After a Day 1 shake down that was filled with “exciting experiences“, it was time to arise relatively fresh and get into the itinerary of Spanish road cycling porn indulgence. I will admit that suiting up full lycra and not reaching for the knee pads was a little weird, but not as weird as the breakfast buffet…
The gas punch drug look on AT’s face confirmed I didn’t need any more cured meats assaulting my digestive system, #twinsharegoodtimes. So, after 8 fresh croissants, some possibly rammed with chocolate, it was time to get underway in Spain on what was technically Day 2, but would the real riding please stand up? A 35km shake down/Gravel ride can’t really be banked as first contact with the Spanish Armada can it?
We needed something, dare I say, EPIC to get the ball really rolling. With that in mind, it was time to chamois lube up and get out to meet our adoring Spanish public, who had been eagerly awaiting the #AT40 tour hitting town:
Turned out our first meet point was 13km’s from the artisanal accommodation my inner wanker had booked (#Raphaasfuck), which was then a further 12km’s away from the real meet point of the day, a couple of figures worth remembering as the day 2 story unfolds. Fair to say that the Girona meet point likes to slap its genitalia on any other ride meet point you can come up with…
And what awaited us at this Euro as absolute fuck meet point? Bust out the PRO stalking, we were about to impose ourselves on James Oram’s three hour steady spin.
The Kiwi PRO from One PRO cycling also happens to be the current NZ U23 Time Trial champion, so knows more about drilling it than a Porsche driving dentist. Some may recall this handiwork being on display at the NZ National Road champs that I sweated at watching back in January. The O-Show seen here in the final laps laying down some pain, the dude in red trying to hold on unsure if he should be thinking “Fuck this shit” or “Why the fuck am I riding a Felt?”
So if this wasn’t froth worthy enough already getting to ride with a PRO, can you imagine how pumped I was to hear we were heading off on the “Cake shop loop“? Holy fuck, did they know that I was basically PRO when it came to cake shops? Let’s get this motherfucker cranking boys.
By that, I mean I was going to sit on the back and hope like fuck I didn’t get vaporised in the first hour. As I pointed out to AT, I had some serious reservations about rolling out with any Road PRO, knowing only too well from vigorous EWS face slapping just where I sit in the food chain of the cycling eco-system.
However, as it turned out and luckily for us, Matt pointed out to us that when most PRO’s are back in Girona its to chill in between events and recover from racing. Thank fuck for that, as I was definitely the hairiest and fattest/most ENDURO wildebeest in this herd.
The worst part of the day for me was looking across and seeing in horror that James was rocking the saddlebag, something that I have been trying to peer pressure AT out of for some time. This PRO level validation of the sBag landing a direct hit on my campaign, much to AT’s glee.
I’d already planned out routes and a daily itinerary in my usual anal retentive/planning OCD way, so just had to sit back, relax and know the PRO motherfuckers were on it. When the roads and GC’s are this good, you really give zero fucks about where you may be heading, or how long it might be taking.
Yes, it didn’t even occur to me how far away we were going to end up… All I knew was that it was hot, the conversation was entertaining and the roads were everything my Spanish dreaming had been hoping for. The more we pushed on, the better it got. I vigilantly looked on for the cake shop oasis…
So, how about that cake shop then? Well… In one of the most stunning failures in the history of blogging, I actually totally fucked it up and never got a picture of the cake shop or the entire time we were chillin there.
Perhaps I was too busy being anxious that I was the only person that had ordered a coffee with milk in it, which as far as First World Roadie problems go, is right up there with misaligning your tire and rim decals. But in reality, I think I was self loathing for feeling so hot and semi fingered that I couldn’t even bring myself to smash cake properly. My one moment to show my PROness and I chocked on the dry cake selection, cunted.
And then nek minute, we were cruising past the Med and not looking at Bikinis at all, no one has time for that shit.
The thing about a PRO ride like this wasn’t so much the speed, after all this was supposed to be 3 hours steady, but its the consistency. No flat spots, no stopping, no weird amateur sprinting up the road all over the place like a muppet on acid – Just a metronomic churning of the cranks and KM’s being vaporised no matter what was in front of us or how hot it was. No fuss, no weirdness, just riding.
I will admit I did have a slight period of bother approaching the 100km mark as we climbed away from the coast, having to go well above threshold while James and Matt ticked on easily in the small chainring…
Arriving back in Girona and I was starting to do the math in my head and with my Garmin that this was turning into a fucking big day… And that was before we worked out that AT had heat exhaustion to add to his jet lag. Yes, he was properly cunted after getting dehydrated and his body wanting to sleep instead of riding PRO tempo in 32 deg heat.
I have to admit when I sat down to refuel I was also feeling rather cuntified, seeing distance numbers on this ride that I haven’t felt since… Fuck knows when. When in such a state, the only place to cum to aside from a swimming pool is La Fabrica of course:
In between trying to hold down some lunch, I also got busy changing not one, but eventually two tubes thanks to rim tape that should have really known better, the assembled crowd of hitters giggling in disbelief at not only my hairy sweating, but that I had to use a tire lever, un-PRO as fuck.
Girona and its surrounding’s are obviously rammed with Semi PRO and Full PRO riders, so when one goes home for an ice bath and massage, you simply grab the next one lying around at La Fabrica and press them into service to pace your broken ass back to Banyoles.
In this instance, it was a massive blast from the past, with the Terminator from 5 Passes in 2013 coming back in a sequel, but this time re-programmed for good as opposed to wanting to kill your mother. Rich not only proving an excellent wheel to follow, but helping to further reinforce AT’s saddlebag fetish.
As a Dirty tip here, when you decide to base yourself in the middle of nowhere away from where everyone else rides, those numbers are going to add up as fast as the afternoon temperature wants to fry your brain and rob you of the ability to pedal. It soon became obvious that it was now turning into a bigger day than anticipated.
Holy fuck yes, that’s 160km’s for the day, 5 hours 40 ride time and close to 1,700m of climbing. I was trying to recall the last time I saw ‘160’ come up on the Garmin, but my brain was overheated and I just started to think about Gelato instead. Looks pretty fucking rad on a map mind you:
Given the monster nature of Day 2, admittedly our first real ride exceeding everyone’s expectations somewhat, it was only fair that AT had stopped all transmitting or receiving functions by the time we crawled back to #AT40 HQ.
Yes, like a cunted iPhone, you could tell he was on, but nothing seemed to be worked. When he asked me if the rash that had broken out looked bad, I suggested he hit the pool while I climbed into my travel Hazmat suit.
I spent the little time that remained in the day making sure he didn’t drown and oddly water boarding him in an attempt to make sure that the whole week didn’t go down the cunt chute after 2 days. Jet lag & Heat exhaustion/Dehydration making for an epic “Happy Birthday motherfucker!” combo.
And, we hadn’t even got to the climbing yet, but the Day 3 agenda was about to get the Col banquet rolling. Watch this space to see if AT can return from his cuntified zombie state before the attack of the Hors.
Massive thanks to James for letting us suck wheels for 3 hours like uni students and to Matt and Rich for the tour guide/drafting expertise.