Leaving September’s meeting place at the Rede Energia petrol station, just south of São Brás de Alportel, the clouds started to melt away with the rising temperature. It was an extremely good turn-out with 36 riders, including many new faces and bikes wanting to experience an ‘ASB Ride’.
Due to the number of members turning up, organisers divided the group into two smaller groups making the ride more manageable, pleasant and safe.
Group 1 was led by Hans Veninga and departed 10 minutes before Group 2 led by Phil Smith. Both riders are very experienced at organising and leading ASB rides.
The riders headed east for a short while before turning in a northerly direction along quiet country roads surrounded by beautiful views of rolling hills and valleys with the occasional hamlet and village to ride through.
After 40 minutes or so with the sun shining and the heat climbing, we reached our designated coffee stop for a well-earned break at Casa de Pasto Paraíso da Serra, near the river bridge in Portela.
Group 2 arrived shortly afterwards, and it was nice to compare highlights of the first leg and get to know the new members.
Away we went again in split groups and headed towards Cachopo before turning east for what was to become the highlight of the ride.
Riding in the sunshine along winding roads on top of the hills rewarded us with views down to the Algarve coast in the hazy distance.
Eventually, we approached the Barragem de Odeleite from the west and rode along the northern side which opened up more wondrous views.
Finally, we reached our lunch destination at the Bela Vista Restaurant in Odeleite.
The staff really looked after us with service and food on par with the excellent ride we had all just experienced.