Whenever we go to visit the in-laws in Cuidad Real, I try to take a bike with me because the roads are very well suited to cycling and, more importantly, are relatively flat. This time I took the triathlon bike with racing wheels to see just how fast I could go while pedalling at Half Ironman intensity. Cuidad Real is a bit of a sleepy town where people seem to fall into two categories: those who drive extremely slowly and their frustrated offspring who drive very fast in their "tuned" cars. The town planners have gone overboard with the number of traffic lights so I decided I would ignore them as, most of the time, no-one was crossing anyway. What I forgot to factor in was the chance that I might get spotted by the Police..
I set off in the direction of Toledo (pronounced "Tol-eh-do" not "Tol-ee-do"). As usual, I wasn't able to gauge whether there was a strong headwind and even the bend of the flowers and trees by the roadside gave little away. I became convinced that I was going up a long, slow hill because I was having to work quite hard to go at 32 kph. After 45 minutes going out I decided to turn around (after all, I didn't want to spend too much time away from the family and it was a reasonably intense workout) and I checked the altitude on my Garmin - 650 metres above sea level. I had confused the fact that Ciudad Real is quite flat with the misconception that it was at sea level and managed to convince myself that the way back was downhill all the way; in fact there was no downhill. Maybe there was a headwind after all because I averaged 38 kph all the way back.
Other than the final of the Eurocopa I was also very keen to find out how my friend Juan had fared in his first Ironman in Klagenfurt, Austria. From intermittent coverage by a friend of his on Facebook, it looks as though he finished which is the main thing but I am still waiting for confirmation.