weeks we wrap up spring season on Mallorca with two Luxury trips, do a massive bike load (~46), take a ferry with the TT unit and head north from Barcelona to France! BAM! Making it all happen with a few days of turn around and start in on new trips in France!
Speaking of schedule and trips…get this! Living the dream continues when I get to guide the Epic Climbs of the Tour!!!! Seriously I am in HEAVEN knowing I get to ride and guide the best climbs in France during the 3rd week of the Tour de France (TdF). The trip includes climbing Alpe d’Huez, Galibier, Telegraphe, Ventoux, Tourmalet, Azet, Peyresourde and Pla d’Adet. This means we will be both in the Alps and Pyrenees. Along the way we will see TdF Stages 14 as the peloton powers over Col du Lauteret and 18 in La Mongie as the pros ascend the Col du Tourmalet. And this with a winning team of guides!
Currently between guiding Epic Climbs of the Tour (10 days) and Classic Climbs of the Tour (9 days), I have a 12-day break. My plan?? If I can swing it logically I hope to make my way to TdF finish in Paris before heading back to the Alps where I’ll camp out at our guide house/hotel, drink the normal sum of coffee, and climb daily! This being said, lots can change between now and then…
Alright so I didn’t spend my time in Vienna at a wifi café posting this blog entry…now I’m on the flight back to Mallorca so I figured I’d do a part 2 to the entry.
Vienna was wonderful! We rode everyday but one. The first day of riding was great as there were no legs and no care about crushing anything. In fact it was a guaranteed coffee and cake ride (which most are). That evening we walked around A LOT of District 1 where I proceeded to bonk hard on the way to dinner. Thankfully there was a saving waffle shop along the way
On Tuesday, I took my first voyage on the tram and train into District 6 from District 21 for a hair appointment. Boy was it an experience! Let me save EVERYONE who ever goes to Vienna 103€, VALIDATE YOUR GOD DAMN TICKET!!! Just like any other train station I had been on in the EU, I had bought my full fair ticket, got on the train in the right direction and off I went. BUT when you get off the train, randomly the train security people check tickets. No problem, I bought one….WRONG. I had to get it stamped on the way down the first staircase in the first station (which the little blue boxes were small and blocked by construction). I played every card I had trying to get out of that hefty fine and nothing worked. No girl card, no dumb American in a foreign country, not even the last resort tears warmed up their hearts. Honestly, it’s not surprising at all that stuff like that happens and although I was incredibly upset in the moment; it’s part of traveling. If something doesn’t go wrong, you’re not doing it right.
Any way the remaining 3-4 days were filled with wonderful food and company! There are a million places to eat and every time we walked (rode) away happy. I took a tour of the Opera House and went to one of the orchestras. We only stayed through Rhapsody in Blue, which was the whole reason for going. The pianist was amazing and I had forgotten just how long the compilation really is. The song reminds me of the film by Woody Allen, Manhattan…which is a great film.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was riding home over the Danube from dinner at night. It really reminded me of Minneapolis. The sunsets, the nightglow, and fresh air are always renewing. I’m also quite fond of the random ride stops or post dinner ice cream stops at the end of the night. It’s always the stuff you don’t plan that turns out the best.
If you are interested in following where I ride, connect on Strava. I have a public profile. I believe you can find me just by my name.
For photo coverage, I suggest following me on Instragram as it takes a lot of time to upload here with the hit or miss wifi. Screen Name: completerradise