Time flies when you're having fun and suddenly I'm 33 years old and back to where mountain biking and Potter name calling all began for one lost Aussie......almost 10 years ago (gulp).
Ian and I arrived here in the Algarve over a week ago now, based in Alte an unspoilt village within the Algarve foot hills. The village is 30km from the concrete coastline surrounded by green flora and rich red dirt tracks that surround this area with stunning sun sets every evening as the hotel over looks the distant coast line where the sun falls into the sea.
The first week we Potters were partly exploring as Ian knows this area very well but as with anywhere development was to be expected over time and there was a risk that trails Ian onced used would not be suitable. Thankfully 80% of trails still exist, and it forced we Potters to be out the hotel door early and ride until late evening as we changed routes and added new sections of single track....that I FOUND!!!!! There was the usual Potter squabbles as we argued over which trails we wanted to ride and after the tenth dead end I decided for once I really should listen to my husband.....he was the guide after all when we first met and back then I really did listen to him :)
Now we're almost at the end of the first week of 'AQR in the Algarve' and although a few thunderous clouds woke us up one morning, every ride as been the perfect temperature....'not too hot...not too cold....but just right!' Ian as always won't be allowed back in the UK with his super duper tan line, and I sadly still look a darker shade of pale....but the endless sunny D days have brought so much energy to my legs that I just want to climb all day.....so Ian has had to control his Mrs at times so as not to scare our very lovely first week of guests.
We have had the pleasure of Cotic's Paul Dexter and wife Jane as well as Steve, Alison and Jon who have become firm friends already and it's not just our legs feeling it, but our laughter bellies too as I haven't stopped lauging at all the different comedy moments that have happened this week. We have named a rather large puddle 'Paul's Puddle' as he did a stylish bunny hop into a much deeper puddle than he expected and some how ended up on the floor of the puddle. At the same time it has been wonderful to see how quickly Alison has progressed her riding after only 5 years on the bike. I met Alison on an AQR Ladies Day around 5 years ago and it just shows you how tenacity and alot of determination can help one conquer fears that we all have to different degrees on a bike. Alison never gives up and always tries a second time if she makes a mistake......I like that in mountain bikers because I like seeing how people become better riders through trial and error. It is the best way to move your riding forward.
Right I must be off as have guests to attend to and an office to escape....although not a bad office as I sit outside a cafe in the middle of Alte eating a Portugese orange while guests and Ian overdose of Portugese cakes....including FIGALOOS!!!!! Jon has definitely been converted to this gorgeous fig treat Ian loves more than mince pies would you believe.
Happy Biking Adventures and I will be back soon with further updates.....2 more weeks of AQR guiding action, but only a few places left on the third week if you fancy some sunny trails out here in the Algarve.
Cheerios for now
AQR - A Quick Release Holidays
AQR - A Quality Ride Coaching
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