We have had fantastic weather lately and it has been a very dry year. Perfect for riding but the ground needed some water to bind the dust. During windy days the the sand swirled around like in a sandstorm. So I was up for rain, but any other day then this Wednesday. With a forecast for heavy rain and possibility snow it was highly unfortunate that I just had to ride to work to make the logistics work. With an doctors appointment in the morning and physiotherapist in the evening and work in between I just had to ride to make ends meet. It’s under these circumstances that people think that I’m hard core, or possibly just an idiot.
Fortunately the nice weather came back and during the weekend I’ve done some really nice riding. I checked out the water reservoir at El Atazar to confirm my belief that the water level is really low.
On the road I saw a shepherd leading his flock of sheep across the road. So exotic, reminds me of New Zealand, the only other country I seen this happen and my favourite country for riding.
I did some riding in, a for me new area, today and discovered a new favourite road. M-204 between Alcalá de Henares and Chinchón. I wasn’t even supposed to be there to begin with but I took the wrong turn somewhere and just loved it. I think I will wait a bit longer with buying an GPS, crappy map reading skills has advantages, especially on lazy Sunday rides.
Today has been a truly wonderful day! Blue sky and sunshine which a temperature just perfect for riding. The mission for today was pure pleasure and the aim was Avila. While there, I wanted to take a nice picture of my Ducati and the walls. It is a new idea I have – to snap pictures of my bike with classical backgrounds 🙂 And Avila is one of my favourite locations and the wall is easier to photograph than the aqueduct in Segovia.
I wasn’t bothered by the police this time, just a friendly Spaniard who wanted to chitchat, but it did scare me when I heard his voice behind me while snapping photos.
When returning, I choose road AV-503 which is possibly my overall favourite road around here. The view is absolutely breathtaking and no photos can ever capture the greatness of the landscape. But off course I tried.
So, if today’s ride was pure pleasure yesterday’s was a bit more duty filled. I had prepared to go and see four motorcycle shops in the centre. In between getting lost I managed to find two of them. At the first they didn’t actually have anything in the shop that I was interested in. I don’t know how that works since there was adds on the internet with bikes I wanted to see. But anyway, the sales agent was very nice and we talked about what I was interested in. Then he looked at my bike, put down the details and was going to contact me if he found something.
Next place was a totally different experience. The sales agent was not especially nice at all. He looked and sniffed all over my bike. I was wondering if he had a special gift or just a runny nose but I couldn’t really ask. After the inspection, he asked how much I wanted and looked on the computer for something secret and then gave me a shameful bid. And it wasn’t even permanent because someone else, who didn’t work today would have to do a more detailed check. After this he didn’t bring the conversation further regarding the bikes that interested me, there was both Kawasaki Versys and BMW’s in the shop. So, I thanked him and left, and I still haven’t figured out if he offered so little because Ducatis are not a brand they really want or because I’m female and/or a foreigner who speak poor Spanish.
So, I haven’t come very far in my practical attempts. But I have done a fair bit of reading on the internet and compared the detailed of the different bikes on my list. Theoretically, it all boils down to three bikes to consider further. The F 650 GS from BMW, the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Suzuki V-strom 650. In this lot the Suzuki might be a bit clumsy. There have been modifications done lately, but I’m not going to buy the latest model. The Kawasaki will have to be year 2010 or 2011, since earlier models have complains about vibrations that were apparently taken care of. The negative side for the Versys is the top case and panniers, they are only available in plastic and no aluminium square cases that I so dearly want. For the BMW I have not found any year specific changes but I will look into that further. Unfortunately, I have not even sat on a Versy or a GS which I really need to do soon, and I hope to be able to ride them to. Well I was prepared for this to take time, and so it will.
Having the benefit of living in Spain with possibilities to ride all year round is something I am very pleased with indeed. That is why I’m mentioning it so often. Unfortunately, riding somewhere nice often means going up in the mountains, and there, of course, it is colder. Today, I took my Ducati up north to Puebla de la Sierra, a tiny but nice old mountain village. And it was cold.
The road there was taking me through some wild areas and the landscape, well it speaks for itself doesn’t it.
Far, far away I could see the four towers of Chamartin conecting me with civilisation. My camera is not good enough to capture them though.
Nature out here is raw and unforgiving. So is the road, I had to go very slow. Fortunately on the other side of the village the road was much better and the vievs splendid. If it hadn’t been for tha rain of course.
Being used to solo riding I was delighted when a friend suggested that we could meet in this village for lunch. When I ride on my own I tend not to stop for food. Those who have followed my blog know all about that of course. But today we had traditional Spanish Sunday lunch and it was awesome. Not as much the food as the company, and I was almost persuaded to buy an BMW. Well, I’ll come along to the shop and we will see what happens.
After lunch it was a cold and rainy return home. Yesterday my bike was newly washed and polished, today the Ducati is dirty again. Everything is temporary, fortunately also the rain.