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Old 10-17-2014, 07:59 AM   #1
trackpete OP
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Spain, a SYM 125, and 10 days to explore

Hello again ADV! After riding a desk for almost three years in one of those annoying jobs at a small startup where I always need to be within a few minutes of a computer, I finally convinced my boss to let me take a "real" vacation. You guys know what that means - instead of sitting on a beach somewhere for two days sipping margaritas, a real vacation means exploring somewhere new on less than four wheels with no plans other than a vague destination.

I had a cool opportunity to meet up with some old adventure acquaintances in Spain to spend a weekend starting to learn to paramotor (the only possibly cooler way to travel than few wheels is no wheels), and decided to fly in a week early, rent a scooter, and travel around Spain.

All I know is that I'm starting in Barcelona, planning on heading south when I arrive for a bit, then looping around north to finish through the Pyrenees in a giant loop around northern Spain. From everything I've read there should be plenty of amazing roads (I've rarely seen a map with so many mountain passes clustered next to each other), varied terrain, and unknown amounts of drama. Wild camping is pretty much against the rules in a lot of places, but we'll see what happens - staying under a roof is no fun on an adventure.

I'm flying out in a few hours and this time tomorrow should be starting my adventure in Spain. Stay tuned for the exciting stuff!

A bit about me:

I've racked up over 50k miles on adventure rides on impractical equipment (no fancy KLR650's for me!) in often impractical places. I fell in love with scooters in Thailand and ended up riding one to Deadhorse for kicks, so I thought a scooter would be way more exciting than renting a bigger bike. There's just something more interesting to me about being forced to engage with terrain at 50MPH or less. My last big ride was through South America and I had a ton of fun posting it here and interacting with everyone, so even though this one is a short ride I thought I'd post it up instead of limiting it to my blog. I think that link is still in my sig if you want to check it out.



Gear & Equipment:

Getting ready for this trip was a little weird. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't a full adventure in a unpopulated wilderness, and I didn't need a thousand little contingency items that I'm used to bringing. No spare earbuds, tons of batteries, tool kits, medical emergency kits, arctic weather gear, and all that jazz that completely bulks up and overloads your bags. At the end of the day I'm ready to roll with just under 30lbs worth of gear and plenty of space in my dry bag - it's really cool to have a small enough set of gear that I can throw it on my back and explore somewhere instead of worrying about someone getting into my bags on my bike every time I stop.

For the gearheads, here's the main stuff:

Photo / Video: I'm rolling extremely light compared to normal, it feels really weird. I hope it will be both a challenge and a learning experience to force myself to use what I have, instead of bringing 10lbs of camera gear like normal (the Canon 5D3 and all the fancy lenses are staying at home). The gear I have should be able to take some compelling pictures and video without being too bulky or risky to deal with:
  • Main Camera: Sony RX1 (fixed 35mm)
  • Main Video: GoPro Hero4 Silver
  • Backup Video: GoPro Hero2
  • Slik Sprint Mini GM

And of course my phone can supplement as needed.

Camping Gear: With wild camping being against regulations in a lot of Spain, I still hope it's worth bringing this stuff along - nothing beats pulling over and chilling out in the mountains somewhere. It's a light ruck this time, but enough to survive pretty much anything.
  • Big Agnes SL2 Tent
  • High Peak Mt. Rainier -20 Synthetic Sleeping Bag
  • Big Agnes Q-Core SL Insulated Sleeping Pad
  • NRS Heavy Duty Bill's Bag (dry bag)

Most of this gear is pretty well proven, with dirt from 3-4 continents already caked onto it. The only new item is the Q-Core sleeping pad, which is an upgrade to my previous Big Agnes pad that started to leak in a couple spots after a couple nights in thorn brush (woops).

The Bill's Bag has been through some serious shit with me, so I know it will hold up to almost anything and keep all of my gear safe. Here are a couple examples of the beating that thing has taken:




The Big Agnes SL2 is also amazing - I've spent nearly a year of my life sleeping in that thing over the last few years, in conditions from blizzards dropping 8+ inches of snow on me to 70+MPH winds in Tierra del Fuego and tropical storms on Easter Island. The only thing that hasn't held up perfectly on it through all this abuse is one zipper that doesn't work right.



Finally, the High Peak Mt. Rainier bag is legit. In South America I spent a number of nights well below freezing, including one night in Bolivia that was so cold the LCD on my watch thermometer stopped displaying anything at -10F. Waking up feeling toasty and warm next to completely frozen through water bottles was a totally normal thing, and it fits so well I once slept through a massive sandstorm with just a bunch of grit in my teeth to show for it, even though everything else in my tent was coated with sand.



Clothing: My girlfriend keeps telling me to pack more clothes. She thinks I'm going to be stinky, but she doesn't realize that I don't care. ;) My clothing list is simple, almost all proven adventure gear, in some cases stuff I've worn for 2+ weeks without taking it off in the past:
  • 2x ExOfficio Give-n-Go Underwear (the best there is IMO)
  • ExOfficio Kukura Trek'r Pants (light but effective soft shell - good in light rain, but can't hold up to a downpour)
  • 2x Woolly Clothing Co' V-Neck T-shirts (love these, especially the perfect fit v-neck which is so comfortable for guys like me with big necks)
  • ExOfficio Storm Logic Jacket (great lightweight puffer jacket)
  • ExOfficio Rain Logic Jacket (ultra lightweight hardshell, very effective - doesn't hold up to abuse as much as my GoreTex gear, but is a quarter the size/weight)
  • Knock Off TNF Gloves (I got 'em in Nepal but they work!)
  • Merrell Moab Mid boots (brand new)

All right, I think that kicks things off. You know who I am, where I'm going, and what I'm taking with me. Hopefully next time you'll hear from me will be in a day or two with a few hundred miles in Spain under my belt. Cheers guys!
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Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
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Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!

trackpete screwed with this post 10-17-2014 at 08:05 AM
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #2
NB0TT
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Sounds cool but let's hear more about what you'll be riding. SYM 125 = Wolf Classic IE CB125? Or some scooter instead?
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
Vitor
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Trackpete its always a pleasure reading your adventures. Count me in. Try to visit Basque country and then make it to Galicia.

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Old 10-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #4
HighwayChile
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cool ! post up !
I have a trip planned for a month next spring, similar as you go route but may include some of France. I'm looking for long term 250 ( or 125 ) MC rental, the typical BMW rental is insanely expensive.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:49 PM   #5
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Subscribed! Your record of epic adventures sealed the deal!
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Old 10-19-2014, 02:56 AM   #7
trackpete OP
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Day 1 - Flights, Meeting the Scooter, and Hitting the Road

The first day on a new adventure, even a small one, is always a weird feeling. It starts with hours and hours of sitting, waiting, and wondering what's going to happen. Then you finally hit the road, but you're in a foreign city surrounded by people with no idea what you're doing, and (at least for me) the main focus is simply to go, go, go. No time for thinking, no stops for pictures, just GET OUT.

Yesterday was one of the longest like this - I think it's the first time I've actually flown somewhere and immediately hit the road without even an evening to get over jet lag and relax. It didn't help that nothing started out right... but for me, that's a good sign for an adventure.

Before I explain how the day went down, let me introduce you to the scooter I'm riding:



It's a SYM 125, a four cylinder every day commuter very common here in Spain and (as I understand it) southern Europe. I don't know anything else about it, other than that I watched youtube reviews of a few scooters I could rent and this one seemed the most likely to fit my dry bag in the little cubby up front, the way I like it. Good news - it did! The ride has been comfortable and very nice, those big wheels make it feel incredibly stable. It cruises happily at 70KMH and can get up to 80-85KMH if I need to, maybe even a bit faster. Perfect speed for chilling through Spain. I'm looking forward to spending the next week with the little guy.

The Trip:

A comedy of errors, or just a typical day of traveling? My flight from DCA to JFK was delayed due to "computer problems" - it looked for certain I would miss my connection to Barcelona, but between some last minute luck and a great flight team, we ended up landing in JFK at 5:15PM (instead of 4:30PM). The only problem: My flight to Spain was supposed to leave at 5:30PM, and it was quite a long distance away! At the exit gate from my plane, I asked one of the gate attendants "I'm on the 5:30 to Barcelona, can I make it if I rush or should I not bother?" She tapped twice at her computer and said "They're closing the door in four minutes? Can you run? If so, RUN." The lady next to her chimed in, and as they both chanted "run, run, run!" I took off sprinting through JFK.

If you've never sprinted through a giant airport, I highly recommend the experience. It's probably one of the few indoor places you can run at full tilt and no one gets upset. Quite to the contrary, everyone I passed seemed to think it was quality entertainment, as I barreled down terminal to random shouts of "hope you make it!" and "good luck!" It was a long run, and I stopped a couple times for a breather on escalators to imaginary relaxed elevator music transitioning back into metal as I took off again at the end. As I rounded the corner to the correct terminal, I heard them issue a last call for my flight. With eight gates to go, I put on speed again and headed towards the Barcelona gate at full tilt.

As I rounded the gate, the crew there was just starting to close the door, and they all laughed as they saw me running up. "Slow down, take a breath, it's okay" they said. "Were you on the DCA flight?" they asked me.

"Yeah, they told me I had to run to make it, so I did." I replied. One of the ladies snickered and said "wow you must be in good shape, they just landed a few minutes ago." All those parkour workouts have a real world purpose after all - I only wish I could've vaulted some random stuff in the airport to make the scene complete. I found out there were three other people on the same flights, and apparently they were all going to miss it because they didn't run. Made me feel good.

The flight to Barcelona was a flight. I didn't get any sleep, and landing at 7AM I knew I was in for a long day. Customs in Spain was a breeze - the guy behind the counter didn't even look up at me while stamping my passport. I rolled into the main terminal with an hour until the scooter delivery guy was supposed to show up, so I decided to pick up a SIM card for my phone and ran into another set of problems. My ATM card wouldn't work, and all of my credit cards were being rejected by everyone. Anti-fraud had automatically kicked in, I guess because I haven't traveled in forever, and I'd need to call everyone up and get them turned back on - but how to do that with no money? Luckily I had two hundred US in cash, so I converted that to euros and lived on cash. Got a SIM card and headed outside to wait for my moto.

At 9:30 it wasn't there, so I finally started making calls. I got ahold of the rental guy and realized the entire thing was messed up. I had originally said I was arriving on 10/17, but changed the reservation for 10/18 when I realized I was gaining a day. They got the day change, for some some reason they also changed the arrival time to 18:00 - so they weren't expecting me until 6PM! He told me if I took the Aerobus into Barcelona, he'd pick me up and we'd roll.

At the Aerobus ticket machines, I ran into a bunch of problems. It wouldn't take any of my cards (this is when I learned they were all turned off), and a lot of other Americans were having the same problem. I couldn't buy a bus ticket because they wouldn't accept more than 20 euro notes and my smallest was a 50. I kept trying to use my cards until finally it occurred to me to beg the bus lady to take a 50 - and, low and behold, she took pity on me and let me on.

From there, everything went great. The scooter guy picked me up and drove me back to the rental place. I got the scooter, loaded my gear up and frankly all I could think about was leaving. I spent an hour getting completely lost and found again multiple times in Barcelona (I had planned to leave from the airport south of the city), thank goodness I had a data SIM and could pull up Google Maps. When you're from the US, these cities with all their roundabouts are confusing as hell, and Spain seems to think road signs are sorta optional.

My first surprise of the day came from the roads I was on. I thought I had read up on Spain's roads and the different kinds, but what I thought would be a normal two lane road was actually a dual carriageway. Luckily people in Spain seem way more chill about scooters, because even though I was cruising along at 90 with everyone blowing past me, no one lost their shit at me - unlike most roads in the US, where it's impossible to ride under the speed limit without random abuse being hurled at you by asshats as they drive by.

At this point I literally had no idea what I was doing. I had a vague idea of taking C32 south for awhile, then figuring something out. I ended up just kinda exiting onto random roads and going random places, trying to relax and slow down my mind. I wound up on this gorgeous coastal road, very similar to the Pacific Coast Highway in SoCal, and it finally got me into the right place. I was in space, I was on a moto, I was living life.

Unfortunately that road ended way too soon - there were few places to stop, and I didn't get any good pictures. I took this snap with my phone for facebook to give you an idea:



I ended up back on a bunch of random smaller roads, gassed up a couple of times, and generally just kept going southwest. I had really hoped to spend all of my time on the coast, but either there just aren't roads hugging the coast the entire way or I couldn't find them on my map. By 3PM I was completely exhausted and needed some food, but I couldn't find somewhere to stop. None of the restaurants or cafes I passed seemed open, and all the little towns were shut down. It felt at times like Ebola had wiped everyone out, with nothing moving on the streets and no stores open I kept expecting random infected to come running out at me. I guess Spain takes their siestas pretty damn seriously.

I finally ended up stopping at a Burger King. Yep, I admit it, I'm that guy. Flies to Spain and has his first meal at an American fast food joint. What can I say? It was literally the only place I could find open where I could eat and watch my bike and relax for a bit. So I got a whopper and did my thing.

Around this time my phone died. Woops. Luckily I'm an adventuring genius and had planned for this by bringing a huge external battery pack, which was now plugged into my phone - and that entire blog was going into my cargo pants pocket. Bleh. Regardless, I made a decision on auxiliary power: screw the coast, it wasn't working for me, I was going to head inland and start my curve back around north earlier than expected.

And so, half an hour later I found myself back into the proper mental zone, nearly alone on a series of twisty mountain roads. I hit my first pass of the trip at 507 meters before descending into the basin area of Catalonia. This whole area was surreal - I know it sounds stupid, but aside from the occasional road sign I could've been in SoCal or some parts of Arizona. Usually when I'm riding somewhere else the terrain looks similar but there are noticeable differences like types of shrubs or colors. In this case the only difference was that as far as I could tell *all* the terrain was cultivated. Farms, small orchards, cultivation everywhere. There was definitely not going to be any free camping out here.



By 5PM, the sun was getting low and I was dangerously spent. I'd been awake for something like 40 hours and riding a scooter through a foreign country for five. I noticed that sometimes in curves I'd just start to head straight off the road before correcting at the last second, a bit lost in my head and half asleep. The road signs had been mentioning this big town Lleida for awhile, so I figured that would be it for me - no camping out here, just find a hotel and let it go. As I finally arrived in Lleida, I felt I had made the right decision: the entire town is overlooked by a massive fortress/cathedral. It's stunning. I wish there was anywhere I could stop to take a picture, but the Spanish don't believe in shoulders apparently.

Finally I gave up on a photo and found an Ibis Budget hotel. It's hilarious and adorable. All I can say when I saw the room is that it looked straight out of an IKEA catalog:



To make a long story only a small bit shorter, I killed time until 7:30, had dinner, and crashed out HARD. I woke up at 8AM this morning after sleeping twelve hours and it took all my effort to get out of bed. Not sure what I'm up to today, but I decided this morning to take it easy and no worry about getting as much road time as possible. I have to be back up north of Barcelona in a few days, but until then I can relax.

I was thinking about visiting that Cathedral but again I run into the main problem of any solo adventure like this - I can't leave my stuff anywhere. I'll have to be content to adding it to the list of places to visit again sometime, properly.

Thoughts on Spain so far:

Granted I'm in Catalonia, but I never really realized how different Spain Spanish is from South American Spanish. I guess it's like learning English in the US and then talking to a guy from the UK. I can have 3-4 exchanges with someone with complete fluency, then all of a sudden they will say something that it just completely beyond my capacity to understand. It confuses me, and confuses them because suddenly I stopped understanding. Usually it turns out to be just words use in different ways than I'm used to (for example, the lady at the bus kept using the word "seguridad" to, as far as I could tell, refer to coins - or maybe it was just the context of me giving her a coin with a note, or something, but I couldn't figure out what she meant at first by asking me for a "seguridad", which I would interpret as a deposit in that case).

The drivers here are cool. The people here are cool. I know it's a very biased American tourist type thing to say, but I wasn't prepared for the racial diversity here. I keep forgetting that I'm outside South America. Having a random blond haired blue eyed guy with long slick backed hair and a surfer tan speak to me in Spanish is weird.

I think finding meals during the day is going to be the hardest problem. I gotta remember to stock up on snacks instead of relying on random cafe stops. Hrm.

Anyway, sorry no GPS tracks/etc. for today, maybe tomorrow!
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
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Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:53 AM   #8
trackpete OP
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Day 2

It's a proper sign of an adventure ride when the lady at the hotel asks if you came through town, but you have no idea what she's talking about because you don't recognize the name of the town you're in for the night. All you know is that you stopped because it was time to stop.

Today things came together properly. Yesterday felt a bit like I was trying to force things, wasn't used to the country yet, didn't always know what I was doing, sometimes felt more than a bit confused. In Catalonia, do people speak Spanish or Catalan? (mostly everyone speaks Spanish, but a lot of signs are in both) What do you do when a light starts blinking yellow? (go!) How do you get gas? (just pump then pay) Is my Spanish still working enough to get by? (yes, whew)

Overall it made a big difference, and finding some good roads away from the coast and the massive highways finished the job. It meant I was able to just lean back and enjoy the trip - no destination, no really urgent goals, just wandering randomly through the countryside. And what a beautiful countryside it was.

Here is my route so far, 130 miles the first day and 160 miles the second:



I started off heading north from Lleida, with a vague notion of taking the C13 because it was the best looking road on my map. Somehow I ended up on an Autovia, and I found myself getting upset that it was a dual carriageway instead of the normal seeming highway I thought it would be. My map of Spain is not very useful, I'm starting to realize. After riding on this for a few miles I started getting frustrated and decided I would take the next exit and find someone else. As I exited, I saw a red sign for C13z - what is this? A smaller C13? Why, yes please.

Apparently a lot of the bigger highways were built next to older roads which are still maintained for slower traffic. Genius. Within a few miles on C13z I started to head towards what was very clearly a descent into a canyon between two mountains. You guys know the feeling, when you come over a hill and see this in front of you:



Then around the next corner I saw a group of guys in full leathers on sport bikes stopped for a drink - you know you're in the right place when that happens! The road was super fun, a bunch of long sweepers with nice scenery followed by a tunnel and an exit past a dam with this view:



More signs you're on the right road:



The next couple hours were spent just wandering up and down through the mountains on a pretty nice open road, nothing too tight but never too loose either, with amazing views off to the side. The highest pass I can recall hitting was around 1000 meters, which meant I spent a lot of time clearing my ears. The tunnels on this route are super fun because they often seem to be next to dams, which means you come out of them to these beautiful lakes.





To take the second picture here, I had to wander over a small bridge off the highway. When I got back from taking the picture I noticed there were signs saying that road went somewhere, but it looked more like a forest track than a road. I decided to consult my map and see where it went.



It wasn't on my map. Well, the name of the town it stated was, and seemed a lot further north, so I thought... maybe this road is one of those older ones that parallels C13? Let's do it! I proceeded to wander slowly up this road, literally maybe ten feet wide, as it climbed back and forth up the mountainside. So much fun, even though I had to be very careful around corners because of the vegetation, and there were a few spots where it was all gravel. It wound up and down and all over. At one point I saw a turn off but decided to stay on the "main" part anyway, not sure what I was doing.



All the cool towns in Catalonia seem to be built on hills. It's pretty incredible. Literally going around a corner through the woods and seeing this open up above you:



Turned out to be an old town built around a church, as well as the end of the road. The views from the overlook were fantastic, and somewhat humurously I could look down and see the turn where I decided to stay on the "main" part of the road and realize it turned off into a road that paralled the lake, which is where I thought I was going!



I ate my apple from breakfast and explored the town for a bit, all this ancient stonework is fascinating to me.



On the way back down to the turnoff, I was able to spend a bit more time on the downhill and was really happy that I had come up here - in general, any time you can see the road below you, you're doing something right.



This led to a beautiful little track through a bunch of farms and rural areas, often next to the river/lake, that was just incredibly fun. I don't think I saw a single car the 20min or so I was on it. There was this cool little bridge over a processing plant that looked like it was straight out of a movie action scene:



I rolled into a pretty big town hoping to get some food and supplies, but man, I'm not kidding about these places being buttoned up. Granted, it was around 2PM on a Sunday, but seriously this is one of the main streets of that place I rode through:



Completely empty. Crazy. Luckily the gas station was open so I decided to stock up on twix and pringles, and may have bought myself a little roadie beer (though I didn't end up drinking it until my hotel that night). More road. More dams and lakes.



More bizarre little highways. Seriously, if you ride into a town and see this intersection in front of you, which direction do you think the highway you're on is? If you guess left, you're right. Spain is awesome.



This led me to a SUPER road, with tons of twisties, up and down a mountain (I believe I saw a 1300 meter pass), with a ton of touring and sport bike groups whizzing past me every 5-10 minutes. Just random pretty stuff. It was super cool, I grabbed some gopro footage and enjoyed the ride.

It ended in this crazy 5km tunnel straight down through the dark, which was really eerie. A group of sportbikers rolled past me and it was awesome hearing their exhaust for the next ten minutes echoing all over. Man I love that sound.

Some other tunnels and lakes and roads from that section:







Finally, around 6pm as the sun was going down, I came down the mountain into this adorable little town. It looks like something out of a storybook:



It seems to be very touristy, like a ski town of some sort, but is definitely in the off season because it's very empty. I decided to try something new and pulled up Priceline and grabbed a local hotel for cheap in two minutes - I got there about a minute before the fax came through with my registration. Pretty cool, technology is amazing. I unpacked and changed and the receptionist recommended I head into town for dinner to a restaurant called (in Catalan) The Witch for a steak.





At 8PM, this is what the restaurant looked like inside:



Apparently most people really don't go out for dinner until around 10PM. This is mind blowing to me. I feel like most people back home are in bed at 10PM, or at least watching Netflix. I'm ready to eat my own face after a day of pringles and twix, so I go big and do the fancy menu and these guys don't mess around. I get a delicious bottle of wine, a giant omelette (with "old rope" in it, great name for pulled beef apparently), try some Sidra for the first time (I asked the lady what it was and she was very confused "it's, uh, sidra" but she let me try some - sorta like a very tart lemon shandy, quite good but not a 8PM kind of drink for me), and stuff my face.

Because it's not a proper ADV post if you're not posting your food, here you go:



After that, back to the hotel to crash. Now it's almost 10AM on Monday and I'm still writing this, so I should probably start packing and hit the road. The cool thing is I realized I'm only about 500 kilometers away from where I need to be on Friday, so I think I'm going to be spending some serious time wandering the mountains. Booya.
__________________
Ride Reports:
2011 - South America on Three Wheels
2010 - DC to AK and back on a 106cc scooter (mini-report)
-----
Check out my 2009-2010 Adventure Highlight Video on Vimeo!
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Old 10-20-2014, 03:59 AM   #9
Vitor
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Spanish dinning time always shocks americans. You better get used to siesta.

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Old 10-20-2014, 05:12 AM   #10
motosikel
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
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And don't leave the Pyrenees without eating wild boar stew (Jabali). A lot of traditional restaurants up in the mountains should have it on their menu.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #11
trackpete OP
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Days 3 and 4

I tried to update this morning, but for some reason the data connection on my phone completely dropped (and the hostal I stayed at didn't have wifi). So here's Day 3 and Day 4 together, since they really were basically the same thing:


Now that I'm northern Catalonia where I wanted to be, I realized it's really not that far to the place I need to be on Friday... so without any urgency, it was time to literally go randomly for wherever I wanted!



I don't even have that much to say about the experience other than "wow." Spain has some gorgeous roads, and a lot of them seem to be very lightly used at this time of year! If I had a "real" bike I would have been hauling some serious ass, so I supposed it's a good thing I was stuck nice and slow.

I started out by purposely heading towards France on a road that would basically dead end for me because it looked cool. I accidentally rolled into France for a mile or so before I realized the signs were in French and I should turn around (my insurance doesn't cover me outside Spain). Then I saw another little wiggly road up over the mountains towards France and decided to take that. It was windy and awesome, and an F360 Modena tore past me at one point. On the way back down I stopped at a pretty cool overlook for lunch.



From there I rolled back past where I spent the night and took off on this awesome road through the mountains past ski resorts and lifts and little ski villages that were all almost empty and abandoned. It was hours of perfect scenery and road, almost completely to myself - sometimes 20min would go by without a car. Here are some random shots:









I've been noticing a problem with my helmet feeling weird on my head, a slight bruise yesterday indicated something was wrong but I thought it was just New Helmet Syndrome. Finally it got to the point where it was hurting very badly so I decided to stop and see what was going on. Well, it's an LS2 OFC569 and it's designed HORRIBLY: there is a seam in the front padding in the very center of the forehead! The part that wind pushes directly into your head. I've never seen a helmet with a seam here, and there's a reason for it. Having a seam at the point of greatest pressure causes this:



It hurts a lot too. I put my buff on my head to take some direct pressure off, but then the helmet is a little too tight, so it's kinda a lose lose situation. It's really horrible. I need to find some duct tape or something, I might try stuffing it with squares of toilet paper or something tomorrow. Ridiculous design, LS2.

Anyway, found some more roads.



Goofed around a bit.



And finally hit a random hostal in a random town whose name is too long to remember for the night. This time I waited until 8:30 to go to dinner and I was still the first person in there. Graw. On the plus side I had an entire bottle of wine to myself and crashed out hard.

Today was more of the same. It was literally look at the map, pick a road, take it until it ends or gets boring, pick another road. Repeat. I ended up doing a giant circle.



Today's roads were also AMAZING. Holy crap. I got a lot of GoPro footage that I'm going to have to edit into a timelapse or something to show people how much fun these are. I can't even talk about it. The only thing I did today other than ride was hit up a grocery store for a roadie and some pasta, which I enjoyed in the middle of a field somewhere. Otherwise, road, road, road.

Also my helmet still hurts like hell. So annoying.





The best possible sign you can see on an adventure:














Okay this is kinda hard to see, but look careful at the top of the big rock plateau thingie in this picture, on the right side of it you can see a teeny little steeple from a church. There is a freakin' church or monastery or something up there. It's crazy. I can't even imagine the views from that place, it was getting late or I would have tried to figure out how to get there.



I ended up in some town I don't remember (typical), with a supermarket and another random hotel (this one's a bit nicer, and has wifi!). So once again I grabbed some beers and pasta and oreos, because calories don't count on adventures. Maybe I can last until 9pm or something to try dinner this time.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
linksIT
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Beautiful pictures thanks for sharing
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:39 PM   #13
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:06 AM   #14
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Beautiful pictures thanks for sharing
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:57 PM   #15
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Great adventure and report.
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