Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ride #2 and I miss my home brew

For my second ride in Rio, I tried to get up early and meet Walter's bunch again, this time at one of the local gyms in Barra da Tijuca, Academia da Praia. I didn't make it and I don't know if it even happened because we had a fair bit of rain overnight. I think the poor road conditions prevent riders getting out in the rain because it is too hard to spot potholes when the roads get flooded.

I decided to get out later in the morning, in nice weather, and head south on one of my surfing-days routes, which took me to a small uncrowded beach - on week days only - surrounded by coastal forest and considered one of the real jewels of Rio de Janeiro's numerous beaches, named Prainha.

The ride was partially on the road and partially on bikepaths along the beach. The bikepaths covered most of the route but are shared with other non-cycling users making them unsuitable for training but great for cruising and absorving a bit of the beach coulture and admiring the beauty of Rio's coastline and. Just what I need right now!!

Barra Beach to Prainha Beach - 21 km.

I am really glad I did this ride, which brought back memories of great times and great friends as well. The only thing I missed was a good cup of Brazilian coffee by the sea at Prainha Beach, believe it or not...

Time: 1 h 55 min
Dist: 42.5 km
Asce: 176 m

Ate mais!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Riding old roads of Rio

After two or three great days in Rio, mainly catching up with family and friends, enjoying the beach and (lots of) the colourful and delicious Brazilian cuisine, I managed to get out for runs on the beach. I felt I was starting to need it...

It wasn't the best idea because later I was to re-discover the awkwardness of trying to move around with sore everything made of muscle fibres in the lower parts of my body. That's how it felt but I had to do it... But luck came along and a cousin offered me his bike and put me in touch with a few of his friends who are part of a cycling group affiliated to a colourful figura, coach Walter Tuche.

Coincidentally, a ride had been organised and I was kindly invited to come along. The course? Barra to Cristo Redentor, a 30 km ride (I am guessing here), on some very old roads, over a very hilly terrain (I am understating it here) and through beautiful rainforest for most of the time...

The ride was fantastic. With only a small group turning up, probably due to a down pour early in the morning, we started it with a climb straight away followed by more climbing and more climbing until we got to our turn around point, the base of the Cristo Redentor statue.

Sorry, I won't put too many details of the ride here. I will post the photographs which I believe can give a much better idea of what is like to ride a few of Rio de Janeiro's old roads. And sorry I don't have any photos of the statue itself, we were in the clouds by the time we arrived at the top.

early morning weather

my starter

early climb

more climbs...

and one more

nearing the first lookout

first two to the lookout

and the view

Gavea rock

more rain forest

second lookout

the view

and more views

the park entrance

two groups meet

Ipanema islands

bike path to get home

small, clean surf


some of Rio homes

Time: 2 h 56 min
Dist: 55.5 km
Asce: 1245 m

And, it is also about the bike, a classic bike...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A quiet... escape!

I had to keep it a little quiet on the travel venture thing because I wanted it to be a surprise for my folks and my mother happens to be a regular reader of this blog... Aren't mums supportive, no matter what?

Anyhow, Toby and I made it to Rio once again. This time, we will be staying for the Christmas and NY festivities, a first time for Toby and my first in twenty-something years.

The bike didn't make the trip this time but I did pack some riding gear, my shoes and pedals and I am hoping to borrow a bike and do one or two rides while I am here. In fact, I remember driving up this beautiful road that took us to the small town of Teresopolis, 100 km or so from Rio and 871 m above sea level, where we spent long weekends and summer holidays. Perhaps I will get to ride it up this time.

Time to try to get a little sleep, three hours is just not going to be enough for what we have (kind of) planned for this hot summer day which is about to begin in Rio...

Groover, saudades!

6 am, Rio

Ate mais!

Friday, December 10, 2010

My 2010 Tour of Bright result

Firstly, I must apologise to everyone for not coming here and posting my potentially massive, and exultant, race report for the Tour of Bright. It was a busy and long weekend, not just with the race but with the travelling there and back, which has now merged with a week of work and rushed preparations for a travel venture.

Bright and Mt Hotham? It was joyful, it was eye openning, it was hard, it was painful, it was overwhelming and it was extremelly rewarding. I went there hoping to make it to the top of the mountain and I went there dreaming of finishing in the top ten.

Stage 1 - Tawonga Gap : 5th

Stage 3 - Mt Hotham Climb: 9th

And... I did just that.

GC Result: 8th (+9 min 20 sec)

A big thank you to everyone who pushed me all the way to the top of this mountain.


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