Cycling holiday or family holiday in Spain?
Holiday in Spain.
It is at the end of May when friends of ours come from the Netherlands arrive at our plot to stay with their camper. This time he doesn´t have to rent a bicycle yet because they brought their own city bikes as well and of course his road bike. With the family consisting of husband, wife and small child, they drove through France in 2.5 days with their camper. When they arrive at us on Sunday afternoon, the joy about the reunion is clearly present on both sides after so many years. The man – lets call him R for convenience – is an enthusiastic amateur cyclist. He came to Spain to enjoy a nice cycling holiday. Or will it be a family holiday after all?
After they have connected the camper to the necessary facilities, we install ourselves with a snack and a drink by the pool. It is really wonderful at the end of May. R can finally relax a bit and is immediately enchanted by the view of the mountains. You can see them so beautifully from here. The Puig Campana, León Dormido and the Sierra Bernia are shining in the afternoon sun. And those are not even the mountains that most bikers get excited about.
R is so enthusiastic that he immediately immerses himself in the various routes offered by the Unión ciclista Benidorm. They which are displayed in an extremely handy booklet. Since it is mainly flat in the Netherlands, R decides to start carefully the next morning. Immediately after breakfast with his wife and 3-year-old daughter, he leaves to take on the first challenge of cycling in Spain. With a big smile and an already clear brown color he returns just after noon. He didn´t get tired from his ride to Guadalest and surroundings. The first day was easy. With a lot of passion he tells his wife where he has been. Later on he hears how she spent the morning enjoying the little one.
Since we have kept the Tuesday free for nice things together, R leaves the next morning early enough to be back in time for some relaxation with the family and us. Even more tanned than the day before, R returns to the swimming pool. Quickly refreshes himself with a dip in the pool. R has the idea that Wednesday will be D-day and he wants to ride the Coll de Rates. The question is whether we can start exploring the route in the afternoon.
We first drive to the beautiful Font d’Algar. The waterfalls here in the region are far in the periphery of the Costa Blanca and abroad known to both the Spaniards and the tourists. Even for those who do not like the cold water, the environment is inspiring to visit. While exploring the route we notice that R is impressed by the climb that awaits him. But soon the slight doubt arises for not being able to wait – or is it true that he hardly can wait for another highlight of this holiday?
One of the best and nicest pizzerias in the area is located in the so-called Casco Antiguo in Altea. The pizza served there is the best pizza, says R, which he has eaten in years! Since daughter is only 3 and tired after so many efforts and also R needs to be on time to bed to be prepared for the Coll de Rates, we return early to our wonderful home.
Finally, one of the most beautiful climbs in Spain
The day has arrived! R seems to see a little bit white round the nose on departure. His wife and we are also curious how it will go today. An ultimate challenge for so many cyclists. Apparently we have not yet estimated the bike capabilities of R high enough. Much earlier than expected, he returns to the camper. With a smile as wide as even Michael Boogerd had when he was winning at the Alpe d’Huzes, he came knocking down smoothly. What a pleasure to see, that a bike lover is so happy, tired but also relaxed after such a heavy ascent. The rest of the afternoon they spend together at the beach, the ice cream shop and the playground not far from here. What a great day for the whole family.
One more time enjoying together
Unfortunately, everything comes to an end and because it is the last day that R can cycle, his wife and I decide to go to the beach with the little girl. We have been colleagues for a long time in Holland and still are close friends. We enjoy the sun, a terrace and an ice cream. In the meantime, R is cycling for the last time this holiday through the Spanish mountains.
Good advice is priceless
A few months later we call R to obtain information, what he thinks is important in a good rental road bike (if he would not take it with the camper). We talk about the start of our company and that we are thinking about renting bicycles with Di2. Shifting with a simple click of your finger, that would be ideal in the mountains here. He says he would like to try it if you would come back here. So we say: DEAL! Come here to test this bike, BUT only if you take your family and camper again! See you soon?