I have been invited to write a “guest blog” for Practicebicycle bike tours on Portugal’s beautiful Algarve cycling region, and in particular bike riding in the Algarve.
Like most kids in Australia I was given my first bike at approximately age six and used to ride the red dirt roads of S.W. Queensland where my family managed a sheep property. Later on, cycling took a back step to athletics (“don’t ride if you want to run!”) and only recently have I had the time and the inclination to consider “the bike” as my preferred activity in older age.
And this leads me to the Algarve. Beautiful sunny days in a European winter, stunning scenery on secluded roads, super sweet potatoes, an abundance of oranges, fresh fish and magnificent wines. And of course bike riding. I retired from full time employment recently and wanted to become as fit as possible in the time I planned to be in the Algarve.
With the gifted coach and chatty Paul Hughes, and Bridget’s encouragement by my side, I have managed to go from riding 1-2 days/week to being able to achieve 3-4 days/week and completing 3hrs per day on undulating roads of the Algarve. I don’t know how they listened to my whinging, whining and complaining. I am certainly not built to climb so you will get my drift!!!! But the response was constant – Safety, first and foremost, Clear and concise directions.
Paul’s ability to make choices from the hundreds of routes available as to my ability, duration of ride and terrain And of course many words of encouragement: one gear easier, what’s your heart rate? How are you travelling? Your’re doing very well, keep up the good work. Oh how I will miss that!
Sadly, my “riding in the Algarve” has come to an end and I would love to encourage anyone who rides (and also those who don’t ride) to come and “Practicebicycle” with Paul and Bridget. They would be delighted to share this fantastic part of the world with you.