Wednesday Katerina, Georgia and I flew into Madrid. Zeph and Waldek arrive to the airport at exactly the same time, having started driving the previous day. Thanks Guys! Getting turned around appears to be the theme of our trip so far. Finding our hotel was a bit of a pain. It seems the entire city is under construction with big piles of rubble and broken pavement everywhere.

After getting settled in we all headed out on rides. Waldek and I set off to find the motorcross track we could see from the highway so I could get a couple efforts in to clear the travel from my legs. It was a pretty fun area to rip around. We got a little lost on the way home but made it eventually. I wil have mastered the art of getting directions in Spanish before I get home!

After riding we headed to the mall for dinner. Yes that’s right the mall. The hotel women had recommended it. It was a step up from your typical food court but we were a bit disappointed. We had a huge meal of tapas. In spain dinner usually starts at about 9 or 10pm. People go from one bar to the next having small tapas (little sandwiches, egg dishes, things on toast) and a drink until they are no longer hungry. Finding a restaurant that opens before 8pm is pretty tricky so maybe the mall was a good option.

Day 2 in Madrid we headed to the course. Zeph, who has had our bikes dialled perfectly all trip, put new forks with remote lockouts on our bikes. They are so nice. I did 4 laps of the course Thursday. It is super fast and hard-packed. There is a fair amount of flat riding where having a wheel will be key, but also several short steep climbs, some with scant traction. There’s not a ton of descending, but the course is fast nonetheless. After the ride Katerina and I tried riding back to the hotel. You’ll notice a theme here.

We headed out with a (now acknowledged) very inferior map and a rough idea of where our hotel was. 2hrs later, after having done a 2hr ride with efforts already we arrived with relief at our hotel. Yeah unplanned 4hr ride. It was actually a really nice loop we did through a beautiful forest. Had we known our way around better we could have shaved at least 30 minutes of the commute time…we biked right by the street for our hotel and headed out another 15 minutes before finally getting back on track. I got to use my Spanish 4 times though to get directions!

Thank you Waldek for the great post epic exploration massage! Today I decide to keep it chill and did a recovery ride. I retraced our route from yesterday, minus the diversions and our commute could have been done in 45 minutes. Ah well.