Pedro did his rides in segments on different days. Following is a bit more that Pedro sent to me to share with everyone here:
"I am in the middle forties, studied chemical engineering and after working as a environmental inspector, process engineer for combustion processes, I jump into a completely (different) industry because this allows me to have more time with my family. Now I make closures for spirits and olive oil.
I’ve been riding bikes all my life except for some years when I changed for motorcycles. Fortunately, the passion was always there and I returned to cycling sooner than later.
I have never been in the competitive side of cycling. Although I like watching the Tour the France, Tour of Spain, Giro, and the classics, Flanders, Paris – Niza, etc. I am happier just riding my bike for excursions.
With this in mind, I discovered bikepacking and start learning about Tuscany Trail and Tour Divide."
"The place where I live is a gravel paradise. I send you some photographs. But the rides I usually do combine gravel roads with some more rough ones. If I choose a gravel bike, I am afraid that must be more in the dark side near mtb… I don’t know."
Looking at Pedro's images, I can say that I have to agree with him- this does look like a gravel paradise! The roads look fantastic, and being located in Southwestern Spain, I am sure that the predominant Continental-Mediterranean climate provides ample opportunities for gravel travels.
Pedro has two bikes he typically uses for the rides he does there in Spain. I'll let him tell you a bit more about them:
" Let’s talk about bikes a little bit. I name the first one, my “pensioner bike” just because one of my friends when he saw me on this bike shouted: You look like a retiree!!!
(It) Is my gravel and road bike but because I bought it at the early 2000, in Spain was call “Hybrid bike”. Conor is a Spanish low cost brand that make cheap aluminum bikes mainly for commute or start point into mtb. I bought this bike as a present for one of my uncles because he loves cycling. Unfortunately, he died because COVID during the pandemic, and I decided to keep the bike. The bike is too big for me and I tried to make some adjustment on it. I change the handlebar for a Jones, (totally Jones Bikes convert), and I plan to go to friction, and some drivetrain changes when the components fail. In my head, I will try to move the bike to a Rivendell style bike, Sam Hillborne or Platyplus "
Pedro's Conor branded hybrid shows that "any bike can be a 'gravel' bike". I love it!
"It is a bike I use for going with my children, grocery, commute as much as I could, and town moving. It is very practical and not very nice to thieves, so although I would like that the bike was a Rivendell, or a Gemeni Croix de Fer, Singular,…, I am really happy with it. And of course the personal reasons."
"My second bike is a marvellous steel Jones Spaceframe Lwb, this time with 2.6 rubbers on it. I am completely in love with this bike. I use it as it is for bikepacking, going to the pub sometimes, excursions, gravel, mtb, races (just for riding in different places, not really for compete)… everything!! I also plan to go friction with it."
"My friends here think that I am completely crazy. In Spain is more common to have a super mtb (or road) race machine and as many bikes you could afford. Everything is about training or compete. Then, if you’re on this thing of DH, Freeride, ... or any other sector to specialized, you also need that kind of bike. It is not my cup of tea.
About having more bicycles… I do not mind. I would like as I said a Riv, and a Croix de Fer (or any other gravel bike), probably a road bike also… you know, n+1. But I think that having two of them that complement, and that I use a lot, fit better with my life. That’s it. Thank you very much for the opportunity, for your blog".
Comments: I was pretty floored by this submission, mostly because it came from Spain. I think that it is really great that I, and all you who read here, remember by way of Pedro's story that "gravel" is not just a U.S.A. thing, or a special bike, or on certain roads. I was floored that Pedro so completely summarizes what it is to be a "cyclist" that seeks to have fun and adventure. And that is what it is all about.
Pedro's distance accumulation he sent me for the Virtual Turkey Burn.
So, what a great story and I want to thank Pedro here for his contribution to the Virtual Turkey Burn Ride reports. I so appreciate the message Pedro shared and his examples of his bicycles. I hope that you all reading this get as much excitement, inspiration, and motivation from Pedro's story as I have.
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post as I have another Virtual Turkey Burn Report to share.