March 1, 2024

Day 64: Estepona (Cycle)

Firstly, I had to make an emergency van move following a mosquito invasion just as I was about to prepare the van for sleep mode last night. At that very moment I heard the distinctive buzz of mosquito flight. Obviously, this vanguard mosquito was put to death. Hoping, and working on the assumption, it was a lone wolf kind of mosquito I continued with my bedtime routine. Within a minute or so it became clear that there were others in the van, luckily I was en garde!

Eventually, having euthanised a further 4 mosquitoes, I moved from my then current location to a new current location, which remains the current location and resides adjacent to (west of) Estepona harbour.

Where I was located there was little or no wind and I'm assuming there was nearby stagnant water to harbour the mosquitoes. Moving to the seafront/beach area would result in increased wind and hopefully no resident mosquitoes. So far, that appears to be the case. However, as I write this (8.30pm) there is little or no wind, which is the first time in days!

Secondly, towards the end of today's ride I thought that yet again I would not exceed 3,000 metres of total ascent, even though ridewithgps (route planning app) was offering a total ascent of 3,400 metres and, the garmin (navigational aid) indicated 3,518 metres of ascent (which is based on some secret formula that identifies a climb based on change in gradient and length of climb - accordingly the garmin prediction should underestimate the total ascent because it ignores shorter steep climbs and longer shallower inclines)!

Anyhow, by the time I'd completed the allotted garmin climbs, the garmin was offering, at that point, a total ascent of about 2,800 metres. However, I still had about 15 kilometres to go - could there be some additional ascent hidden in the final run in? Given that I was at an elevation of about 415 metres (giving an average descending gradient of about 2.8%) I was doubtful.

Well, as I reached 100 kilometres, the garmin was still indicating a total ascent below 3,000 metres! However, by the time I got back to the van (kilometre 104 I'd smashed through the 3,000 metre barrier with an accumulated ascent of 3,011 metres!! (I could have summarised all of that in 3 words - but where's the fun in that!).

Now, I think I may have helped my cause during this run in by slowing down at the bottom of sections of descent where I could see there was clearly an ascent to follow. This allowed the garmin to "catch up" and register the climb - often when cycling fast down a descent and entering into a climb, it takes time for the garmin to register that you are climbing again. So at the expense of extending the effective climb I lengthened the time spent cycling - all because of a stupid number that, without a shadow of doubt, I've not exceeded by the margin of error of the measurement - all rather pathetic really!! So it goes, in the life of an old aged idiot cyclist!

Finally, I would say that this is mostly an excellent route, just the section towards the end, which I used in order to avoid the main road, wasn't much fun but, that could be cured through a resurfacing of the road! Otherwise, a great day on the bike.

It started with a climb from just a little above sea level to an elevation of 1,448 metres. These photos were taken on the climb:
Gibraltar can be seen!

There once was a time when I couldn't stop on a climb - it felt like resting/cheating and, as such, meant that you hadn't climbed it as it should be climbed, i.e., in a oner! Fortunately, I've finally grown at of that phase, and stopping for photos is now permitted!

After a long descent, which I neglected to stop on to photograph the mountain pass! and some more climbing and descending, I passed through a fair few "Pueblos Blancos", for example:

I did manage to stop and get this sign:

  • Distance driven: 1 mile (mosquito move!)
  • Distance cycled: 104 kilometres
  • Mosquito deaths: 5
  • Current mosquito bites: 2
  • Weather: Not so windy; sunny; cold descending in morning; T about 12°C AM, low twenties PM
  • Location: Google Maps

Today's route: