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"Ride Your Life with Szwed" ep.1 Catalonia

Drive off, or rather take off to Catalonian coast Costa Brava, more specifically to the biking resort Giverola was the first adventure from my "Ride Your Life with Szwed" video blog project, on which I work together with Kellys Bicycles. Giverola is a huge resort that looks like a little town. Once, the place was owned by Spanish post, now it prospers successfully as a Swiss biking center.

A huge amount of mtb trails and road tracks, skatepark, equipment rental, bike shop, instructors, gyms, SPA, swimming pools, mini golf courts are at our disposal. Tossa De Mar is the nearest city, county La Selva. It's a big area in which mtb trails are located and their sheer number makes riding with a guide a reasonable choice. Our guide was Lukasz Komar - he has lived there for six years and he really did an excellent job showing us around.

First day was spent putting our bikes together, luckily they made the trip and arrived in perfect condition. We then went exploring the trails in neighboring bays like Cala Pola and Cala Bona.

The trails were good fun and I must admit that once I was riding down with my heart in my mouth.

The trip was planned for a whole week, which made it possible to get to know the local tracks well. The three best known trails of this region are the Fipu Trail, the Natil Trail, and the Rosamat Trail:

Fipu trail.

Fipu trail.

View over Sant Feliu De Guixois.

Natil Trail.

Rosamat Trail.

Now, a few words about the interesting history of origins of these trails. For a long time cork collection was conducted in seven year cycles in the area and trails were and are used by the cork collectors. For the last few seasons the trails also see other use, in the form of more frequent mountain biker visits. Routes run close to the sea, so the views are marvelous. On a daily basis I ride in the Sudety Mountains back home, so the biggest surprise for me was the base of Catalonian tracks.

Heated sandstone in diverse varieties give sensational grip even during rain - it's the kind of surface you can delay braking on to an absurd moment. When exploring the Serra De l'Ardenya, the mountains that we are talking about here, plan ahead with regards to your water supply. You can't count there on streams, rivers or other water sources like you may be used to back home. High temperatures, as well as vast distances between towns are all good reasons to make good preparations before heading out.

Our most difficult day was over ten hours in the mountains on the bikes, practically without a break.

That day we finished by a downhill ride on Tossa de Mar ridge by sunset.

Last two days of our stay in Catalonia we spent on road. Quality of tarmac, clearances, beautiful views make Costa Brava the perfect place for road cycling. The amount of cyclists that we met during ride was for me a great surprise, as well as their age diversity.

Round through medieval Tossa De Mar (XII century) was also quite a big experience for me. It's not everyday that I'm able to ride through a nine hundred years old castle by the Mediterranean sea.

Coming back, because of a night flight from Girona was quite tiresome. We hadn't slept over thirty hours and because of fog our landing was moved from Wrocław to Poznań. A few hours in a bus and we finally arrived in Wrocław extremely tired. That incident didn't of course influence on the overall satisfaction from trip. I truly recommend Giverola to all biking fans. There are many places to ride, weather is almost always good, the views are beautiful and the cuisine is a topic for a whole other article.

Pictures, edit: Michał Kuczyński

Text: Piotr"Szwed" Szwedowski

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