Spain and the ‘supermarket’ bike

There is just about no way I can go on holiday and not fit in some riding, to me cycling = holiday. Although in this case I had resigned to the fact that it may not happen. Traipsing my bicycle to Spain for 10 days of family visiting  is just not worth it.  We investigated the possibility of hiring a bike at every bike shop we could find in the Segur de Calafell area (just south of Barcelona), none to be had.  But with some determination a friend of Carlos’s mama said she had an old one stored in the basement.

So much to my delight our ‘supermarket -bike’ cycles began. A simple cheap bike was all I  needed to enjoy almost 5 days of exploring in the area. Creaking cranks, sliding saddle and poor gearing didn’t put me off this supermarket special. Just goes to show that these kinds of bikes can be useful when desperate.

Setting off for our first exploratory ride from the 'Segur' beachfront.
Setting off for our first exploratory ride from the ‘Segur’ beachfront.
Passing through some quaint pueblitos as soon as we had escaped the beachfront sprawl.
Passing through some quaint pueblitos (Bellvei) as soon as we had escaped the beachfront sprawl.
Dirt road prevailed and forest surrounded us.
Dirt road prevailed and forest surrounded us.
Unfortunately Spain has ruined most of its coastline with unbroken development, but if you are keen enough, venturing just 5km inland will take you out of the sprawl into agricultural, forested and cute pueblitos.
Unfortunately Spain has ruined most of its coastline with unbroken development, but if you are keen enough, venturing just 5km inland will take you out of the sprawl into agricultural, forested and cute pueblitos.
Low and behold single-track and lots of it. Although admittedly me and my supermarket special didnt take to it as well as we would have liked!
Low and behold single-track and lots of it. Although admittedly me and my supermarket special didn’t take to it as well as we would have liked!
We crossed over the highway and the busyness of Segur seemed miles away (at this stage we had only pedaled around 6km or so).
We crossed over the highway and the busyness of Segur seemed miles away (at this stage we had only pedaled around 6km or so).
We stumbled upon this lovely 'finca' (farm).
We stumbled upon this lovely ‘finca’ (farm).
..unfortunately abandoned and vandalised.
..unfortunately abandoned and vandalised.
Nothing like a midway stop for a 'cafe con leche' at the village Bar, Clariana
Nothing like a midway stop for a ‘cafe con leche’ at the village Bar, Clariana
Approaching the restored village of Castellet.
Approaching the restored village of Castellet.
The Castle at Castellet!
The Castle at Castellet!
Lago de Castellet
Lago de Castellet
Rodonya
Rodonya
Rural Rodonya - wine, wine wine!
Rural Rodonya – wine, wine wine!
Never thought I would love road riding so much.... zero suspension was certainly one reason, but the road up this 10km pass was silky smooth and virtually car-less.
Never thought I would love road riding so much…. zero suspension was certainly one reason, but the road up this 10km pass was silky smooth and virtually car-less.
A long down hill back to the sea.
A long down hill back to the sea.
85km round trip back to sea-level where land-locked Europeans were making the most of this bronzing opportunity!
85km round trip back to sea-level where land-locked Europeans were making the most of this bronzing opportunity!
The closest I will come to tanning.
The closest I will come to tanning.
On another day we discovered more routes in the nearby Reserve du Foix
On another day we discovered more routes in the nearby Reserve du Foix
Some seriously steep climbing was in order made easier by the fact the to our surprise this Mt trail was cemented almost all of the way (it has to be said I was rather pleased!).
Some seriously steep climbing was in order made easier by the fact that to our surprise this Mt trail was cemented almost all of the way (it has to be said I was rather pleased!).
Beautiful flowers, very fynbos-like.
Beautiful flowers, very fynbos-like.
Very like chives
Very like chives
Seaviews from Parc du Foix
Seaviews from Parc du Foix
Abandoned farms, would love to have one of these!
Abandoned farms, would love to have one of these!
Would never have expected such isolation in such a relatively built up area.
Would never have expected such isolation in such a relatively built up area.
Last bit of 'mean' single track before heading home..
Last bit of ‘mean’ single track before heading home..
..and thanks to mama Pilar our 5 days of riding were always well nourished by an impressive 'comida' !
..and thanks to mama Pilar, our 5 days of riding were always well nourished by an impressive ‘comida’ !

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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9 thoughts on “Spain and the ‘supermarket’ bike
  • Ian Ferguson

    Your amateur cycle sure took you through beautiful scenery. Spain looks simply gorgeous. But where was Carlos? Just a distant view - is he camera shy? Much love to you both, Always, ...

  • Eduardo

    A different type of adventure from the ones you both are used to!!! It is a good thing to take a "rest" time to time. And how about that dishes at the end of the day, wow? Good to know about ...

  • pippa schou

    Oh Bridget ! What a wonderful trip .......and once again you have taken stunning pics and captured the essence of the countryside, the people, the food and the fun !! xxxxx ...

  • Louise

    I just love Europe in the Summer! Bridget, your trip looks amazing. xx

  • Shelley Currin

    Wow Bridget. What an amazing holiday and so unexpected I'm sure. Your photos are lovely. And it is great to see you and Carlos looking so happy and healthy. Miss you guys much. Lots of ...

  • Hey Bridget, Lovely trip with lots of suprising finds - nice to get a different view of the Spanish countryside - Did you get to Barcelona and see all the Gaudi influences there?

    • Bridget Ringdahl

      Hi Pete, nice to hear from you! yes, went to see the Sagrada, I visited it about 15 years ago and very impressive to see the developments, i love this 'living' cathedral, really gives ...

  • Reblogged this on petesbikehaven and commented: This is how one should hliday!! ...

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