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Old 04-22-2013, 02:16 PM   #44
pip_muenster OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Oddometer: 478

The proposed route to Ronda was perfect for riding, not too much traffic and hundreds of tight turns. Usually the vegetation didn't allow to see far through the corner which made it even more interesting for me. I grew up with roads like this (or narrower) and I love it.
You can tell it's a great biking road by the extra boards at the bottom of the guard rail. It's there to protect bikers from the sharp edges of the pillars holding the rail itself. The pillar's sharp edges are known to cause severe injuries up to decapitation, so after a few accidents someone will finally decide to put up the extra boards ...
I know that in Germany, the car and bike clubs had proposed extra padding decades ago. There had been 2 manufacturers, and the government couldn't decide for which one to go. Maybe some issues with certification and liability added to the story - and in the end, they were never officially issued. Nowadays many guard rails have this padding, but as far as I know they were ALL paid for by private clubs or donations.

No idea how this is handled in Spain.

At some point I decided to turn left onto a smaller road with broken tarmac which was even more twisty. But about a minute later it became clear that I was heading directly into dark black rainclouds. The road was already wet with potholes and lots of dirt on it, and I had to go very slowly as the knobby tires were sliding all over the place. There was not much fun to it, so I decided to go back to the main road.

That too was wet and dirty, and at some point I even saw some oily rainbow colors on the asphalt. The mountains opened up, and I figured that I wouldn't be able to avoid the rain. I had just passed by a couple of bikers standing next to gray GSes with red dots on their windscreens, probably rental bikes. So I decided to go back, have a chat with them and put on my rain coverall.

They were German like me and greeted me asking whether I had made it safely through the last corners. It turned out that the road had been dry when they came through, so they had no chance to see the oil, and they had both lowsided and crashed into the guard rails. Luckily there were no injuries and just some scratches on the bikes.
With my slippery tires I had barely noticed the difference between wet and oily ...

By the time I had my raingear on, the rain stopped. It was also a good thermal insulation, so I didn't care. I followed the road to Antequera which was still great riding.

The sun came out just in time for lunch break and I turned onto a dirt road to have some bread, cheese and Chorizo sausage in the fields. My new companion seems to enjoy hanging on to the GPS mount for its life. It also got a bit of a 'stormy haircut'. (That's supposed to be a camel, by the way.)

I made it to Granada where I arrived cold, wet and hungry, so I just got into the first affordable hotel I could find. The room looked like a dripstone cave with all my gear handing around to dry.
Reports: Nordkapp - Mt. St. Helen - Black Sea - Iceland - Morocco - Balkan

pip_muenster screwed with this post 12-29-2014 at 02:18 PM
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