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Old 05-17-2014, 02:33 AM   #1
PowerSlide OP
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Location: Dublin Ireland
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Pyrenees RB3 and RB22 in July

Hey there,

Just booked Portsmouth to Santander for the 9th of july and Saint Nazaire to Rosslare for the 30th.

I'm planning to do Vibractions road book 3, a lap of Andorra off-road in the Pyrenees. It's a 500km route with about 300km of dirt. Then I'm taking a break for 5 days in Barcelona with the missus, she's flying in. The plan then is to do road book 22, Barcelona to Andorra over 250km's of dirt. Whoohoo! And then leg back to the ferry.

Only slightly exited!

Anyone interested or going to be in the vicinity?

And if anyone has done this before, tips for places to stay, eat etc would be greatly appreciated.

Gar
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:44 PM   #2
Meter Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerSlide View Post
Hey there,

Just booked Portsmouth to Santander for the 9th of july and Saint Nazaire to Rosslare for the 30th.

I'm planning to do Vibractions road book 3, a lap of Andorra off-road in the Pyrenees. It's a 500km route with about 300km of dirt. Then I'm taking a break for 5 days in Barcelona with the missus, she's flying in. The plan then is to do road book 22, Barcelona to Andorra over 250km's of dirt. Whoohoo! And then leg back to the ferry.

Only slightly exited!

Anyone interested or going to be in the vicinity?

And if anyone has done this before, tips for places to stay, eat etc would be greatly appreciated.

Gar
If possible, make sure to hit this road:

GI682 Toss Del Mar to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain



Tossa Del Mar is about 50ish miles north along the coast from Barcelona.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:29 PM   #3
The Spanish Biker
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Hi there,

In the summer I live a short way south west of Andorra, near Pobla de Segur.

I don'y know many of the trails that you're doing but I' did a HUMM there so I've probably done a few of them.

Conditions:

poor visibility ahead in the forest and ravine sections, so watch out for other vehicles, especially convoys of French folks in 4x4s - thanks to Vibraccion guides of course! - and also lots of mountains bikers, including quite young kids!

it's going to be seriously hot!

Hazards:

wild animals, especially boar which are becoming a big problem in that area and even worse close to towns and villages, and deer

cattle, cows and horse roam free on the high pastures all summer, they're used to vehicles and won't budge - big problem in woodland if you come across them round a blind bend

accidents/breakdown: there's very little mobile phone coverage even in some villages. So riding alone is a significant risk - locals simply don't do it.

Accommodation: there are general guides to finding digs on my blog but a lot depends on what you're planning, camping, one base, move on each night, etc.?

Some towns and villages are really nice, some a bit grotty as they are run down mill villages from when we used to have things like industry, manufacturing . . . :)

What bike are you riding?

Regs

Simon
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:39 AM   #4
PowerSlide OP
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Hi there,

In the summer I live a short way south west of Andorra, near Pobla de Segur.

LUCKY YOU!

I don'y know many of the trails that you're doing but I' did a HUMM there so I've probably done a few of them.

Conditions:

poor visibility ahead in the forest and ravine sections, so watch out for other vehicles, especially convoys of French folks in 4x4s - thanks to Vibraccion guides of course! - and also lots of mountains bikers, including quite young kids!

it's going to be seriously hot!

THANKS FOR THE TIPS, I'D LIKE TO HAVE GONE EARLIER BUT IT SUITS THE OTHER HALF WITH HER HOLIDAYS. I'M IRISH SO MAY MELT HOW HOT ARE WE TALKING? I WAS PLANNING ON BRINGING THE BODY ARMOUR AND A BIG TSHIRT TO GO OVER IT, AND I HAVE KNEE ARMOUR WHICH I MAY WEAR WITH SHORTS :) I GUESS I'LL SEE HOW HOT IT IS.

Hazards:

accidents/breakdown: there's very little mobile phone coverage even in some villages. So riding alone is a significant risk - locals simply don't do it.

HMM, I'M TRYING TO RUSSLE UP SOME PEOPLE TO GO WITH BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO GO IT ALONE.

Accommodation: there are general guides to finding digs on my blog but a lot depends on what you're planning, camping, one base, move on each night, etc.?

I'LL BE IN THE REGION OF La Seu d’Urgell INITIALLY. RB3 IS A CIRCULAR ROUTE OF 3 OR 4 DAYS AROUND IT, SO I PLAN TO CAMP IN THE ONE SPOT AND RETURN HOME EACH NIGHT. FOR RB22, IT'S ANDORRA TO BARCELONA, SO I'LL TRY AND CAMP SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE, I HOPE, AND RETURN EACH NIGHT.

Some towns and villages are really nice, some a bit grotty as they are run down mill villages from when we used to have things like industry, manufacturing . . . :)

What bike are you riding?

I'M ON AN F650GS WITH AN UPGRADED SUSPENSION. I'VE DONE THE BMW OFFROAD COURSE IN WALES A COUPLE OF TIMES AND AM JUST LOOKING TO DO A BIT MORE.
PARDON THE CAPS, It just seemed to be the easiest way to respond.

Thanks,

Gar

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Old 05-21-2014, 01:48 AM   #5
The Spanish Biker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerSlide View Post
PARDON THE CAPS, It just seemed to be the easiest way to respond.

Thanks,

Gar
Hi Gar,

No worries about the CAPS, very clear.

"I GUESS I'LL SEE HOW HOT IT IS."

You're be talking 35º + around midday but 10-20º cooler at night. You really will notice this difference at camping so pack warms stuff for when your back at base, Your riding gear looks good. But be ready for summer storms that build up during the day and always have pull over waterproof to hand - this will be useful if there is a cold part of the day too.

"HMM, I'M TRYING TO RUSSLE UP SOME PEOPLE TO GO WITH BUT YOU KNOW HOW IT IS. SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO GO IT ALONE."
Yup, that's what I've done lots of. Maybe you should think of a rescue satellite thing. At least in July the trails are likely to have someone on them sooner or later. But look out for trails that are obviously unused ad just ride on the cautious side!
Meanwhile I've just had a PM from two guys riding down this way at a similar time so I'll send them the link to this post - no promises more than that though.

"I'LL BE IN THE REGION OF La Seu d’Urgell INITIALLY. RB3 IS A CIRCULAR ROUTE OF 3 OR 4 DAYS AROUND IT, SO I PLAN TO CAMP IN THE ONE SPOT AND RETURN HOME EACH NIGHT. FOR RB22, IT'S ANDORRA TO BARCELONA, SO I'LL TRY AND CAMP SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE, I HOPE, AND RETURN EACH NIGHT."

Most of the campings near Seu d'Urgell and andorra are gross - just for caravans and bungalow types. But this one looks really nice - but as everywhere up there take a deep breath before you check the price!

Otherwise I've been recommended the camping at Castellbo It's a bit off the beaten track for you, but in itself is at the centre of a large network of trails :)

Can't comment about further down towards Barcelona unless I know which way you'll be going.

"I'M ON AN F650GS WITH AN UPGRADED SUSPENSION. I'VE DONE THE BMW OFFROAD COURSE IN WALES A COUPLE OF TIMES AND AM JUST LOOKING TO DO A BIT MORE."
Nice bike for these conditions, but you'll have to plan your fuel very carefully or take extra.

A week in Barcelona with the Mrs will be the perfect antidote - Enjoy!

Regs

Simon
PS there's another topic around here that talks about safe parking in Barcelona.
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:13 PM   #6
PowerSlide OP
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Hey Simon,

Thanks for all the pointers. I really appreciate the local knowledge, especially about the campsites, I'll check them out. Castellbo is actually the centre point of RB3 so it might be perfect.

[QUOTE=The Spanish Biker;24211936]

You're be talking 35º + around midday but 10-20º cooler at night.

Ohhhh kay..... I guess I'm looking at 6am starts so with possible siesta mid day, and extended acclimatization in the sauna for the next month

Maybe you should think of a rescue satellite thing.
My brother used to have a satellite phone, I must ask him about it, big bloddy lump though

Meanwhile I've just had a PM from two guys riding down this way at a similar time so I'll send them the link to this post - no promises more than that though.
That's really kind of you. No word yet but I'll keep my ears open.

Otherwise I've been recommended the camping at Castellbo It's a bit off the beaten track for you, but in itself is at the centre of a large network of trails :)

Again, thank you

Can't comment about further down towards Barcelona unless I know which way you'll be going.

The route RB22, to Barcelona starts at Saint Julia, heads to Gosol and Tuixen, down to Saint Llorenc, La Selva, Sierra del Pinos, Sierra Castetallat, Rajadel and finishes in Castelloli.

Nice bike for these conditions, but you'll have to plan your fuel very carefully or take extra.
I've 2 spare 2 liter petrol cans and some tank side panniers, brings the range up to about 300 miles. I wasn't going to bring them but I'm really glad you mentioned it, I didn't think the trails were that long so I'm guessing there's a lack of petrol stations?

A week in Barcelona with the Mrs will be the perfect antidote - Enjoy!
Looking forward to that alright, been reading up on Gaudi.

Your website is very interesting, you really get around

Thanks again,

Gar
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:09 AM   #7
The Spanish Biker
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[QUOTE=PowerSlide;24216970]Hey Simon,

Thanks for all the pointers. I really appreciate the local knowledge, especially about the campsites, I'll check them out. Castellbo is actually the centre point of RB3 so it might be perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spanish Biker View Post

You're be talking 35º + around midday but 10-20º cooler at night.

Ohhhh kay..... I guess I'm looking at 6am starts so with possible siesta mid day, and extended acclimatization in the sauna for the next month

Maybe you should think of a rescue satellite thing.
My brother used to have a satellite phone, I must ask him about it, big bloddy lump though

Meanwhile I've just had a PM from two guys riding down this way at a similar time so I'll send them the link to this post - no promises more than that though.
That's really kind of you. No word yet but I'll keep my ears open.

Otherwise I've been recommended the camping at Castellbo It's a bit off the beaten track for you, but in itself is at the centre of a large network of trails :)

Again, thank you

Can't comment about further down towards Barcelona unless I know which way you'll be going.

The route RB22, to Barcelona starts at Saint Julia, heads to Gosol and Tuixen, down to Saint Llorenc, La Selva, Sierra del Pinos, Sierra Castetallat, Rajadel and finishes in Castelloli.

Nice bike for these conditions, but you'll have to plan your fuel very carefully or take extra.
I've 2 spare 2 liter petrol cans and some tank side panniers, brings the range up to about 300 miles. I wasn't going to bring them but I'm really glad you mentioned it, I didn't think the trails were that long so I'm guessing there's a lack of petrol stations?

A week in Barcelona with the Mrs will be the perfect antidote - Enjoy!
Looking forward to that alright, been reading up on Gaudi.

Your website is very interesting, you really get around

Thanks again,

Gar
Meanwhile I've just had a PM from two guys riding down this way at a similar time so I'll send them the link to this post - no promises more than that though.
That's really kind of you. No word yet but I'll keep my ears open.

They've said they'll be in touch :)

The route RB22, to Barcelona starts at Saint Julia, heads to Gosol and Tuixen, down to Saint Llorenc, La Selva, Sierra del Pinos, Sierra Castetallat, Rajadel and finishes in Castelloli.

Not too much I can help you with here, but there's a lovely small camp site at Moli de Fornols, just west of Tuixent. This first stage of your trip down is going to be really touch, so although it may not look very far you might need the break by then and you can treat yourself to a meal in the restaurant in the old watermill!

After that I don't know the area very well but this camping near Calaf look great!

If you wanted one in between the two then aim for Solsona, I know there's at least one camping there but I think it's a carvanners type, more like a holiday camp than what we northerners think of as a camp site :(


Nice bike for these conditions, but you'll have to plan your fuel very carefully or take extra.
I've 2 spare 2 liter petrol cans and some tank side panniers, brings the range up to about 300 miles. I wasn't going to bring them but I'm really glad you mentioned it, I didn't think the trails were that long so I'm guessing there's a lack of petrol stations?

Yes, this is the problem. Take the above, from the main N260 road all the way to Sant Llorenç there's no fuel at all. In general you have to come down from the mountains to a main road, this could be a 70 mile round trip. My bike, an X-Country, only has 9.5 litre capacity so a serious problem until I got an X-Tank which has 6.5 litres more.

A week in Barcelona with the Mrs will be the perfect antidote - Enjoy!
Looking forward to that alright, been reading up on Gaudi.

Good man! There's so much to do and see in Barna that it's worth reading up - and there's much more to it than Gaudi!. I have a good friend who does guided tours based on the Spanish Civil War if you like that sort of thing.

Your website is very interesting, you really get around
Thanks, I really must get round to finishing my 2012 tour - I stopped to go to a village fiesta with a load of spanish biking friends - and I still haven't recovered

Cheers

Simon
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:38 AM   #8
PowerSlide OP
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Hey Simon,

Thanks for all the tips. If you're ever heading to Ireland look me up.

Not too much I can help you with here, but there's a lovely small camp site at Moli de Fornols, just west of Tuixent. This first stage of your trip down is going to be really touch,

Well you gotta start somewhere, thanks for the warning. I've just inherited a satellite phone, hope I don't need it
After that I don't know the area very well but this camping near Calaf look great!

It does indeed, I think I might be booking.

an X-Country, only has 9.5 litre capacity so a serious problem until I got an X-Tank which has 6.5 litres more.

X-tank looks the job alright :)

Good man! There's so much to do and see in Barna that it's worth reading up - and there's much more to it than Gaudi!. I have a good friend who does guided tours based on the Spanish Civil War if you like that sort of thing.

Not really my sort of thing, I do like a good walking tour alright. I like the look of the sidecar tours, the gps moped tour and some of the walking pub/food tours

Your website is very interesting, you really get around
Thanks, I really must get round to finishing my 2012 tour - I stopped to go to a village fiesta with a load of spanish biking friends - and I still haven't recovered

Sounds like a tough break

If you're bored I've some travel photos up here

https://plus.google.com/photos/+Garr...ums?banner=pwa

Cheers,

Gar
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
Rob Farmer
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Great riding to be had in the Pyrenees. Everything from fast mountain roads with amazing scenery



To winding forest tracks

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Old 05-24-2014, 01:47 AM   #10
The Spanish Biker
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After that I don't know the area very well but this camping near Calaf look great!

It does indeed, I think I might be booking.

It does look good doesn't it - maybe I'll ride over and catch you there for a jar :)

I like the look of the sidecar tours, the gps moped tour and some of the walking pub/food tours[/B]

Yup, those sidecar tours look the biz - shame you don't get to drive yourself though :(

[B]If you're bored I've some travel photos up here

https://plus.google.com/photos/+Garr...ums?banner=pwa

Amazing pix - you're a pretty active bloke - there is some amazing caveing in the Pre-Pyrenees, the largely limestone ranges from roughly the N260 southwards, plus world class hang gliding on the Sierra de Montsec - another trip perhaps.

Regs

Simon
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:00 AM   #11
The Spanish Biker
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Great riding to be had in the Pyrenees. Everything from fast mountain roads with amazing scenery



To winding forest tracks

Nice one Rob, the Pyrenees certainly tick all the boxes:



Regs

Simon
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Old 05-26-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
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It does look good doesn't it - maybe I'll ride over and catch you there for a jar :)
Hey Simon,

It would be great to see a friendly face for a pint or two

Great photos by the way. Really looking forward to this. Starting to hit the gym to get a bit fitter.

Hey Rob, nice photos! I like the look of your bike too

Gar
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PowerSlide View Post
Hey there,

Just booked Portsmouth to Santander for the 9th of july and Saint Nazaire to Rosslare for the 30th.


Anyone interested or going to be in the vicinity?

And if anyone has done this before, tips for places to stay, eat etc would be greatly appreciated.

Gar
Sounds like a great trip, A small group of us are doing the RB5 the last week of June then riding back up through France to Roscoff. Planning to camp where possible....enjoy your trip

cheers
Mike
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:44 PM   #14
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Hey Mike,

RB5 looks like a great trip, the full Pyrenees traverse! Long trip too. You guys are going to have a ball! I'm looking forward to that trip report already!

I've dropped you a pm.

Have a blast

Gar

Quote:
Originally Posted by potus View Post
Sounds like a great trip, A small group of us are doing the RB5 the last week of June then riding back up through France to Roscoff. Planning to camp where possible....enjoy your trip

cheers
Mike
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:38 AM   #15
The Spanish Biker
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Hey Simon,

It would be great to see a friendly face for a pint or two

Great photos by the way. Really looking forward to this. Starting to hit the gym to get a bit fitter.

Hey Rob, nice photos! I like the look of your bike too

Gar
Hi Gar,

I've just got back from a 25 km hike in a wild sierra, sleeping on the very hard floor in a cave - and today I feel like an 80 year old - but there was 1,000 metre climb too and we had to carry enough food ant water for 72 hours :)



OK, the cave was primitive but the bath was great - NB that's not my skimpy little black bra hanging up to dry !



So I am really looking forward to a jolly bimble along the Pyrenees with a machine doing all the hard work.

Am I right in guessing that the camping at Calaf will be your last stop before meeting up with your good lady in Barcelona - if so we could fix a date to meet there, that would make my planning much easier :)

Regs

Simon
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