Madrid 2 Lisbon: Day 2 - Piedralves > Casas de Cáceres
Big day on the bike. Woke up fresh and alert, with a terrific weather forecast for the day and legs feeling great in spite of the previous day ride.
Set off early in the day with no clear idea of where I was going to be able to reach today. My only plan was to ride as far as I could.
The day started off great with a super fast 140kms with not a lot of climbing. I was feeling great and despite some warm period of the day, my performance was very consistent.
After 3PM, the clouds went away and the sun made my life that much harder. I was dealing with 38 degrees temperature, hardly any wind and riding in fairly remote areas with no food or water supply. Things turned bad around 5PM, when both my water bottles were too hot to drink from, I had run out of food and was sitting at the base of Pico de Miravete, a 400 vertical metres climb over 8kms or so. I hid under a small tree for 30min or so, trying to cool down my body temperature and focus on what I had to do to get out of there. The climb wasn’t particularly hard but the hot sun and the already 140kms on my legs weren’t helping the whole situation. After a sluggish uphill effort I was now looking at the map and running numbers in my head to see where I could ride to before the sun goes down. Casas de Caceres was just 80kms down the road and seemed possible at that time to get that just before the sunset. There was no time to waste and I now had a clear objective in mind. Riding alongside farms and lonesome roads, I did a final stop for water and food in Monroy. I sat down for less than 5min, when I saw ominous looking clouds fast approaching my location, full of rain and wind. No time to lose, jump on the bike and lets get going before the rain hit.
The last 40kms from Monroy to Casas de Caceres were an absolute TT with me looking over my shoulder to check the rain clouds chasing me. At one point, maybe 10/15kms away from Casas de Caceres, I had storm clouds full of rain, lightning and wind to my right, rear and left, with the tiniest of blue sky just above me. That was no time to stop and marvel at my fortune. I was cycling away from the rain as fast as I could. About 2kms away from Casas de Caceres the rain finally caught up with me, drenching me from top to bottom. Didn’t matter, I had cycled 240kms on this second day and was truly excited with my progress on this ride so far.