I think I can safely say that bike racing is a sport better watched on the TV than at the side of the road. The only things the latter promises are a better appreciation of speed and a greater chance you'll be hit by a bike as its rider misjudges a corner. Oh, and an occasional pile-up on a roundabout. Or that's what I thought as I waited in a prime position today for the Tour of Spain riders to come across the bridge from Pontevedra to take the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. But, once dozens - yes, dozens - of police vans and motorbikes had come across the bridge and round the roundabout, they taped off the route and confined it to the 'wrong' side of the circle. Which made it much less likely the cyclists would go round it at an angle of 45 degrees. Sure enough, no one fell off and the whole thing was something of a damp squibb. I may not attend tomorrow's time trial proceedings. Incidentally, this is a plan of their route today.
As you'll have noticed, one or two of the climbs are shown as vertical, or as near as damn it. But I have my doubts.
And here, for what they're worth, are a few fotos of the roundabout and the cyclists. By the way, the police left it so late to close off the roads to normal traffic that I had a vision of the peloton meeting a truck driver head on in the middle of the bridge. But, sadly, this didn't happen either.
Police bikes gathering at the roundabout.
The two leaders, who were eventually overtaken by the peloton.
The chasing peloton.
I've checked my IBI demand and it's 16% up on last year. Or four or five times the inflation rate. As ever, there's not a single word accompanying the demand, itemising where the money goes, or explaining why the increase is necessary. Compare this with the mountain of information provided by a British council. OK, no one reads it but the point is it's there if you want to. I wouldn't have a clue where the Pontevedra or Poio councils spend their revenue/loans. And nor would anyone else.
In addition to the IBI bill I got for my house in Poio/Pontevedra, I also got one for the house in the hills I sold last November. This is not mine to pay, so I'll have to gird myself once again for another battle with Spanish bureaucracy. Thank God my printer is also a photocopier.
Back to the bike race – Watching the final few kilometres in a café, it was good to see the helicopter views of Galicia's coastline and it beautiful beaches. Let's hope it's done something for next summer's tourist receipts.
Hey, ho. On to the weekend's Medieval Fair!