Posted by: hlm227 | August 14, 2008


I left the campground in Sagunt on Sunday and rode to Valencia. I think it was about 35 or 36 degrees and I stopped at nearly every gas station for something to drink. I still wasn’t feeling well from Friday and took it really slowly.


Sagunt to Valencia
distance 45 19
time 3 12 10
avg spd 14 13
max spd 37 11

In Valencia, I stayed with Aida, a really awesome journalist who is travelling to different cities around the world to write about urban cycling. She gave me a really interesting insight into Valencia, so although I still wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t see much of the city, I feel like I know a bit about it.

I think it can best be summed up with the phrase ‘bread and circus.’
It seems like Valencia has become a more prestigious, international city in the last ten years, with the Formula F 1 racing, the Americas Cup, and the City of Arts and Sciences, a museum and opera house.
But these spectacles seem to merely distract people from real problems. The city can find money to build a 16 million euro bridge for the F 1 race, but some kids don’t have proper schools and attend class in caravans.

There is a beautiful train station in the middle of the city, but not all people get to use it.
train station
I left Valencia on Wednesday morning to take a train to Madrid, and since I was taking a regional train, which is slower, cheaper, and allows bikes, I had to leave from a different station. Aida was so nice to wake up at 6am (!!) and ride with me to the station, and there is no way I would have found it on my own. It probably took us an hour to ride there, and there were no signs for it at all. Aida said the high speed and Regional trains use the same tracks but RENFE (the train company) isn’t putting money into the Regional trains anymore and want them to fade away, so that is why my train didn’t leave from the main station.

It was really great staying with Aida and getting her perspective on the city.

Oh, and we did have time to get horchatas in this really beautiful place that reminded me a little of De Roberti’s pastry shop in NYC.

Taking the train was so nice. I was worried that it would be disappointing for me to not be biking, and to be on someone else’s schedule, but it was such a nice ride through really great scenery that I did not miss being on my bike at all. train
I almost didn’t want the ride to end.

Big Thanks to Aida for letting me stay with her for 3 nights and riding with me to the train station, and to Dirk and Mahrou for the hook up!


  1. I am so very happy to hear of such wonderful people, Heather. And, you are one of them…

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