32kg of luggage is a bad idea. You have to cart it around. I'm sure that bike bag is bigger than me.
The bike survived the flight and is intact - well it was until I broke it with over-enthusiastic tightening of the stem bolts. Now fixed again after a visit to a bike shop. I set off to find said shop with my utter confidence that I can ride on the other side of the road without any problem. This was OK for about 300m and then I hit a huge roundabout. Hmm, not so easy to negotiate as it happens.
Barcelona is very cycle friendly. There's so much more acceptance of cycling here than in Sydney and so many more bikes. I've been enjoying riding around without a helmet. It's the pedestrians that need helmets I reckon! Not that I've seen any accidents I hasten to say.
But one of the downsides of cycle-friendliness and people pottering about on their bicycles is that for people in a hurry it takes ages to go anywhere on a bike! You can't ride with the traffic like you can in Sydney.
Last night I rode with a bunch of ex-pats through a ride I found on the internet. We met at a Plaza about 6km from where I am staying. My supreme confidence in my ability to navigate was undiminished by the morning experience and I set off ... just a bit late so put myself under more pressure to navigate and negotiate during rush hour.
Got there with one minute to spare to find a polyglot of cyclists and the regaling of a tale of recent accident in the bunch. Chap came around a corner up in the hills and hit a flock of goats. Got carted off in an ambulance. OK then - I'll watch out for goats!
Barcelona has a big hill right behind it and that's where we were headed up to ride leader Mike's favourite climbs. In fact it was all climbing and some of those climbs were well over 20%. I was happy to have compact cranks at this point. Fortunately I wasn't the slowest, nor was I the fastest so other people could clean up any stray goats before I got there. But you'll never know the true extent because the garmin had a conniption and kept autopausing. Mustn't like being on the other side of the world.
It's quite hard to descend on the wrong side of the road, especially when you try it at a time your body says you should be asleep. I found the right hand bends the hardest because they are suddenly tighter than I'm used to and I didn't know what to do with my knee. Curious. And a few times I wandered off to the familiar side of the road, much to the consternation of those following.
Evening rides here don't finish with coffee. They finish with beer and patatas. So we did. That I didn't get finished off on the way home although that was good luck rather than any riding skill on my part.
Fortunately the roads were relatively empty because last night, at the crazy time of 11pm, Barcelona was playing Madrid in a kind of "state of origin" game.
And because I'm reading The Secret Race, this juxtaposition of shops I saw today seemed funny. I'm not so sure what the pills they are selling in this shop are ...