Ayr Burners Cycling

Sportive, Cyclocross, Youth, Adventure

Javea Trip 2023

It doesn’t seem that long since our first Burners trip to Javea, but this year’s trip came round really quickly and saw 21 Burners boarding the flight from Prestwick to Alicante for a few days cycling in the sun. There should have been 22, but a late passport hitch for Bobby Marr saw him missing out and having a few days in Jersey instead.

The flight out was an hour later than last year’s equivalent so while we went to the same restaurant in the square round the corner from Blanca Bikes, it was a very late (ie 11pm) evening meal for us all. Despite all that, everyone was up and about early enough the next morning to be on the road for 10am.

Not flat – a feature of the day

The two big rides that clubs tick off over there are Col de Rates and Vall d’Ebo. Peter from Blanca Bikes suggested that we reverse the order we did them in compared to last year, and do Vall d’Ebo first. His logic was that allowed a decent warm-up on flat roads before the road went up – a sensible idea given the lateness of our arrival.

We split into 2 groups, starting about 15 minutes apart, to avoid having a massive peloton on unfamiliar roads. The sun was shining, the roads were good and we had nice aero bikes so all was set for a great day.

Vall d’Ebo ‘easy’ bit done …

Both groups made it up and over Vall d’Ebo and even over the nasty climb (name unknown ?) that followed it which, while shorter, was arguably worse – at least in terms of gradient. Good downhills followed each of those which (almost) made up for the effort need to get to the top.

We all reconvened at La Esquina – our favoured cafe on the Med – before winding our way back up to Blanca Bikes for a shower. We had a good meal at an Italian restaurant round the corner, where it was still warm enough to eat outside.

La Esquina (our new base on the Med)

The next day was of a similar nature – except it was Col de Rates day, and this seemed to be on an upwards trajectory almost from the beginning. Even after we made it to the top there wasn’t much celebrating, as those who had been before knew what was coming. Following an enjoyable descent, there’s a piece of road which could be charitably described as ‘undulating’ until you hit the wall at the end. It was at this point that Robbie’s legs seized solid with cramp, but Peter was on hand to push him up the last little ramp and he rolled down to the the lunch stop at Castell.

Smiling because they think they’ve done the hard bit !!!

After that, it was largely downhill all the way back to Javea. This time we went a few kilometres along the coast to Arenal for post ride sustenance. This was much busier than Javea itself and we got some strange looks as we weaved through the holiday makers on the prom.

Moroccan joiner / bike mechanic / pusher of Burners up hills

That evening we dined at the Curry Palace which was so enjoyable we went back a few nights later (the free starters, ice-cream and liqueurs may have had something to do with it !!!).

The third day (Monday) was when things started to unravel a little. The forecast wasn’t great but it was dry when we set off in the morning. Approximately 5 minutes later the rain was so heavy that cars were stopping on the main road until it stopped. We pressed on thinking it was going to stop, before realising there was no chance of that and we returned to Blanca Bikes to dry off.

“Get back on your bike, you big softie, it’s only a shower !!!”

That night Peter had laid on a Paella Night for us, and the place was bouncing. That was largely due to a combination of the beer fridge, a plentiful supply of red wine and Stuart B being in charge of the music !!!

Paella Night

The following morning Peter’s brother, Gordon, turned up early to say that the weather was going to be better and he had a cracking route for us to go on. While he was a really lovely guy and did indeed have a great route for us, his skills as a weather forecaster were sadly lacking. We went to Granadella and Cap de la Nau which would be brilliant – in the dry. As it was lashing down, they were merely great. It’s weird to enjoy a ride in the rain so much, so that shows how good it was.

Cap de la Nau

A few of the guys flew home that evening, so those of us that were left paid a return visit to Curry Palace. Much to our relief, the freebies were still on offer and another fine evening was had.

Puncture !!!

The final day saw a couple of groups out – one going to Moraira and the other doing a longer loop before heading to Moraira too. How surprising would it be to hear that both groups got drenched, although it was lovely by the time we all got back. The only consolation was the frankly stupendous Carrot Cake we had on the patio of a restaurant in Moraira – in the rain. We were so wet they wouldn’t let us sit inside (can’t say I blame them !!!).

Moraira (looks dry – wasn’t …)

A final evening meal (excellent again) followed, before we were off to bed for a ridiculously early flight home.

Southern Spain in the summertime !!!

All in all, it was a great trip. The accommodation and food was excellent, the bikes and roads were fantastic and Peter, his brother Gordon, Marty the guide and their other helpers were all great too. It’s a perfect location for a cycling trip and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to go on a cycling trip to get away from the rain here (oh, hang on a minute ….).

No clouds (half an hour later !!!)

Donald Laurie • June 10, 2023

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