A new beginning

Ok, so it’s been way too quiet from my side lately. But I have my good reasons. Since August there has been an ongoing process both mentally and physically to quit my job in the military and move all my remaining stuff back home in storage. I guess all of you that has experienced such big live changing events have felt that they can be quite stressful.

For me that’s a very organized person and like some sort of stability in my environments, it’s been like walking through a dark tunnel. The closer I came to the exit the more I managed to focus on the exit and just continue the process of making the necessary steps on the way. But focus was completely elsewhere than on my bike, my job and there were quite a lot of uncertainties and unanswered questions about my future.

I took one step at the time, parted up the process and got it done eventually. To open up new doors with unexplored opportunities you have to close the doors behind you and dare to burn some bridges. Otherwise it might be too tempting, safe and secure to just turn back when you meet a challenge on your new path. That’s why I eventually decided to give up my job since 2002 in the military and look ahead for new challenges.

Now I’m finally arrived in Gran Canaria and starting to settle into my new environment and more simple life here as a professional cycling guide. I’ve been on the island for training camps every winter since 2009 or ’10, but it’s a different think to live here than being here on holiday. I am working on learning the Spanish language to better communicate with the locals and show them respect that I try to get integrated.

There are quite a few of my friends who have asked me for winter camp accomodation and as I’ve told some of them this is something I’m working on. I have some options that I’m considering, but subletting an apartment via an online booking system on my blog might be where I end up. I will post an update when I know more about this.

My first days on my new journey

Wednesday morning I woke up with kit all over the floor. I had not completed my packing – procrastinating and uncertainty had made me postpone the process. I stuffed the necessities like bike shoes, helmet and some other basics into the bag and went for the airport. I’m coming back for a short while in the end of September anyway, so if I forgot something I have another opportunity to bring it then.

img_1559Packed and ready for a new chapter

Somehow I had managed to misread my plane departure, so I got to the airport two hours early. Full of stress from a long time living in and around cardboard boxes it was nice to finally have some time to contemplate and relax before the long exhaustive flight.

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Finally on the plane – into the Norwegian sunset

Otto, another bike guide at Free Motion, was so kind to pick me up in the middle of the night when I arrived. Drove me to my new home in Maspalomas and I got to bed. The next morning I got to meet another of my new housemates, Wouter. Both of us joined Otto and his group for a guided ride up Tauropass.

Coming from the Norwegian autumn I am not yet acclimated to the hotter climate of GC. I am losing a lot of liquid and salts, and my appetite is suddenly gone. Even if I drink plenty the body needs some time to absorb the liquid. Therefore the first rides down here have been a bit unpleasant. I have not been able to stay hydrated and gradually it’s felt heavier and heavier. I know it gets better when the body adjusts it’s thermostat 🙂

On Friday, the second day of riding, I went to the top (Pico de las Nieves). The weather was good and as you can see on the photo below, clear sky and view to Teide and Roque Nublo (the rock in the clouds). The descent towards Ingenio was quite gnarly today, because the road lies on top of the ridge line separating North from South. The wind was really tough today and it pushed me sideways in the road plenty of times. Not very pleasant when riding 70-80 km/h. But I got down in one piece, taking it easy. Riding safe is important to me now, since I have a job to do and don’t want to end up in the hospital 🙂

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Pico de las Nieves – view to Teide, Tenerife

The third day me, Wouter and Jack (another Free Motion employee), went for a ride up Soria and down Tauropass. I felt like toast today and no matter how much I drank I was suffering. Heart rate high, power low and feeling crap. Don’t think I’m sick, but the heat stress is starting to add up. Smiling bravely on the photos though. The scenery is so beautiful here, and I know the feeling will get better when I adapt to the climate.

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On my way down Tauropass – Serenity climb

When we had descended through Mogán and came down to the coast we found out there was a triathlon race and the coast road was closed. I was happy to hear that and we took a break in Puerto Mogán to refuel and wait for the road to open. Eating a meal during a ride is not really recommended, since you often feel uncomfortably full afterwards and the gut steals some blood and water to process the food ingested. But it was a long time since breakfast, so a lunch break was in place. If you’re going for a riding lunch then Puerto Mogán is really recommended. Calm, sunny, beach, view – just perfect 🙂

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Puerto Mogán

After three decent rides down here, I’m now ready for a rest day. I guess we’ll take it easy with a jog to the beach, some time in the ocean and then back home again to relax more. Nice way to spend a Sunday in paradise 🙂 I’ll keep you updated!

2 Comments:

  1. Hans Lindvard Tryterud

    Hi Martin!
    Good luck with your new life.
    You wrote that you worked in the military? 🙂
    Would you recomend biking as army traning.
    Heard that you get stronger legs from biking than from running!
    Whats your record of the legendary 8 km backpack run?
    Regards Hans 🙂

    • Martin Haugo

      Hello Hans. First of all thank you! Cycling is a good addition to endurance training, bur for Army training I would suggest a variety including running and hiking in terrain with a backpack of about 25 kg. That is good for your legs ?. My 8 km time is around 40 min. – Martin

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