Girona Pyrenees 2017

Season two has almost come to an end. I’ve just completed the Girona – Catalan Pyrenees trip and it dawned on me that I hadn’t really ridden any mountains this year. Until now.

I like many others have been guilty of neglecting this incredible region in favour of its more famous French Tour de France and Giro d’Italia cousins . I love the Dolomites, Italian Alps, French Alps, most of us know Alp d’Huez, Stelvio, Pordoi, Ventoux but how many have heard of La Molina or Vallter 2000. Many people flock to Girona for Rocacorba but speak to the locals and professionals and the response is very different, borderline ambivalent, I’ve probably only ridden it three times.

This trip has possibly made it to one of my all time favourites. I am not shy about my love of Catalunya and the people, similarly with my experiences in Italy, the cycling is only part of the experience. The road surface here may be near perfect, climbs varied in gradient and difficulty, the views inspiring and jaw dropping, but for me the people and the places put this on a par with the more famous Italian destinations and possibly with my bias may even surpass them.

I’m also not shy about my dislike of randonee style trips, all that packing and unpacking, whizzing through and area and not really experiencing anything or really seeing it. For this trip we started in Girona, a few days warming up before we left  and headed North to the mountains. Four days in each, two bases, one city, one rural, the best that Catalunya has to offer and it didn’t disappoint. Breakfast at La Fabrica and evening meals created by local restaurants and our four star hotel in the Pyrenees, a beautifully refurbished farm house where most of our food was lovingly grown and prepared for us.

The point of all our trips is to get under the skin of the region and I think with this trip we really achieved it.

I love these eight day two centre trips, this and the Dolomites are perfect. Both show diversity, cultures, food and an incredible variety of riding.

A big thank you to Nigel, Vic, Daniel, Tristan and Veronica for making it such a special trip.

Nick Frendo