The Mad Englishmen

Latest Report from Sam Skuce (23-Oct):

Day 7: Monday 22-Oct
Alcaudete to Puebla de Alcocer
. 5 hours 80miles 1668mtrs climb and decending 1610mtrs.

Another tough day in the saddle, the climbing seemed never ending today we rode as a four thats Paul B Paul S Paul R and myself supporting each other. Paul R,Paul B started to get sore legs and some of the others were starting to suffer as it was a long mounatinous day. We had our ups and downs today but still all good friends and having alot of fun.

Day 6: Sunday 21-Oct
Avila to Alcaudete. 5 hours 38mins 93.21miles 1521 mtr climbing and decsents 2270mtrs

Well we had a long climb out of Avila and when we got to the top, Well the view was amazing, me and paul B had a nice 6miles of decsending together at over 50mph keeping pace with a lorry at safe
distance. half way down we stopped for a photo shot of the lake that was on our right hand side.

Day 5: Saturday 20-Oct
Penafiel to Avila 88miles over 887mtrs 4hours 59mins

Well Saturday was a rolling road and we all left together and kept a good pace and reached the hotel within 20mins of each other. It meant Paul B and my self had a good leg spinning day to help recover from the day before and ready for the mountains.

Day 4: Friday 19-Oct
Montorio to Penafiel 103 miles over 600mtrs climbing 6hrs 15min

Well it started of with a drizzle of rain or damp for 10mile or so as we headed towards Burgos. We belived it to be a ride of 80-90 mile as we try to take a short cut by going though Burgos instead of the counrty roads around would add another 15miles.

We stayed together until we got on to the open roads the other side of Burgos were we slowly split in to two groups Paul B/Paul R and my self left the other 4 down a 10 mile road at around 23 mph to a little village were we realise we gone slightly off track but we got together there and rode together to the feed at 40mile 'ish.

We had a good feed then off again thinking that another 40 miles then hotel but well, we had a few ups and downs and thinking this looks like a nice road at 60 miles were the sign for Penafiel. At this point we stopped for coffee and a pee stop for Karen that is. (girl up) then off again Paul R/Paul B and I rode the next 33 'ish miles as a 3 up, down the road which just looked like a new road with road signs telling you anything but Penafiel until we saw a sign and that was going directions, Paul R was getting colour full spanish coming out this mouth, the we got to a cross road a sign said 9KM. He went mad, well I think if I was not so focused on where we were going and leading I think I was mad too, but we had a good run in to Penafiel and it was an extra 20 miles we did.

Day 3: 17-Oct

Well we started out together from Santander took 4 miles to get out and find the n623. We cycle for about 20 ish miles and stop quickly for a pit stop in a petrol station. Then it was up the road 10 miles then the mountain came an 18% 6 km long. The 3 Paul's and Mark were ahead about a minute gap with me chilling at the back with Richard and Karen. But as I climb I slowly started to catch mark up then Paul small and Paul Rosenthal seconds later. I caught Paul browning up near the top of that stage and then climb together pacing each other up the climbs but the cold and wet was affecting Paul so I slowly got to the top a few yards ahead of him and round the corner was brunch. We climb 1011 Mtrs in 6 km. We both drived in to the can to warm up while it tipped it down. We got out and rode together Paul and I down the hillI. We rode most of the time as a 2 up pair over 35 miles and a further 1600 Mtrs of climbing though a nice valley of mountains. Even when we thought we were going down we were still spinning the gears and sometime just about ticking over at point. So glad I put on a 39 /28 this morning just got out of jail. Me and Paul both got to Montorio an hour ahead of the rest of the team.

Due to bad weather I could not take photos. But if done in summer I would take loads excellent views.

I will email Garmin link later.

Day 1: 16-Oct

All safely on board the ferry to Santander. We had a couple of Paul Rosenthal mates as well as Joe Plumb and Gavin Bench came along and lead us out of St Albans towards Windsor.

We had some strong head winds as we got closer to the coast and the hills got bigger and longer as we got further down. The team consists of Paul Rosenthal, Paul Small, Paul Browning, Richard Marchand and my self Samuel Skuce (aka Squeaky)

Well my job is to look after the maintenance of the bikes and insure they run well. That they are clean and ready to ride. My on bike job is to ensure we all stay together.

I did a lot of hard work in to the wind today. The others came through as and when they could or able to. Due to their ability they ride like hill climbers when the hills come and distance flat riders
when it's flat. Paul did the nav from his Garmin.

Paul and his dad have done a excellent job organiseing such a great route.

Once in Santander I will be washing all the bikes and putting my deep section race wheels on and lower gears.

You can see the garmin data below