Pedalling Portugal 2018: Day two- DIY Leg flaps

Ferreira do Alentejo-Mora 76 miles.

5h38 riding time. Avg 13.5mph.

Ascent 4,097ft. Descent 3,969 ft.

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A decent night’s sleep and a good feed definitely did the trick. We awoke feeling a lot more positive and glad to have day one behind us.

However my thighs were still hot and itchy. I had got some cream from a pharmacy but I had nothing to cover them. I couldn’t leave them bare as they would just get worse. Over breakfast I had a brain wave.

Murray Leg Flaps - Method

  • Take one spare Next top.

  • Make a hole using a tiny Allen key.

  • Rip away (preferably as near to seams as possible!)

  • Fold under cycling shorts.

  • Ride away :)

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We were on our way shortly after 0900, feeling rather perky.

We had a more sensible plan to avoid the worst of the heat, which would see us take a break from 1pm-3pm.

The scenery improved, we had a lot of water stops in old men’s bars and enjoyed cycling through some of south Portugal’s small rural towns.

The art of filling a water bottle from a fountain

The art of filling a water bottle from a fountain

I enjoyed Montemor-o-Novo where we stopped for lunch and ice cream so much that I decided to lock myself in to the public toilet.

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After lots of banging and shouting, a passerby alerted the local cafe owner who promptly came and kicked the door in. Then of course made me feel sooooooo stupid as he and then another colleague, demonstrated that the door did in fact open really easily and what was I panicking about?

With my head hanging in shame, looking like a failed ABBA reject, I apologised for any problems and pedalled on to our final destination for the night, Mora.

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After two days on the N2 we certainly hadn’t been blown away by the route or scenery. Some stretches had been so mentally challenging I’d had to play music to keep my spirits high and to keep my legs spinning.

Over dinner in Mora we also questioned our ability to do anything near 100miles on Gertrude and The Bitch. If we carried on to Chaves we faced a 114 mile ride on our final day to get to Porto. Neither of us are bad riders and the distance didn’t phase us. But doing it on two slow and uncomfortable heavy bikes in the heat certainly did.

Drying with a view - Mora

Drying with a view - Mora

Sanity prevailed and we decided to change our plans. We’d follow the N2 to Tondela then take two days to head west and arrive in Porto a day earlier than planned.