My Portugal Bike Rides Were The Highlight Of My Holiday
The highlight of my planned visit to Lisbon were my Portugal bike rides and this how it unfolded for me.
The suggested resort (Tivoli Marina) was ideal as a visitor ride base. Ground floor walk in rooms made it easy to take in the bike. They had a good breakfast range and tea and coffee in the room which made starting the day easy and well fuelled. The hotel is situated on a cul de sac with a bikeway to bypass town, this meant starting rides was safe from traffic and the roll out was quiet. I was provided with a shower and change after the final ride even though I had checked out before the ride.
Pauls ride coordination was fantastic, well organised, well thought out and safe. He used the first ride to gauge my riding skill and set ground rules for how to behave on the road. We could also discuss my expectations and match them to ride options. He pegged my strength and endurance perfectly and tailored the rides to stretch me to my realistic limit but not over extend. Paul is proactive and assertive which is good for controlling concentration on the road and pre-empting situations that could be confusing to someone who doesn’t know the roads or traffic customs.
The hire bike supplied was great. Sending through the frame and seat dimensions worked well, the set up was just right. The bike was clean, well maintained with derailleur alignments good alignments and brakes working well (thank goodness).
With my custom tour the Portugal bike rides were a pleasure to ride where the cars are tolerant and there are plenty of quiet scenic roads to follow. We covered the hills, the coast, rolling terrain with a good balance of challenges and varying views!
Although this wasn’t coaching, Paul did an excellent job of managing pace and heart rate. Talking through training and fitness strategies and philosophy reinforced to ride tactics and kept the overall performance in line with achieving my cycling plan of achievement and enjoyment. Flagging the need to bring the heart rate monitor was a good idea!
This trip was exactly what I needed. The rush in and out from Lisbon was unavoidable but I could park and ignore the car for my whole visit and focus on good scenic rides that were within (just) my capacity and feeling safe all the time. I missed not having Bridget on the rides but the dinner catch up was a perfect end to my tour.
Thanks for a great cycling holiday and a Portuguese experience that I could not have had any other way!