April 15, 2011
The photos in catalogs of bike rides and tours and special package trips are filled with blue skies and sun-drenched vistas.
But let's pause for a little reality check. Weather happens. Blue skies turn gray. Weather forecasts are often painfully wrong. Everyone wants a trip with perfect weather, but everyone's best stories and memories are more often than not, centered around less than perfect conditions.
We were pedaling in the perfect location for a romantic birthday celebration for my wife Kat, high above the Douro River in Portugal. The narrow roads wound through endless vineyards and small villages. The options were plentiful -- wine tasting, romantic dinner looking over the river, a tour of a vineyard ... more wine tasting.
Yet the weather had different plans for us. The audio below will fill you in on the details. But I will add that Kat reminds me the only day we didn't spend any money on our bike trip in Portugal ... was on her birthday.
Photos and audio by Willie Weir
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at http://yellowtentadventures.com.