Sunday, 6 November 2011

some culture in Catalonia

with it being ealry November and me having a fairly crippling spinal injury (not to make light of those with really crippling spinal injuries, thats like calling a cold cancer) I've not been doing much bicycling recently. After a bit of time in the UK after Tobago i'm now back to Catalonia. my favourite place in the world. I always miss it when i'm gone and nothing feels as good as driving through those big roman pillars and leaving France (even though technically i'm already in Catalonia before then).

With the dirth of lycra time i've been getting in some other activities. to keep myself from turning into a ten ton monster i've been indulging my tight clothing fetish in the water. As i mentioned in a previous post swimming is straight up boring but i have discovered that this only applies to pool swimming. you see pool swimming is to sea swimming as turbo trianer is to cyclocross. once i found this out I embrocated up (yes i really did) and nipped out into the sea. I think the fact i decided to sport compression tights for warmth may have caused a few odd looks (along with the inevitable omnipod stares) but i've never been one to let that bother me and swimming in the sea was fun, just one caveat. when you're really tired, the waves DO NOT carry you in, so you get the interesting additio of a "life or death" interval as your final effort - perhaps unwise given my past history of unfortunate mishaps.

Fortunatley I was joined for a week by my friend, super soigneur (and as i turns out talented speed-reader) Emily Baker . i like having people to show around my little town and especially when i havent got much else to do i enjoy seeing the sights and visiting all the cultural installations that Tarragona has to offer. A trip to the roman ruins was particulairly fun, i posted abotu a million pictures (like a real british holidaymaker) on google + for anyone interested.

We also took the chance to go and watch a local castellers competition (which we missed by a slight margin of 8 hours, arse, but fortunatley we watched a live video on the local tv station). This is another of those peculiar catalan traditions which looks bizzare to anyone who doesn't "get it" i mean grown men forming a huge human tower, which a small child then climbs up. It's not safe and it doesn't really achieve anything - but then neither does bicycle racing. It's a tremendous feat of organisation and strength and isn't without its dangers (someone died in 2006).

I've also been back to uni, studying for a term at the Universitat Ramon Lull in Barcelona and reading ridiculous amounts about Catalan Sport in the 1930s. While in Barcelona i always take the opportunity to pick up some beer, i'm thinking of posting a beer review blog soon. Although i'm pretty sure you can't get any of them outside of catalonia.

other than that i've been pounding the keyboard trying to sort out sponsors for next year, which isn't proving easy. the economy really seems to have hit rock bottom in the us and purse strings are being tightened. The prospect of being without equipment sponsors next ear is pretty worrying but i'll keep trying, i want to work with companies ia m proud to be associated withand i feel that in the long run that approach will pay dividends.

so ciao for now, i'm off to drink more beer and do more begging!

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