Day 1: Madrid to Manzanaras de Real - Of Kasbahs and Kilts - CycleBlaze

June 13, 2015

Day 1: Madrid to Manzanaras de Real

Ive said it before of course, you never know what is going to happen on a bike trip.

I rode from Madrid to a place called Manzanaras de Real. I overstepped my bounds of course. After not sitting on a bike for three weeks I should have known better than to push it. I should have stopped in Colmenar Viejo but I read there was in alberge in Manzanara so I kept going.

An alberge is like a hostel that people who are hiking (or riding) the Camino de Santiago can stay at on the cheap. And the Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrimage route that people have been walking since ancient times. I'm not riding to Santiago but I am on a branch route called the camino de Madrid, which hooks up with the main route after about 350km.

Anyway, I read there is an alberge, and it was only 5pm so I kept going. The route was awesome, if you dont mind dirt roads, which I don't, but it was also a bit mountain bikey at times and that took some time and a lot of energy. I considered wild camping but the fencing and no trespassing signs in Spanish gave me pause. There was plenty of light so I pressed on.

By the time I got to town I was shattered but the alberge sign was right at the entrance to the town and up I went, and up, and up....

I saw 3 mountain bikers and asked if they spoke English, and then if they knew where the alberge was. It was yes to both and they pointed to the top of a climb, to a church that was said alberge but, "I don't think it is open."

The look on my face must have said it all and the seeming leader of the group said asked if I have a tent, which I do.

"Mark has his tent in my garden," he said pointing to one of his companions. "You can pitch yours there too. In fact we are fixing up our house now to turn it into a hostel."

As it happens Mark is from California and and Emilio is a civil engineer who speaks great English, as does his wife who I met when I arrived at the house.

"I lived in California for 4 years," Belen said when I commented on her excellent English, "In Sabastapol", which as it happens is 2 valleys away from me.

Emilio and Belen are living in an RV until the house is fixed up. Its gunna take some time, and a lot of work, but it will be awesome when its done. I set up my tent inside the house, under the part of the roof that didn't leak ('cause it rained last night) and it was great.

Funny how things work out, eh?

I'm not sure how I am going to feel tomorrow. I am still feeling pretty shattered, and I have a weird pain near one of my ribs that I think is a pulled muscle but not sure. We'll see.

Riding through Madrid. I can't think of an American city that would close a main road for a rollerblade race for ordinary people.
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Some of the ride after Madrid included some bike lane
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As I said the ride was beautiful. This type of road was great. I didn't take pics of the boulder area. I should have but I was trying to concentrate on not falling on my head and got distracted
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....more beautiful dirt road
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These are some of the markers along the route. Sometimes its just a yellow arrow though.
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Emilio, Mark And Belen
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The future hostel. It will be awesome when it is completed!
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I pitchedm my tent inside, which was good cause it rained most of the night.
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Today's ride: 45 miles (72 km)
Total: 110 miles (177 km)

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