Monachil Loop

Outside The Hotel GranadaLate start today, as the lads have to set their bikes up first so we don’t get away until 11.00am. The weather is good, sunny and hot but with a cool breeze.

This should be a nice warm-up day for lads, only 30 miles but with a fair bit of climbing around the middle. What could go wrong?…

We set off for the first rendevous at the reservoir  just past Pinos Genil and meet up to take some photos. All good so far, I’m enjoying this.

Except… Coxy is not the first one to get here. He’s not at the back but he’s clearly struggling. He’s been suffering from a bad chest infection for the last few weeks and it’s now taking a real toll.

He’s throwing in the towel and sensibly getting in the van. There’s a first time for everything!

Coxy in the van

The rest of the lads set off towards Guejar Sierra which is the start of the big climb and Coxy and I follow in the van.

As we get into the town, we have not yet passed any of the lads, so we aim to head towards the start of the climb. Simple enough, right?…

We follow the Sat nav through the one-way but we pretty much end up where started and try again. We just can’t find the road to the climb using either Google Maps or Garmin. WTF??!!!

After about half an hour of this farce we just pick a road a go for it. Big mistake. This road just gets narrower and narrower until we can can barely get down. But Google maps has now picked up a route that we can follow so we press on along the twisty little road.

A sharp right at the bottom of a steep descent and bang as I clip the crash barrier. Oops! Well, it shouldn’t have there in the first place!

We eventually get back to the proper route close to the summit of the climb and stop at a cafe to wait for the lads. The call comes in from John that he’s struggling so we head back down, meeting the other lads as they are coming up.

The lads notice that the van side door hasn’t been closed properly so we fix that and push on down for John. Hope we haven’t lost anything…

After we pick John up we head back to the cafe for lunch and the lads confirm that all their gear is still in the van. That’s a relief! We now all head down towards Monachil to regroup before the final few miles back to the digs.

At the summit above Monachil

On the way down we spot a couple of cyclists climbing up towards us at some speed. These guys are pros.

Turns out it’s only Tadej Pogacar, winner of the Tour de France in 2020 and 2021!

After Monachil we set off on the easy run back to the digs but meet a road block on the outskirts of Granada. We try another route but every time we try there’s another road block. WTF??!!

Round and round the city we go trying to sneak through but no luck. The hotel is very close to the Alhambra Palace… has there been some kind of incident?

Eventually we get through and we see motorcades of big-wigs coming the other way. Whatever was going on, I don’t know, but I hate that. Hold up a whole city so they can get home for tea on time. TW*TS!

Eventually we all get back to the hotel but as Coxy gets his bike out of the van he finds his bike shoes are missing. Gone! Did we lose them when he first got in the van or that dodgy side door?…

As a first day it’s… errrr…not gone too well… Let’s hope things pick up!

Lake del Genil Cenes

Ade near Pinos Genil

Marty sets off for Monachil