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Mike's Random Thoughts From The Road #6
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i sent this one out in an e-mail entitled: Facts About Spain And Cycling Across It. i wrote this while, can you guess?, cycling across spain, so it's a bit dated since i am posting this as i sit in hong kong, but i got a great response to it so i want to share it with others who may have not received it. i actually wrote one of these for every country i cycled through and will put the rest together and post them here. maybe i should create a new section? nah, screw it - they fit under the title of random thoughts as far as i'm concerned. enjoy!
Mike's Facts About Spain And Cycling Across It

1. spanish people love to yell. so what, right? they are passionate people with strong feelings which is great. it only becomes a problem given fact #2...
2. they love to yell at me. in spanish. there are only 14 people left in spain who haven't yelled at me - i've been told they are on vacation in morocco waiting for me....as far as the "in spanish" part goes, that wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for fact #3...
3. i don't understand spanish. how you tell a spaniard that, according to lonely planet's phrasebook, is "no hablo espanol" which i said several times before learning fact #4...
4. "no hablo espanol" actually means "please keep yelling at me in spanish. i understand you perfectly and will heed your advice to become a better man. i am stupid."
5. the spanish hate bikes. in fact, i got physically tossed off a train in madrid because of my bike. this fact only really bothers me because of fact #6...
6. i have a bike with me at all times and, therefore, am continually loathed by the entire spanish populace.
7. every street in every spanish city is one-way; by one-way i mean the opposite way i am trying to go. if i want to go to a grocery store, i am out of luck riding on the street because it only leads FROM the store and it is too narrow for a car AND a bike to fit on. no big deal if it weren't for facts #8 and #9...
8. there are always 10,000 cars and trucks driving down the narrow streets of every spanish city with absolutely no room between them and the sidewalk.
9. if you ride a bike on the sidewalk of a spanish city, people yell at you. why? review facts #1 and #5.
10. spain is full of mountains. they are beautiful, but fact #11 sorta spoils them...
11. the road on every mountain in spain only goes in one direction: up. you can't go DOWN a spanish mountain, they weren't designed that way.
12. biking up mountains WITHOUT panniers (the bags that hold your stuff and hang off the side of your bike) is the easiest thing in the world - almost isn't even exercise. fact #12 is made moot by facts #13 and #14...
13. biking up mountains with panniers is the hardest thing in the world.
14. i have panniers on my bike.
15. if lance armstrong had panniers on his bike and i had none on mine, i'd beat him to the top of any spanish mountain. on a unicycle. wearing a suit of armor. juggling bowling balls.
16. for such a long trip, i hardly brought anything with me. doesn't matter though because of fact #17...
17. the weight of any item placed in a pannier is multiplied times 10. this factor increases by 2 for each mountain you plan to cycle up that day. oh crap! look at fact #10!
18. mi gusto espana! i am having a great time cycling here...it's beautiful country and the weather is flawless!
coming soon to an inbox near you: Facts About France And Cycling Across It.
keep on keepin' on,
mike
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