I’ve been into cycling for some time now and I guess it all started once I moved to Europe since Caracas is not a great place for bikes. This passion reached new levels once I started working in Bracknell outside of London and I decided to commute there every two or three days ( it all depended on my knees). My commute would be 40kms return trip from London to Bracknell and back into London.
Moving forward it’s been a year since I moved with my girlfriend to Barcelona and I just fell in love with the mountains around the city and the long obstacle-less ride along the Besos river.
Yet, I’ve always dreamt about getting on my bike and ride for more than 100 kilometres. It sounds like an easy thing, especially when you look at the cyclist at the Tour De France. But there are some differences that we need to jot down.
- Expect for Matteo who had a road bike, our average bike weight was that of an small elephant. We rode hybrid bikes with panniers weighting 7-9 kg.
- We were not ready for riding, none of us is a sporty person, and our big bellies speak more than thousand words.
- Have I mentioned that Costa Brava is beautiful due to its nice “mountains”? Yes, mountains, not flat and you can imagine the struggle.
- We drank beer(sometimes too much) along the way, and of course that didn’t help us either to climb those hills/mountains.
Regardless of all these drawbacks we got on our bikes and went off to Girona, not without an eternity for Matteo and his delayed plane and taxi to the city centre.
Once we were all set and ready to go we left Barcelona and that day we went until Calella. Calella is in my opinion a smaller, not so well-known city than Lloret de Mar. It is packed with English and Germans mainly. We could have rode farther ahead but we didn’t know if we would be able to make it to that town in the first place so I was very conservative in how far we could ride on the first day.
Day 2 we got to Canyelles, a town in the valley, and that posed a challenge for all of us because it was quite steep but it didn’t matter we went up-down and up again. We visited the beach in Canyelles, where by pure coincidence I did my diving course at. Canyelles is a great place, you finally feel local. The beach is quiet and it’s nice to snorkel a bit on the left side of the beach surrounding the rocky bay. After relaxing on the beach, eating something, and drinking two beers each, we felt a bit bored so we grabbed our bikes and decided to cycle until for another 35 minutes to Tossa de Mar.
In Tossa de Mar we felt like we should have booked a place to stay there but it was now too late. We enjoyed the sea and the crowd of people, followed by a nice dinner and an exciting fussball ( aka foosball or simply Table Football).
The morning after and after cycling back to our B&B in Canyelles, Matteo was enjoying the pains of riding a fast road bike, whilst us three were fine – oh happy days.
The third and last day we went again to Tossa de Mar for breakfast and from there we cycled through El Massis de Les Carriletes and started climbing the highest hill/mountain we have ever encountered at 300 m.a.s.l (metres above sea level) and God knows we struggle but it felt good at the top once we reached the summit. After that it was only downhill and the muscles slowly started to heal again.
I decided to cycle the Carrilet from Llagostera until Girona and it was the wisest decision, since you cut through traffic and there are no cars on the gravel. For those who have doubts if a road bike can take the gravel my answer is “yes you can during summer or dry days, but I don’t think you can do so during wet days”.
Once we got to Girona I dragged the guys to the cathedral, just because it is a wonderful memory to have. After the taking a selfie at the Girona Cathedral we went to train station and waited to catch the train back to Barcelona. That’s pretty much it.
Honestly this could have been done in two days, and we could have gone further north if we would have pushed a bit harder and woke up a bit earlier. But then again we wanted to enjoy the ride and stop to take pictures and not just race through towns.