…we counted our chickens because they had hatched!The first thing was to get my back wheel looked at. We found, via twitter, that there is Flyz Bikes in Torrelaguna, which was 10km along our route. We arrived at a great little bike shop and Keith did some street acrobatics whilst the guy replaced me spoke and realigned my wheel. Sadly about 5mins down the road I felt the familiar feeling of a flat tyre. It looked like another pinch when the tyre was put back onto this smaller rim. So had another enforced stop while I fixed it and then got underway again.We cycled, a functional cycle that was more uphill than we had hoped. From a long way out we could see the four skyscrapers of Madrid to the north of the city, but until very close the landscape was quite barren. We swung round to the east, as the campsite we were heading for was just south of the airport. There was one big question, though. Would we be allowed through the tunnel under the airport? And if not, would we be allowed on the small roads that go around the airport? If not then it was another 25/30km round. As we approached the airport we came down a steep hill with switchbacks, so we sincerely hoped we would not have to go back up it.As we joined the road leading down to the tunnel there were no signs prohibiting bikes! Then just at the entrance to the tunnel; the dreaded red circle with a bike in the middle, alongside the horse and cart and the pedestrian.We were a bit stuck, as there was no obvious way to get back even. The roads around had No Entry signs, so looked impassable. We backed up a bit, to the bus-stop and decided that we would try the bus. Would they let us on with our bikes? We had fifteen minutes to find out.I saw a transit van pass, so stuck out my thumb, but it did not stop. However, I thought it was worth a try so did it again. Then a third time. On the fourth attempt it worked. The van pulled over! Even if we could fit one bike in, we could just keep trying till we all got through! However, we managed to fit all of them in, and he even had three back-seats for us too!! What a brilliant hombre-de-van-blanco!It was still 4km to the campsite, but we were confident. And we were right to be. 20mins later we arrived at Camping Osuna where a very helpful man checked us in and gave us an annotated map to Madrid. We just had to shower, change and head into town.We had arrived.
12 o’Clock Photos