Day 6 — Four Punctures and Ice in Our Cleats, a.k.a. A Perfect Day

Today’s route: Aínsa to Jaca

Today’s distance: 90 kilometers / 56 miles
Today’s elevation gain: 1,672 meters / 5,484 feet

TOTAL DISTANCE: 347 kilometers / 216 miles
TOTAL ELEVATION GAIN: 5,542 meters / 18,184 feet


The sun is back out and we are very happy today.

The whole crew is together and we line up to ride over this bridge in loose formation so Ciarán can film us with his drone.

It’s bright but brisk. We are officially in the mountains now and it’s time for me to show off my mad phat singing skillz.

Temperatures drop drastically as we continue to climb. Snow begins to pile up on the sides of the road and, just as my toes start to freeze, I get my first flat. I graciously allow Paul to fix it while I snack and take beautiful pictures of the vast and sweeping landscape.

Three minutes farther up the hill I get my second flat. This time I gather a larger team of experts.

I don’t mention the fact that I can change my own puncture. Instead I allow myself to be taken care of by willing, chivalrous men (all happily married by the way so you can hold back the winks and nudges) and it’s quite lovely. Those of you who have followed my full story know this isn’t always easy for me. But see . . . I’m trying!

Upon closer inspection, Andy finds a minuscule piece of glass in my tire.

More climbing, more snow.

At the top of a very high hill we jump off our bikes to get this fantastic shot.

What’s a little ice in your cleats when you have a chance to be in a picture like this?

On the way down the far side of the mountain, I kid you not, Ciarán gets two flats of his own. The wind is frigid as we coast downhill but in time the temperature rises and we start to feel our toes again. The landscape makes another drastic shift and for many miles we follow the gushing Rio Guarga. Suddenly it’s hard to remember that we were ever cold.

What is there to say besides, Holy cannoli everything about this ride was amazing! Freezing toes, ice in our cleats, four flat tires in under an hour . . . ain’t no thang when you’re in a beautiful place with wonderful people ❤ ❤ ❤

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