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Monday, September 07, 2009

Going to Godella

This was one of those days on my bike when I should have received a free t-shirt that said I spent 4 hours on my bike and all I have to show for it is this picture of a tower. I didn’t get a t-shirt but at least it wasn’t as hot as it has been lately. I didn’t even bring water along as I left my bottle on a park bench a couple days ago. It's not like you can't find water everywhere along the route. I was exploring the area to the west of Valencia along the metro line that goes to Burjassot and Godella. What I really need here is a handlebar-mounted GPS like the one a friend of mine had on his mountain bike in Seattle (otherwise known as tech geek capital of the world). To my credit I did spend about ten seconds trying to find a map before I left the house. Maps are for wimps with less of a sense of direction than the uncanny knack I have for finding my way around.

I made it on the bike trail as far as the station at Empalme and then I couldn’t find another bike path. I started to go along the tram tracks until I thought better of it. Just as I was climbing over a railing with my bike a tram came by at about 60 kph that would have made riding along the rail line interesting, to put it mildly. There should be warning signs along the tracks saying something like, “Don’t ride along the tracks unless you want to die.” It just seems logical that they should have built a bike lane right alongside the tram lines. I’m guessing that there is a bike trail that goes further west from Empalme; I just wasn’t able to sniff it out.

I finally made it as far as Paterna where I came across this wonderful tower measuring 19 meters tall. It is a typical defensive tower built by the Arabs of which there are dozens of examples around the Community of Valencia. The exact date of its construction is unknown but probably from the 13th century (but rebuilt in 1967). While I was taking pictures of the tower I asked a passerby how I would go about getting to Godella. If I could just find the metro stop at Godella I would know my way around from there, more or less. He tried as best as he could to explain but it was obvious that it would e difficult to get there from Paterna on a bike. After humping up and down a couple of sizable hills I aborted the mission to Godella and started looking for a way back to Valencia.

I will probably try again next Sunday but this time I’ll bring my hydro-pack and a map.