Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Week Leading Upto The Vince...

Lucy & I got on the ferry to Dunkirk after a long drive south and some delays due to the industrial action at Calais... hey ho... we landed in France at about 11pm, drove for a bit to clear the coast, then found a Formule 1 for 35 euros and crashed.

Next morning saw us drive the length of France to the edge of the Pyrenees, where we found abeautiful campsite on the Foix. 22 euros for both of us and the van for the night, fab place, really quiet with loads of good climbing nearby and the Col du Tourmalet just up the road. 

We had planned to get up high before crossing into Spain to get the bikes out and visit the Cirque de Garvanie, a spectacular limestone amphitheatre in the middle of the Pyrenees, which has been on the cards for me to visit for 10 years but as the Tour de France was coming through, all the roads were closed so we headed direct to Berga and the Berga Resort where the Vince was being held.

It turned out to be a proper touristy site, full of Spanish people on holiday with camper vans, caravans and the tents...  It has to be said the pool was ace and the view from the terrace where the bar was beautiful with band after band of limestone cliffs stretching into the distance.

We paid our fees until the next Monday, some 280 euros then parked up and got set up, as we walked around we bumped into a few people from various Haggs Bank bike meets and also met some lovely new folk including Mike from Kriega Equipment and a lad called Glen who were both riding in the PyreneesUp, another annual event ran alongside the Vince with the Twin Shock Trial. All three events use the same trails but in different times of the week.

It seems we were a bit of an anomaly as we had turned up early to ride several of the lanes and generally just practice navigation skills with Lucy as well as look at riding overseas, again a first for Lucy. 

The trails we rode were brilliant, really easy technically but with loads of them, so you could ride easily for 8 hours solid and just get loads of experience. The first day I did the navigation on a mix of trails I had put together on the GPS and also on the Google maps I had put together. This system worked well for me, but Lucy seemed to struggle  with the whole navigation side of things, getting quite upset and generally wound up about it. So on day 2 we decided to call it a day early only to find the KTM had a collapsed rear wheel bearing. This had the usual effect on the bike, it rode like shite, especially on tarmac, so we swapped bikes and crept back to Berga.

The evening was spent chatting all things bikes with a group of lads who had the necessary KTM bearings, they were all from Hampshire, great guys and with a few beers and the wheel stripped down we soon got it sorted with plenty of good giggles on the way.

Thursday dawned hot and sunny, another 35 + degree day, it just seemed to get hooter as the week went on, but given there were thunder storms forecast for the weekend that would fit... We decide to have a lazy day and firkle with the bikes. the KTM needed an indicator, the oil and coolant topping up, the GPS cable had blown a fuse and o course the bearings had been changed and we needed to find replacements for the boys from Hampshire, so a shopping trip ensued. The DR just needed the brakes cleaning as the sand and dust were making them squeal and the side stand needed lubing as it was a bugger to get down.

On the whole a lazy day, but the relaxation did us both good and it also meant we got to chat to more folks & catch up on a whole load of things... ace stuff

Geoff & Lee plus partners arrived on Friday afternoon, so it was straight into the Vince for them... more about that in the next post, now it's wine time!!

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