Picture of the Week

16 February 2022

Week 05: wine tasting, Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana, brevet

Filed under: — Administrator @ 06:27

A couple of firsts in this week: the first wine tasting in almost two years, and the first long bike ride (brevet) of the season. Also, I was shooting a lot in black & white this week, just because I was in the mood to do so.

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I start with a couple of portraits of Eri. One day she wore a black & white outfit, so it was obvious to ask her to pose for me for some black & white photos:
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Our wine club Bacchus has re-started activities. We had the first wine tasting since early 2020. The restrictions in the office still prevented us from holding the tasting there, so we had it at a local restaurant instead:
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The representative of the bodega was a nice guy:
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The waiters of the restaurant helped out as well:
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Charo poses for me:
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During the past few weeks, when I have been out cycling, I have noticed quite a few pro teams on the road. This is a sure sign of the approach of spring–the teams from Belgium and the Netherlands come down here to train and to prepare for the season, which starts around April in Northern Europe. And this is also the season for some minor races here, the first of which is a 5-day, 800 km Tour of the Valencia Region. Of course I had to see it, so I took Friday afternoon off to go to Tibi and watch the 3rd stage of the race, the most mountainous and by far the toughest of the 5 stages.

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While waiting for the race to arrive, I walked around the village a bit. It is a place I sometimes visit on my bike, a charming village surrounded by mountains:
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The guardian:
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The locals, waiting for the race:
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Finally, it’s there:
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After passing Tibi, the cyclists had another 15 km or so before a tough mountain finish. I stayed to watch the finish on a big screen set up in Tibi:
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A sad reminder of the dangers of the road:
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As I walked back to my car, I photographed a municipal employee removing the Christmas decorations:
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A few more photos from the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana are here.

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On Saturday, I did some serious cycling of my own. I had signed up for a 200 km brevet, a group ride following a circular route west and south of Alicante. On a ride like this, the goal is not to come first, but to come in within the time limit of 13.5 hours. Last year I did this brevet in just under 11 hours. I was not feeling 100% this time, but I was at the starting point, a restaurant a couple of km from my house, well before the 8 a.m. start:
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Almost halfway through the ride, things were good. The weather was dry even though some drizzle threatened earlier in the morning, and the road on the border between Comunidad Valenciana and the neighbouring Murcia region was pretty:
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A reservoir near the town of Crevillent:
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In a brevet, there are certain control points which must be passed to prove that one has actually ridden the specified route. Traditionally, this was done by having the route card stamped at a petrol station or convenience store in the specified town. But since the arrival of Covid, controls have become contactless. One simply takes a selfie at a sign identifying the location. This also automatically records the time of passage:
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While my photo taking during the brevet was limited–the focus was on getting the ride done–a few more pictures are here.

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I completed the brevet about 7:15 p.m., went home, showered, and then we went out for dinner to a restaurant in the centre of Alicante, Tabula Rasa, that we discovered recently. It is located in a rather low-rent residential neighbourhood, well away from the touristy areas of the city, but it is run by a chef who used to work in one of Alicante’s most famous restaurants, and the food is basically of the same standard, but with much friendlier service and at half the price. It is a delight both for the palate and for the eyes. This is the appetizer, with a vieira (king scallop) as the main ingredient:
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Pulpo, accompanied by fried artichoke:
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The main meat dish:
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And finally the dessert. I normally skip dessert, but having burned lots of calories during the 11+ hours on the road, I enjoyed this one:
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I slept very well that night.

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