Day 1 - Lessons

 13 December 2021

“Sal, we gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.'

'Where we going, man?'

'I don't know but we gotta go.” ― Jack Kerouac

6.00am start. 7.00am depart. Clear skies. Little wind.

Wake up with razors in my throat. Getting sick. Nevermind.

The ride through Barcelona was smooth. Little traffic so early.

Once out of the city easy going. Bikes are great. Flat roads.

We knock over 25km with ease. Stop at a service station for a coffee and croissant. A truck drives off. A man chases him. I think someone stole it. Exciting morning tea.

I am comfortable with the 75km planned based on the first 25km. I am not comfortable with the course Kommot has plotted. Heavy traffic.

Then hills. Steep hills. Forever.

Tough going. It is 17C. I am in a shirt and I am drenched with sweat.

We push on. It is grinding, slow work. Trucks passing around us.

Stop for lunch. Famished. Jamòn and cheese on a roll. I realise I have not been drinking. Take in some water and press on. Relentless incline.

Barry, Shells Dad is having surgery. It plays on the mind. Is he OK?

It is 2.00 pm and we have pulled over at Piera. Just hit 45km. Exhausted. The first 25 km took us under two hours. The next 20 km took us over four hours. The trip graph shows another 30km of hills. We will not make day 1 destination.

Hindsight. We should have stopped in Piera. Found a place to pitch the tent and have an early night.

We find a campsite just outside Vallbona d’Anoia. 12km. We push through Vallbona d’Anoia and then coast down the steep incline to the campsite. Conscious of all the elevation we are losing.

The campsite is closed. Dilapidated buildings and roaming dogs. Warning signs. This is where tourists never return from.

We push the bikes back up the hill from the campsite. Ask a local where we can pitch a tent. Nowhere.

Shell books accommodation at Capellades. Hotel Can Carol. 3.5km. Terrible ride on a freeway. Through a tunnel.

Approaching Can Carol we are in a heritage lane. Stunning. Arrive. It is closed. A neighbor gives a number. No English. It is almost dark.


I look at Shell leaning against the wall of Can Carol. She is done.

There is a machine shop at the end of the street. No English but we work through it. They let us camp on the land next to their workshop. Lucky.

We make camp and cook dinner in the dark. Pasta with tomato and chorizo.

Clean the camp kitchen.I crash in my sweaty clothes.

A dog barks. All night.

Reflecting on the day. We pushed too hard for new riders. We should call the day well before we lose daylight.

It was challenging and rewarding. A great first day.

Thank you Toni for letting us stay on your land.

“regret is mostly caused by not having done anything.” ― Charles Bukowski

How the day looked -


  1. Brilliant start! Go Tony! Rachelle slumped against the wall is the picture of a successful day. Wondering how the legs go day 2!

    1. It all fell apart GWR. Nevermind. Recover. Regroup. March on. Not going to lie. Another uphill leg tomorrow. 20km the goal. Calm down 60km.

  2. 60km in 5 hours well done!! Keep it up my friends.

  3. Do tell us about your bikes please. I’m zooming with fascination; wondering if you have a pinion gearing set up

    1. Hey Moose. The bikes are made by NUA. Running a Pinion 1.18 and a Gates Carbon drive. Great riding.


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