Sunday, October 30, 2022

An Epic E-Bike Eclipse Excursion in Espana?

 For the past couple of years I've had my mind on a possible adventure on the continent - more specifically I've been looking at the prospects of travelling a route along the ancient pilgrim trails that lead to Santiago de Compostela. In short I'm aiming to do the Camino de Santiago or in English, the Way of St. James.

The Camino in case you didn't know is a network of pilgrimage trails that leade to a church in northwest Spain. It has been a journey (I wouldn't call it a destination, as any person with an ounce of spiritual enlightenment will tel you that pilgramage is never solely about the destination), since medieval times. However here in the uk, it has found a new lease of life since the Camino adventures of some celebrities have been televised on the BBC, and even more recently the former children's TV presenter and accompilshed artist -Timmy Mallett, went on his own Camino and documented it in his book. You can read about it and his motivations behind his pilgrimage briefly on his website, or even better buy his book and get the full "Utterly Brilliant" lowdown. It is Timmy's journey that has provided me with a lot of my recent drive,,, largely because he used an E-Bike and as I'm not the most active person (at present), and if my current plan bears fruit, I'll be off on my intended journey in the height of summer... and as we have seen this year the climate in Europe in August has proven to be capable of being deadly. I have had to conclude that to avoid becoming barbecued and dessicated, I'll need to make my own journey a two wheeled one.

So why do I want to go in August when the height of Camino seasons tend to be in May and October?

Well, my plan is to travel on the Camino in 2026, because this is a year of total eclipse. It will also be in the week of my late father's 86th birthday and 30th year in my employment in my current job (in fact fate has so far been kind to me in my planning as the days of annual leave entitlement I have accumulated due to COVID lockdowns in the past two years have led me to having so many that I have been afforded the opportunity to use them in a one-off sabbatical (which is kind of fitting, given the old tradition that a 30th year in employment somewhere is something to celebrate).

However I'll obviously need to make preparations.

Where am I going to start; how long will it take to get there and back again; where will I stay; what budget shall I set for an appropriate bike; what spec will I need; finally, how should I go about training (terrain and length of bike journeys preceding to increase fitness and route readiness?

All of these questions and more, I hope to explore in the months and years leading up to what I hope will by *my* Camino.

Watch this space.

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