The story begins with the lord of the forest
Better late than never. And since I am going to repeat the Basajaun, making this reminder post gives me ENERGY to know that I CAN once again.
Basajaun is the lord of the forest, an ancient wildlife preservation myth.
The name caught my attention, the area where the test would take place, in the north of Spain and meeting the organizers, I knew that the adventure would be guaranteed... the harshness was clear... and the good atmosphere would undoubtedly be the icing on the cake.
VITORIA - VITORIA 785km and 17,000m
As equipment, I decided to take my cross country bike, a Specialized Epic. I didn't know much about the terrain... and I decided to play it safe, looking for comfort.
This time I decided to be more minimalist and chose;
As a race strategy..... this time trying to sleep less and pedal more hours. Go out the first stage up to the maximum km and see if my body could hold up sleeping less…
When I saw the whole route on the map.., I realized what a spectacular route I was prepared for. The excitement of discovering so many places gave me the maximum strength to be there on July 30, 2022 at 8:00 a.m. at the start.
At the start I met several women, one of them Tami, a fellow racer in the Andean Raid of Peru, a great competitor and favorite in the final classification .-)
We all started with the illusion of so many km ahead.
And what a way to start... after a few km the valves core wheel begins to lose air... I stop and inflate with the air pump, like this for many km. I don't carry a shift valves (I'll never forget to carry one again...) my spare camera doesn't have a valve... I'm hallucinating... I carry all kinds of spare parts, tools, even a derailleur hanger..... everything and I DON'T CARRY VALVE!!!
I don't want to ask anyone for a valve, especially if he's going solo... but finally a group of 3 colleagues offered me the valve. THANKS to Fernando Noblejas we fixed it and keep going!!
Already in the race I had nothing more mechanical - All great!
Vitoria - Lintzoain 191,24km 3.757m 11:58h - 14:34h totally
7:30h My first stage was wonderful, my goal was to pedal as many hours as possible, and that's how it was. The spectacular route, landscapes, forests in Urbasa, approaching Pamplona, Huarte and sharing sections of the road from Camino de Santiago to Roncesvalles.
A wonderful sunset appeared around 9:15 p.m. and my legs still wanted to continue.
I shared a few km with 2 cyclists until I reached Lintzoain and here at night I decided to stop to sleep on a fronton court (Basque ball) where there were more cyclists. I met Joaquin and decided to rest. That if... my goal was to sleep 3/4 hours to test my body and see how it responded....
Lintzoain - Lumbier 118,11km 2.808m 9:30h 17:13h totally
2:58h The experiment of sleeping few hours….
At 2am I heard a couple of cyclists… and decided to get up.
At night the kilometers go by quickly, cause you have no visual reference, but for other hand…you lose the views and landscape.
I know that I was riding along the Camino de Santiago towards Roncesvalles uphill. I decided to stop under the starry night, ate something and continued.
I couldn't see the landscape after reaching the Azpegi pass, all those roads with spectacular scenery that I've seen in other photos. Although I could see and carry :-) along the cow paths where we go down towards the Irabia Reservoir and the entrance to Irati.
Between the fog and a group of cyclists that I found, where a friend from Badlands was Pillu, we were sensing the way...
In the Irabia Reservoir we climbed some stairs and entered Irati, dawn greeted us with a spectacular brilliance among nature, along a magical path although difficult to pedal.
We went out to the road that would take us to crown Tapla after about 13km approx. It's amazing to get to Tapla at 9:38 a.m. and I feel happy.
But tiredness, heat... and sleep will come.
Now yes, there is a long and rocky descent to Villanueva, where I decide to continue and reach Eibar.
I'm hungry!!! I see a cyclist and the organization in a supermarket. All the ones that have passed have
destroyed the shelves, but there is still some left :-)
I go solo again and port begins... hard and under the heat.
Above a water source where there are more cyclists getting water and soaking.
I keep going downhill and I can't take it anymore, I have to stop and rest in the shade, maybe get some sleep. And so it is.
1 hour rest to continue along roads with the sun at the back, ports and windmills.
Near Lumbier I decide to stop at the campsite, a good shower and food will help me to recover well from this experiment of little sleep...
An English cyclist signs up for the stop, and after we arrive more cyclists are arriving.
Lumbier - Arnedo 187 km 2.285 m 11:38h 18:26h totally
5:04h A little more rested, we continue the adventure…
This stage would have several objectives, go up to Ujué, pass the Bardenas Reales and continue until the body or the head says, enough.
The exit from Lumbier is beautiful, along (Foz de Lumbier) a canyon carved out by the Irati river. Amazing.
Arriving to Ujué I meet Sergi and we join the adventure, he is looking forward to finding a coffe.
Km by km we are finding more cyclists and we form a very fun group. We arrived together at the Bardenas desert and we all managed to cross it as a team, stopping in the few trees we found to shelter from the scorching sun and eat something.
Lucky to form such a fun group of good people and share so many km together.
Arguedas arrival is like a miracle, we sweep the bar with drinks, food. There are several cyclists resting in the shade, the heat is intense.
I'm going to wait a couple of hours for the temperature to drop.
We continue with Sergi towards Calahorra and around 10:50 p.m. we decide to have dinner in Arnedo and sleep in a hotel!
Today yes!!!! bed and shower.
Arnedo - Monasterio Valvanera 120,7 km 3.207 m 8:56h 14:55h totally
5:28h I go out alone, Sergi is going to sleep for a few more hours. I love going out at night with the lights, the sky half awake... that solitude and peace is great... The sun begins to rise, it's magical.
Today's stage is once again demanding and without much rest…
Relaxed departure through the Cidacos greenway, where I met a fellow camper who was preparing to leave.
At 7 in the morning I start to climb towards the Sierra de Cameros, I know that a good ascent awaits me... I continue up and down passing small towns. The heat rises and the hills go on and on... I am very thirsty and hungry, I decide to stop at Muro en Cameros, wondering I find a fountain, a shadow and in the solitude of the town, I rest.
Luckily I gained strength... because going up to the port of La Rasa... was hard.
I don't know at what point I met Juan, my partner in the Bardenas desert, but it was a breath of fresh air. We would share this section together until the Monastery.
First we stop at Ortigosa de Cameros where we ate like there was no tomorrow... First course, second course, dessert and coffee.
A fully fledged recoverer.
We were there with part of the organization -Media photography- we laughed for a while and even took a nap…
We decided to continue after a break and without so much heat.
I called Sergi to find out where he was and he told me he had problems. He had a puncture, the camera was broken, he didn't have another and he was totally thrown.... 2 cyclists had left him a camera but something was wrong. Let's try to help him by leaving him a spare camera in Ortigosa and encourage him to try to continue and reach the Monastery.
So it was!! there we will meet again the group that crosses Bardenas.
So, Juan and me continue to the Monastery through the port of Peña Hincada
In Valvanera Monastery we meet Isma and Juanma who had not stopped in Ortigosa to sleep like us...
There were several cyclists and in the end we decided to stay.
It was 9:00 p.m., at night, and the route was very hard and with singletrack areas.
The best thing was to stay with the group we had formed, have dinner, chat and laugh..
Tonight we sleep in bed, toooo!!
Monasterio Valvanera - Vitoria 151,8 km 2.853 m 10:58h 14:03h totally
4:50h Last day. Now Yes! We arrived Victoria
But first we have to give everything…
The whole group left at 5 o'clock towards the wonderful Sierra de la Demanda, crowning the Pico de San Lorenzo.
Each one goes at their own pace, and we grow apart.
At one point I am alone, I only see the light of a companion in the distance in front and 2 more behind.
I continue with a dream dawn. A few drops of rain tell me that I am in the Basque country... a beautiful singletrack takes me into a magical forest, a toad, the vegetation, I am in paradise...
I don't mind pushing the bike, I'm totally engrossed in the moment I'm living.
But everything does not end here.... I still had to crown the Okina Port where the race ends. Although it will still be necessary to reach Vitoria neutralized
The last km were very hard for me, the emotion of being about to arrive, the memory of those who are not there, the hours spent on the bike, my tired body, everything was on the surface.
Arriving in Vitoria was a great satisfaction, a great adventure, I felt enormously happy.
Yes... I would do it again... the suffering doesn't matter, I'm living an adventure and that's what remains inside me, in my thoughts, the pain,... forget it.....
Finished Transiberica Club - Basajaun THANK YOU
Fiestas de la Virgen Blanca - Vitoria
What better way to celebrate the challenge achieved than to go to a party with my colleagues from Basajaun?
With them and their group of biker friends I was able to enjoy dinner and authentic parties from Vitoria.
Thank you very much for your hospitality and warm welcome.
This 2023 we return!!!…