The Starting Pedal

Ryan -

By my own nature, yet I presume it was inherited some of it from my parents, I am a very anxious traveler.  Always thinking about the next little instance that can get set off in the wrong direction. As I expressed in my first post, everything ran crisp and we arrived at our apartment drenched in sweat/ part from the layer of dense humidity, and another form anxiety that everything actually made it and we were starting this journey.

We headed out into Lisbon in search of basically anything that would give of a sense of the country and what makes it tick before we blindly bike through the heart of it.  We did that.  Tested the food.  Seafood I cant get enough of and will try anything, same as meet until i saw the toenail of the cow or pigs foot in my bean stew, yet we ate it and actually was delicious until I saw what I was eating.

We trekked through the cobblestone hills, visited the castles, lost ourselves in the alleyways, so basically just played the tourist card and loved every minute of it.  We cooked pasta and meatballs then proceeded to go over our route for the first day of riding.

Smiles growing, a beautiful new friend takes our photo and waves us farewell as we bike on to start our journey, and to make it just perfect, the minute we left the rain started, yet it didn't wash away the grin.

The past few days in Lisbon was beautiful, and I thought “hey, we have begun this trip on a good foot, weather is great, route won’t be to hard, it’s all good.”

That night, the forecast for the next 5 days is thunder and rain, which changed the ability for us to do our original route along the coast, directing us inland and what we thought was around a lot of hilly terrain.

We woke up at 5, made breakfast, loaded our gear, changed our route, brushed our teeth, changed our route again, then clicked into our pedaled and we were on our way to Ireland. Then came the torrential down pours, through cobblestone highways and cramped streets.  When were were soaked to the bone and trying to drive our loaded bikes up these never ending hills, we were still stoked and all smiles.  We were on our way and nothing could change how excited we were.


When there wasn't rain there was fog. 

Everything was surreal, form the first 4 hours through the rain and beautiful villages, we pushed into a landscape that completely skewed every other perception I had of Europe.  I’ve had the amazing privilege to have traveled to many culturally different places, but still I felt like every turn was a new destination, a new country. 

We rode through damp forests that changed within a few miles to rolling vineyards and hills.
The route that we chose to ride was because of the weather, so we rode on riding 60 miles to Peniche, cutting through the countryside instead of the coast.  I was completely in awe and ecstatic with happiness.  Biking straight through the rain on 2 lane roads with cars brushing against us, just made us laugh because that’s all we can do.  The rain let off after a few hours and we took a water break whenever, just taking our time.  We rode for 8 hours and pedaled around 45 miles. 

It was 3 p.m., when we finally made it along the coast, and caught our first sight of the big blue. dead tired we pulled out at a cafe sitting along a sandy river mouth with fisherman dragging in their days catch.  Sat for 20 minutes, closed our eyes and knew 20 more miles wasn’t the most reasonable option.  We wanted to get to Peniche, but seriously why the rush, we are here to have an adventure, and this is where every time one of us gets stressed and tries to make a rash decision, we just remember, "It's an adventure, not a race."

Resting against the wall I looked at Keagan, we both looked at the ocean, a fisherman dragging in some octopus and haggling with a cafe owner, and just at the sand and how badly we wanted to be lying in that spot.  We didn't even have an instance to worry about where we would sleep because as I stood up to stretch I realized I was leaning on a hostel.

 An old man hunting for Octopus.

An old man hunting for Octopus.

A shared room was available, cheap, homemade breakfast, and within an instance, we threw on our trunks, and dove straight into the Atlantic.

We ended our day eating another meal to test our palettes, some more seafood, a nice cold beer or two, and the as the sun set, again we were stoked and in awe on the adventure we began.

 AMBSN trunks seen through some Zeal Optics

AMBSN trunks seen through some Zeal Optics

 AMBSN Trunks

AMBSN Trunks