Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A Britton en España

I may be in the process of enquiring as to whether or not I can change the name of the blog...it has a similar ring to it, No? After a few weeks of nature throwing what seemed to be everything it had at us Mark'O, Kat (MArk'Os better half) and I got outta dodge and came down to beautiful Sunny Girona Spain last Tuesday.
I've heard nothing but great things about this place...Great roads, lots of climbs, friendly people, plenty of fresh markets, delicious cafes and barkies, loads of little hole in the wall restaurants, All in small little package off the beautiful Mediterranean sea.
I can tell you after being here for the past week (though I think I knew after a day) that all the things I had read and heard are completely FALSE. That's right, none of the above even comes close to describing how awesome this place is, especially for a cyclist! Maybe I can appreciate it a little more because of it's relaxed/active nature similar to the west coast, All I can say is that Girona really is all that and a bag of chips. I love it here!
Don't worry Derbyites, I'm comin back...eventually...maybe just not while the city looks like this...
Sometimes you gotta get while the gettin's good!

After the previous weeks adventures around france I was left a little battered when I arrived here, So when I tried to jump head first into the training I was left feeling a little...demoralized, defeated?? Basically I hadn't really recovered from racing in Cholet and the traveling and little stresses afterwards so as soon as I started to TRY and do some efforts my body was very quick to remind me that resting is just as important as training. So 2 days off - which in a city, that's a cool as Girona is not very hard to do. After a couple of days playing tourist/site see'r my battery was recharged and I was good to go.
Taking full advantage of my youthful energy levels I got after it a bit with Mark'O and took in some of the areas most popular routes, it ended up being a great ride...even though my 4hr actually turned into 6 I was pumped to feel normal on the bike again, and really 6 isn't really all that bad when I found out Mark"o had taken a wrong turn at some point of his Garmin led journey and ended up completely lost in the Catalonian countryside when it eventually died! Fret not, 10.5 hrs and what I'm sure was a pricey cab ride later he made it it back! Apparently he took in quite the rain/electrical storm as well...fun times, Mark'O...What did the TSS look like??

The day began to innocently...
I forgot to mention, while I was out and about flogging myself up and down the country roads I ran in to an old buddy from back in the US days, Marc de Maar of UHC - This meeting would serve as a prelude for the night to come... - It was good to catch up with Marc and I appreciated him showing me around some new roads as when headed back towards the Girona. As I had only packed enough food for a 4hr ride and with the ride time stretching over the 6hr mark I'm pretty sure at some point in our journey back I may have been speaking in tongues..Sorry Marc, hunger flats will make you do crazy things! Upon my return to the hostel and eating everything insight I was feeling a little more human and the nice thing about being out on the bike for the better part of 8hrs is that it's almost time for dinner when you get home!
On to the evening, So while MArk'O was somewhere between here and there I was left somewhat on my own for food...which was totally fine, though eating alone in a foreign country/language can prove difficult at times. I decided to take the safe route and go with the best looking visual option, a Burger. I know not the healthiest of choices but it seemed like a great idea at the time. Ordered it to go and while wondering back with my precious cargo I see a tall, lengky, blond guy walk out of the appt door across the road, after both doing a double and then triple take I realize it was none other then Mr. Weight of a nation him self, Ryder Hesjedal. Wow, and I thought Vic had small world syndrome... as I'm continuing to find out Girona has Victoria beat 10 fold! He was just heading over to the pub to celebrate with Dan Martin and a few of the other Garmin crew in town on there recent Vuelta Catalunya win. I was grateful for the invitation and had a good time meeting the crew. All really mellow dudes and it made for a very rad way to end a great week in a new city.

Though I'll be leaving Girona behind on Wednesday  it's not to head back to home base, I'll be staying with my favorite frenchman, Mr. Berthou, for the next 10 days until my next race Circuit de Ardennes.
And so the adventure continues! Starting to feel a little more like my self on AND off the bike and really looking forward to what lays ahead.

Intertubes here are not quite the same as back home so heres a glimpse of the Spanish dream...i'll drop another photo post later this week.
and so it begins

Mark'Os balcony

fresh fish?

Theres even something for you Nic!
Spanish sunset

The canal through the old city
Cathedral by night

Cathedral by day


  1. yo...is that a walkway? i don't even know if I would be up for the jump across that gap, but i can guarantee you I would sincerely consider it. I went snowboarding yesterday. that was tight.

    nice lil post man. Girona sounds pretty ok I guess. how are the Hops?