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Madrid 2 Lisbon: Day 1 - Madrid > Piedralves

Day 1 started at 4AM after 2 hours of sleep, when I decided to risk it and try to beat the storm fast approaching Madrid. Started putting the bike together in the tiny Airbnb room I managed to get the night before.

After getting some breakfast and sorting out the extra bag I had with me full of civilian clothes, I started the ride, cycling from Madrid’s Eastern side, cycling through Madrid to find any shop open on a Sunday to get a SIM card and joining the route I had planned toward the western side of Madrid.

With some mean looking clouds scattered all over the sky, I managed to stay dry most of the day, only getting hit hard by rain for 5min when I was in a highway completely exposed with no place to hide.

Due to tiredness and jet lag combined, I wasn’t able to put the power through the pedals and my concentration levels were nowhere to be found. I had planned to ride as much as possible on Day 1, seeing that I was now 2 days ahead of my initial plan and any distance travelled today would be an incredible help for the following days.

Around the 100km mark, where the mountains started I had a flat tyre. Adding that to the exhaustion I had at that point, I was dead sure to find a place to crash for the night (mind you this was only 2pm in day) and deal with the flat tyre later on that day. Ducked down a petrol station for some food and a place to sit whilst looking for accommodation nearby only to find out there was literally nothing around me (50 kms radio). The only thing I could do was to fix the tyre and ride another 40kms to one town along the route that had a place to stay the night. Whilst repairing my puncture, the skies opened up and hard hard rain fell for a few minutes. I decided to stay put and wait the rain to go away.

The last 40kms of day 1 were done at a sluggish pace, managing hard efforts and with only the goal of getting to Piedralves helping me moving the pedals.

Day 1 was done and dusted. A total of 130kms done in 5 hours with 1400 vertical metres climbed. Considering the fatigue I felt all day, I was happy with my effort and perseverance, fully aware this would help heaps in the following days.

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