Stay off the Autopista we were told and stay off we did. No bikes allowed and who’d want to ride on a major highway when there were cycle ways and backroads to be had.
So meandering our way up to Pamplona we followed riverside hiking trails, canal bike paths, minor roads through desert parks and wind turbines and secondary highways when we had to.
We’ve been using good old paper maps for most of the trip, and the one I had wasn’t very detailed leaving a lot to interpretation. Following the signs for the little highway we were meant to be following lead me on a confusing trail that took us up onto an Autopista, this doesn’t seem right I thought but that’s the only signs so I guess that’s where we go.
Laughing at the SOS symbols on the super wide shoulder we tripped along looking for an exit off the Autopista when a police car pulled up behind us with excited policeman yelling at us. Hmmm ok. So we were in trouble, but why?
A kilometer down the road, police escort in tow we turned off and tried our best to ignore them. Unfortunately they wouldn’t go away. Pulling us up, bad cop informed us it was very dangerous riding on the Autopista and we were up for a €200.00 fine. Huh? Nooooooo. Does the fine make it safer? It had been one of the safest roads we’d ever ridden on.
We argued, I sulked, Dave swore black and blue that we didn’t have cash or cards on us and at one point the good cop asked me if I was crying. Hay fever had melted our faces into masses of mucus over the past few weeks and we were both constantly sniffling. Uh yes, yes I am crying as a matter of fact as I sulkily nibbled on a bag of nuts behind my oversized sunglasses. ‘Why’? he asked. Because I’m upset I said, (€200.00 worth of upset).
Amazingly they let us go! It was a public holiday and all the banks were closed, bad cop was unable to extract his fine.
Don’t ride on the Autopista.
By Trace 🙂