First time cycling between towns in open roads. Around 10 years old. Borrowed kit, a few sizes up. BMX bike. Worried Mum and Proud Dad.
Classic 200K winter ride between Lisbon and Sagres, Portugal. Became yearly ritual, 12x and counting.
... enter Triathlon
The remnants from a spinal disc-removal surgery 10y before returned. After recovery, had to keep up physical activity to keep pain-free. Decided to take up triathlon, registered for a full Ironman event in the following year to ensure motivation and stickyness of plan.
Lisboa Triathlon - Half-Ironman
First triathlon event. Orange weather alert. Couldn't ask for a better baptism into this sport. Tough as nails, hooked for life! What a blast!
The first full distance IM event, in loving memory of my Dad who had just passed. Rode it in his bike, a different person emerged from the finish line.
L'Étape du Tour
2017 Étape, featuring Col de Vars and Col d'Izoard. A snapped spoke and clumsy rear wheel change made it untrivial to finish. But this was a very special ride.
Norseman Extreme Triathlon.
Amazing atmosphere around the event and the organization. One of that experiences that are meant to be lived, not described with words. But it can be tried.
After a troublesome swim, a great bike and enduring run made a Black T-shirt Finisher.
Brutal weather, unforgettable climbs. After an hailstorm arriving at Bastogne, the Stokeau, La Rosiere, La Redoute and many others. La Doyenne, the oldest of the Monuments and, with appropriate weather, the toughest.
After cold leaving Milano, the Turchinno and the amazing descent into Genoa leads to a Mediterranean coastline ride coupled with the 3 Capi and the Cipressa and Poggio to close. With 300K, the longest of the Monuments.
A lesson in heat management and blisters as the European heat wave hit Germany hard. A no-wetsuit swim, scorching hot bike and 40ºC in the marathon. Great atmosphere and support.
A vintage race in Tuscanny, 200K of mostly sterrato. Classic bike parts and apparel. Foccacia, wine, parmesan, farro al'olio amongst other replenishments. Strade bianche routes. Bring glue and mend your own punctures in the tubulars. Enough said. What an amazing event.
Despite Muro di Sormanno and Madonna del Ghisallo climbs, certainly not the toughest of the monuments - but tough to argue it's not the most beautiful. The sunrise bathing the misty hills, Lago di Como, Madonna del Ghisallo, the race of the falling leaves is a treat for the eyes. Throw in visiting the Chapel and cycling museum and this race is a must.
Multi-day racing event, touching the NSEW continental extremes, the hightest point and the geodesic center. A great adventure and a priviledged glimpse into the diversity and essence of the country. Even with an accident in the last day. An adventure with great memories and learning experience.
Unsupported bike adventure from Rovereto, Italy, to Nordkapp, Norway. 4500km, 10 countries in 2 weeks.
The adventure of a lifetime. An whole life could fit in these days. Life changing experience.
Race Across Germany
When the going gets tough, the tough grow mustaches and head to Germany. West-East crossing, 800K in under 37h non-stop was the objetive. Crew and rider delivered another story to tell.
A couple of weeks after Race Across Germany, the formal communication from RAAM Race Director came in: it became official, Iron Pigeon is RAAM Qualified for 2 years.
Back on the road following a comprehensive shoulder surgery and a DVT early in the year, BikingMan Portugal was a proof of life and a celebration of being able to feel the wind on my face again. What an amazing event, beautiful landscapes, route and special organization. Couldn't ask for a better return.
Back to IM events after 3 years (and 1 week after full medical discharge following DVT), Vitoria was all about willpower. With very low preparation but an amazing pleasure to be back to the 3 sports, bringing my family for the first time made this finish line one I'll never forget.
Back to Basque Country just 2 weeks after IM Vitoria, Basajaun starts precisely from plaza with the IM finish line. The first edition of the unsupported gravel event was all I searched for in terms of adventure and testing new grounds. Off-roads for a change, equipment and rider were bashed but came through an unforgettable and varied set of natural scenarios and challenges.