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Montes de Málaga – The Ride Part 1 of 2

0 Comments 13 December 2010

So after 5 days of bike rental hunting (see my previous post) my quest came to an end and I experienced the saddle feeling again. 5 kilometers east of Malaga, after a nice morning walk next to the Mediterranean, I was welcomed at the Recyclo Bike Shop by one of the owners and a true bike gentlemen, Greg. Two local young champs were waiting for their companion to start their training ride – Greg suggested I’d join them which I politely declined after making a quick calculation combining track and distance. I opted for an aluminum Focus road bike with an SRAM Rival group – needles to say, the bike was in perfect condition. After 5 kilometers I got used to the doubletap shifting with the SRAM shifters – always fun when shifters do the opposite of what you want them to do.

My companion for the day

Greg gave me some suggestions and in the end I opted for a ride towards Colmenar, turning towards the West and biking around the Nature reserve of the Montes Malaga – 80 to 90 km depending on the exact selection of roads. After a 3 km warm up East wards I took a turn towards Olias for the first 10 km of climbing up to around 500m. Nice roads, not too many cars and an occasional view on the Mediterranean. After 2 km it was clear: earwarmers, windstopper and gloves were no longer needed – it’s Anadalucia dude!

A short descent into town and direction Puerto del Leon via Puerto de la Bolina – another 10 km up to around 1000m with a nasty part of 14% just out of town (you got that right Greg). Once up there you get a beautiful view on the valley on the right and the Nature Park on the left while you stay a few kilometers on the plateau crossing several other cyclists and mountain-bikers. Descending from the highest point it’s 4 km racing cars and motorbikes in the downhill to grab lunch in the village of Colmenar.

View from the Puerto de la Bolina

On arrival in the village, watching around for a place to eat and distracted by glancing at the local church (damn Catholics), I didn’t notice the iron roster in front of me and hit it full on partly blocking my front wheel. And yes, I heard the infamous deflating sound and mumbled the words qualifying for a Parental Advisory sticker. Good bikers come prepared so while eating I checked the tire, replaced the tube and tried to get at least 5 to 6 bar pressure inside. On the bike to Villanueva!

Not really pleased with the pressure inside the tire I decided to put in some more air, start pumping, and then in a split second you know it’s going wrong. The inside of my pump gives in and in the process deflates the inner tube again, another attempt but no I am officially holding on to, after 3 years of service, a worthless piece of aluminum …

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Maarten is an avid road and mountain biker who lives and breathes everything rolling on two wheels. You can follow his rantings on Twitter by looking for @maapathel.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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