Day 16: Sunday 2 July 2023 - Girona to Barcelona - Brighton to Barcelona by bike - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2023

Day 16: Sunday 2 July 2023 - Girona to Barcelona

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route planned 100km

A fairly poor night sleep bearing in mind the very early start we had planned. An extremely poor quality picnic breakfast was provided. Hard to believe that a chef went to chef school and was happy to provide what we had.

Off by 715 and a lovely cool morning, with a road parallel to the motorway for about 20 KM very peaceful nonetheless. We then left the motorway and had 15 KM of beautiful woodland country roads that appeared to be going downhill the whole way which is a fairly unusual experience on a bike.

Within stop for a proper breakfast and coffee at Hostalric, where a local café was run by young English woman, who had been living in Catalonia all her life. Very efficient service, and absolutely massive sandwiches, which I could only eat half of which is very unusual for those who know me. A really good choice of stopping spot.

We then had a choice of routes, and chose the main road, which was slightly busier than we had hoped, but fairly flat. I started to have issues with the left side of my body and eventually about halfway along the 20 KM stretch I decided that I needed a rest as I was really struggling. Steve came and collected me in the van, and I took a lift to the next stopping point, where I probably fell asleep for an hour in the van while the others turned up.  That was enough for me to recover, and we regroup to the bottom of the hill for a snack in the local town, before heading off for the final 27 KM of built-up suburbs into Barcelona itself.

There was quite a complicated plan for us all to be arriving simultaneously at 4 pm, which clearly was quite difficult to achieve with different speeds.  Along the seafront in the industrialised suburbs of Barcelona there is effectively a choice of a very busy main road or a narrow pedestrian promenade on the opposite side of the railway. Our route mostly favoured the pedestrian route which was very busy being a Sunday afternoon and the last 15 KM seemed to drag slowly but with plenty of dedicated cycle lanes.

We arrived at the hotel around 3:30 pm, just time for a very quick shower and put a cycling shirt back on, for a ceremonial ride for the 19 of us to reception at the Congress, along with the Italian and Spanish cycling delegates. And a really fantastic welcome.Singing and dancing and a chance to meet inspirational people.

Kathy, Dave and I decided to have a quiet evening on the roof terrace of the hotel, with a 10th floor, panoramic view of the city and skyline. A great cocktail and a few others joined us, including Steve and Paul, our trusty support crew.  We also got to meet and chat for a long time with Neil, Russell, his wife, Nickie and their dog, Oscar.  Neil did it the hard way with 38 days of 46km per day RUNNING from London.

Then an early night!

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Today's ride: 93 km (58 miles)
Total: 1,405 km (873 miles)

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Ben GoodgerMANY, MANY CONGRATULATIONS!! Incredible achievement - especially given the physical challenges enduring (and overcome) by many of the cyclists.
Truly awesome.
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1 year ago