Random Realizations While Pedaling Across Portugal

Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly

Here are a few lessons I learned while riding my bicycle across Portugal with inGamba earlier this month:

Cod is not universally loved by the Portuguese people.

Descending is for show and ascending is for dough.

Not all wheels are the same in a paceline. But when the dust kicks up, any wheel will do.

Riding the cobbles makes you wonder how they race the cobbles.

Riding in a large group where everyone is wearing the same kit is cool.

Getting on a clean, well-tuned bike every morning is addictive.

A proper saddle and comfortable shoes are key.

Strawberry jam is an essential part of any breakfast.

Never judge a rider until you have tried to shake them off your wheel.

Skinny guys really do climb better.

The deal is in Oregon.

There are plenty of women in the world who can hammer your ass into the ground.

Most bald men look better with helmets on.

Melon and cured meat, served as an appetizer, is the bomb.

Not all red wines are created equal.

Olives go great with draft beer.

If you claim to be allergic to gluten, the Portuguese will bring you giant, amazing salads every day.

Someone else carrying your luggage is a luxury everyone should experience.

62 is the new 40.

It is possible to blow two tires and ruin both rims at the same time without crashing.

The second climb of the day is almost always less painful than the first.

Hanging on to the side of a car is way easier than climbing.

Eating tiny homemade sandwiches and treats is way better than energy bars and gels.

Sometimes it is nice to have a guide at the back and sometimes you wish he would get the fukk away from you.

Nine seats on a cycling team bus is great, if you are one of the nine.

Dating a triathlete should be an Olympic sport.

Sometimes you need to decide between the ride and the view. I prefer the ride. I can always buy a postcard.

The Portuguese people are some of the friendliest in the world. “Buen Dia.”

Sometimes you just have to take a spa day.

Steak sandwich for dessert is delicious.

It’s nice if your domestique is also your spouse.

Ordering coffee for a group of 15 cyclists is nearly impossible.

Comfortable shoes are the key to happiness.

The Irish really do know the dirtiest jokes.

Sometimes, if you want to go on a bike trip, you will have to follow it by kayaking with your wife.

Cauliflower pizza is way better than it sounds.

Apple executives are as smooth as you think they would be.

Tubulars are all they are cracked up to be.

If you’re having a rough day, sit at the back of the pack and when it’s your time to take a pull, pretend like there’s something wrong with your bike.

Riding fast is fun and getting shelled is not.

It’s always nice when the strong rider is willing to pull you home.

When someone starts to shake a champagne bottle, don’t just sit there. Run.

Osmo energy drink doesn’t really taste great. But boy is it a lifesaver.

“Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty,” really is great advice.

A luxury hotel is way better than a Motel 6.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Element.ly