The bottom’s dropped out the bracket!

Day 2: I wake at 06:30 to a mist over the surrounding hills and birdsong. After a night of waking repeatedly and suddenly realising where I am, I’ve not rested well and I can tell by the lack of energy.

After 30 mins of panic and having to regain control of myself, I decide to scrap the planned route and get to the nearest road—the N230—and head for Viseu where I can rest properly and re-assess. 45 mins in 22°C heat allows me to descend precarious tracks to the road where I’m so glad to head off on tarmac!

After a few miles my bottom bracket is making noise again so I decide to investigate where I notice it’s moving laterally—ever so slight—but that shouldn’t happen! It’s time to get my hands dirty:

Top: roadside learn-while-you-fix. Bottom left: happy I’ve done it! Bottom right: the best compact bike tool in the world!

Yep, that’s me happy as pants because I fixed it myself and learnt how to set this beast up by correctly by the roadside—better than the guy at the shop!!! Typical.

The day disappeared fast so I decide to camp down in an abandoned hotel:

This was a spooky stay—good job I used mindfulness to see past what my imagination had lying in wait! I woke not in pieces and Halloween’s Jason didn’t show up! The Om symbol was painted on the wall of the room I stayed in — good universe vibes maybe?

In the morning, I pack up and head for Viseu, 20 miles away. By sheer luck I come across a dedicated bike road that was converted from an old rail track—I was told about this by staff at a previous hostel. This made the remaining miles sublime with some gorgeous views. Two points worth a mention are the old rail bridge which was metal grid on both the sides and the floor—quite in-nerving whenever I looked down as I could see right through, I even checked that my pockets were ok! The other was the old Torredeita rail station. The buildings had been left as though the previous occupants had simply walked away! Also an old engine and carriages are abandoned with vandals taking their toll—quite sad, but I enjoyed the close inspection.

Above 1: loving the ride ahead. 2: the old track cutting through the rock. 3: that bridge with the gridded floor. Bottom 1: the old train—awesome but slowly being vandalised. 2: in the drivers cabin. 3: inside the station building—strangely abandoned.

I finally made it to Viseu. It’s definitely time to consider the train or bus for future sections. I’m noticing my recovery isn’t so good and sourcing food for a Coeliac in the smaller towns is proving more difficult. I also have a suspicion that some of the food isn’t gluten free and my requirements are being lost in translation when I query things! We’ll see…

10 thoughts on “The bottom’s dropped out the bracket!

  1. Getting your carb-fat-protein balance right is always tricky, especially when you’re on the road. Listen to your body for a couple of days. Hang in there!

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      1. If you’re not already, have you considered making up some “trail mix”; dried fruit, nuts, seeds, M&Ms, etc. It can be a little bland, and it’s not necessarily the cheapest, but it’s a great source of essential fats and protein – which is exactly what your body needs for a prolonged, multi-week, period of exercise. Get hold of some electrolyte and protein powder too if you can find a health / cycling shop. Super lightweight and, again, just what your body will be craving. The best thing about trail mix is you can graze on it throughout the day as opposed to stopping and cooking a more formal meal. Probably teaching you to suck eggs, but it worked for me on TA.

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    1. Oh dear lord! No wonder I wasn’t scared then because when I called out his name—which I thought was the right one—he said in a muffled tone “…wrong f’in film…”, then ran off!

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  2. You have the luxury of no time limits to your journey. Take some time out to get back to 100%, as long as it takes. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

    That abandoned hotel looked great!

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