Day 1

As the boat was due to dock at some unearthly hour, everybody had to be up at crack of dawn, UK time – crack of mid-morning Spanish time!! All the riders disembarked to scheduled and headed out to greet the Support Crew, who were late disembarking due to broken down car holding up proceedings. The riders negotiated with a taxi driver to take them to Bedia with the Espace following as close as they could. On reflection, it did look as though the decision not cycle out of Bilbao was a wise one.

Having arrived at Bedia and identified a suitable location to stop and prepare for the ride, all riders and support disemboweled the Espace. Having established a temporary workshop, all the Bikes were reassembled. Marko’s bike however required, inevitably, a major overhaul, though the temptation to ignore the brakes was high!

Although Marko was still in the air, having taken the plane to Bilbao, the others eventually set off at about 12:00 while Aunti G & Mummi D stayed behind to wait for Marko. Marko finally turned up at around 1.00ish and was transported to the rest of the gang who by now had moved on 20 miles, via a 1000 feet climb, to the lakes at Ubidea.  The Recce Crew now complete, they stuck true to form and took the wrong turning within 300 yards, climbed a little hill, turned right, dropped back down and rejoined the road they had left half a mile back.  In the meantime, the support crew also went wrong (almost immediately and out of sight of the riders) and overshot a critical turn. The ‘lunch stop’ was at at ZUDAIRE Mummi D & Aunti G reached it first and sat drinking enamel-stripping coffee outside, watching a lorry load of enormous pigs pull up opposite (suspicious fluids streaming out of lorry, but fortunately moved off before place was flooded). The riders caught up and  stopped for beer or two while D&G went onto LIZARRA ESTELLA and found a nice looking hotel called HOTEL YURRI. Good choice, new, clean, all amenities, and lots of other cyclists. Good evening meal (with wine!) was had by all and all retired to bed at about 22.30.

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