Movin’ On - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

December 17, 2018

Movin’ On

The weatherman gave us a small favor today by bringing rain to Girona.  This was perfect - it let us spend a relaxed day and take our time getting ready for tomorrow morning’s flight without feeling any pressure to fit one last short ride or power walk into the day.  Rachael spent the morning at the laundromat while I went down to the bike room to begin disassembly and packing.

For lunch we did something we’ve done too little of on this tour - taken our main meal of the day in early afternoon, at a warm restaurant overlooking the river and the old city.  Midday is really the best time for the primary meal in Spain because restaurants open for dinner so late in the evening; but this late in the year the bikable day is too short to fit a meal like this in around a bike ride.

Packing the BF’s was stressful and frustrating, but at least I had the whole day to work at it.  Our new bikes are significantly harder to pack than the old ones were.  This is our third or fourth packing event with them, and they’ve all been like this.  Hopefully I’ll gradually iron this out through experience, but I’m not there yet.  There are three issues.  First, the handlebar stem is very difficult to extract for some reason.  I don’t get it - I grease it well at assembly, and in theory it should slide back out again fairly easily, but it never does.  Very stressful - I always wonder if I’ll be able to break it down.  Today, I hammered it out with a soft mallet that was in the well equipped bike room.  I have a question in to Bike Friday asking for suggestions, since presumably it’s not just me.

Then, once I manage to disassemble the bikes, I have difficulty fitting them into the suitcase.  Two things have changed from our previous bike and suitcase that make the fit harder.  On the old bikes, the handlebar split in the middle, which gave more flexibility in how to pack it.  It’s a single piece on the new bike though, and just barely fits if you get everything aligned just right.  And, Samsonite has made improvements in the suitcase design that take away some of the usable space.   In the end, everything fit, after unpacking and retrying with a different arrangement about a half dozen times.  This time, I’m taking a good set of notes on what the winning formula is.  Hopefully next time will be better.

While I finished up with the bikes, Rachael got out her notes on Taiwan and started reviewing the tour itinerary for the next six weeks.  Also, she sat around resting her foot - she’s got a quite sore, somewhat swollen large toe which she thinks stems from our long march through Barcelona.  Hopefully a few days off of her feet will promote healing.

So, we’re out of here.  We’re both ready to go, too.  The recent drop in temperature makes it easy to think of moving on.  Over lunch, we discussed how long we’ve been on the road now and the fact that we’re immediately starting on another sizable tour.  It’s a bit rushed, to be honest.  I think we’d both be just as happy to head back to Portland for a few weeks first to visit some friends, catch up on some shows we’ve missed, and stop in at our favorite cafes and restaurants.

But, that’s part of the experiment here - to see how well this really works as a lifestyle for us.  When we left home, we were both unsure whether we would even enjoy being in Europe for as long as this tour would be.  We know the answer to that question now.  Starting tomorrow, we'll start learning more about the next question.  My suspicion is that we're just experiencing transition stress, but we’ll know soon enough. 

Girona makes it just a bit easier to be leaving. This woman is a race monitor - there’s a foot race that is just winding down as we step out for lunch.
Heart 2 Comment 0
I’m sure it gets very crowded in here in season, but now I have the spacious bike room to myself. It’s nice to be able to work at this for a bit, walk away when I get too frustrated and need a break, and return later.
Heart 2 Comment 0
A great last meal: penne with mushrooms and walnuts on the left, chickpea soup on the right. And this is just the appetizer!
Heart 1 Comment 0
Even on a rainy day, Girona is a very easy city to look at.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The Eiffel Bridge, lit up for the season. Happy holidays!
Heart 2 Comment 0
Rate this entry's writing Heart 6
Comment on this entry Comment 5
david alstonScott and Rachel,
Somewhere I read: There is no hyperbole in the Alps.
Sounds like the perfect theme for your journey. Bonne continuation.
David and Maun
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8 months ago
Scott AndersonTo david alstonThanks again for following along and encouraging us, David. On to the Orient!
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8 months ago
Valter FumeroRachel and Scott,
Your blog and your connected adventures were really a great read; thank you for sharing! I was interested in it since I've been to most of the places you've visited from Trieste onwards. The only big difference is that it took us several holidays to complete it all...
When you have time, would you please let me know the most differences in blogging on CGOAB and here?

Ciao
Valter
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7 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Valter FumeroThanks again for joining us, Valter. I’m really sorry that we didn’t get a chance to visit when we were passing through your town last fall. Maybe one of these years.

I forget a bit now what it was like posting on CBOAB. It’s been over a year since I left that site. I don’t really care to go into why I left, but I definitely prefer CycleBlaze now. One obvious difference is the look and feel. I like the appearance much better, and now that I know my way around, I find it easier to use also.
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7 months ago
Carolyn van HoeveDefinitely jealous, but more than anything inspired. There is more to getting older than wasting away in front of a television. Loving your journey and looking forward to reading about Taiwan and hoping to be reading about more perfect riding days ....
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3 weeks ago