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Cycling

10 Tips For Coping With Isolation

By Cycling No Comments

There is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and this blog will help you to focus on that. It is easy to feel helpless with such a large global issue. Whether you are still able to get out and ride or you are in complete lockdown, here are some ideas to give some structure to your day and more positive thoughts.

1. Create a bucket list & plan things to look forward to

Beth Healey, a Doctor whose  expertise is in extreme physiology and isolation and who spent a year in Antarctica for the European Space Agency, said in a Global News podcast:

It is useful to think that a finish will come and to plan for that. In Antarctica lots of people used to plan for a big trip or holiday that they would have when they got back and I think that was a really useful way to look beyond and plan for what you’re going to do afterwards.

Taking your head out of the here & now & looking to a brighter future is a great way to escape the frustration, anxiety & sadness at our current situation. Getting concrete plans in place for your next holiday or creating a bucket list of things to do within a year are fantastic ways to snap out of the doom & gloom and start getting excited for life after Coronavirus.

Remember, you can book a risk free late Summer 2020 escape now or even book a 2021 trip for a fully refundable €100 deposit!

2. Make a structure for your day

Many of your regular activities, like going to work, may have now been taken away. Maintaining the structure of the working day, even from home, is the first piece of advice regular home workers give to newbies. 

Be disciplined with yourself – 5 hours of solid productivity is way more rewarding than 10 hours of procrastination. Consider switching your phone off or muting social media channels whilst you work. 

Keep your body-clock on track & get up at your normal time, long lazy sleep-ins are not sustainable every day & will force you into a negative cycle of late nights & late mornings. 

3. Keep working

Whether you are a business owner or an employee, your business will need you now more than ever. Working hard in a time of crisis will always pay off when the crisis is over so keep going the extra mile and looking for opportunities.

One gentleman posted on LinkedIn “put on a different set of trousers, the set that you would wear to go out to work”. The mental distinction between work and play is helped by some physical and structural boundaries. Define a place in the house for working and a place for resting. 

Set clear goals for yourself every morning, share them with your colleagues so you are accountable for achieving them!

4. Keep exercising & get fresh air when you can

If you are used to regular exercise and the endorphins this produces, it is important to keep this up during isolation. If you are able to go outside then keep doing so, respecting social distancing. Try and find an outdoor space, even by opening up your windows to feel like you are outside. If you do not have exercise machines then focus on stretching, simple core exercises and yoga. 

For cyclists checkout our blog on indoor training.

5. Try meditation to manage your stress levels

Meditation is a simple tool that anybody can use. All you need is a quiet place on your own.

The Coronavirus is causing widespread panic to the community at large

Says Carrie C. Mead, MS, LCPC, a psychotherapist in Maryland.  The article on “12 Therapist Approved Ways to Manage Coronavirus Anxiety” advises accepting and exploring your anxiety by first centering yourself when anxiety hits. Take a deep breath, focus on the feeling and understand it. Give yourself time alone to think about the feeling.

6. Control time spent reading the news and social media

Overloading on news can cause additional anxiety and stress so it is recommended to limit your intake. Set a time of day, perhaps the morning (to avoid anxious nights) to get up to date with the key facts from reputable sources. Remember that bad news gets more hits so it is important to not dwell too much on the big headline hitters.

Choose your news sources wisely & don’t trust social media trends. It’s also worth signing up to positive news feeds like Positive News & the Good News Network

7. Eat and Drink Well

It is important to maintain a balanced diet and not drink too much alcohol. As well as disrupting your sleep, alcohol can, following some short period of euphoria, make you feel much worse and down. 

You will probably need to reduce your calorie intake and an easy way to do this is to eat less sugar and carbohydrates, focusing more on vitamins and minerals from salads and vegetables. This will also help to boost your immune system.

8. Stay Connected: Call family and friends regularly

It is easy to feel worried about your family, especially if they are in the “at risk” category.

Social media is a great way to stay connected with them. You will want to stay in touch much more regularly during this time which is completely normal and a silver lining for us all! 

9. Make the most of the time

If you’re at home with no work, get those house-projects done, do a deep-clean of everything, start a new gardening project. 

If you’re working, tackle the things on the to do list which always get pushed to the bottom.

10. Support your local businesses

Feel good by doing what you can to help keep your favourite local businesses going! Order a takeaway from your favourite restaurant and bike parts from your favorite local bike shop. They need you more than ever now! If you have the advantage of extra time spend it finding your local alternatives to huge retailers like Amazon & Wiggle, a little extra of your time on google can go a long way for the local suppliers you support & you’ll likely get a more personal service too.

We’d love to hear from you!

We’re open for online business – give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

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Training Plans for Indoor Cycling

By Cycling No Comments

Countries across the world are shutting down & cyclists in many places are temporarily unable to ride outside. As a cycling community it would only be fair to see this as an opportunity to mix up our training & use the enforced home-time as a chance to forge new, healthy habits, switch to a healthier diet & establish a new way of living life.

Amateurs and Pro’s alike are throwing training plans out the window & switching out their 6 hour rides for shorter sessions on the indoor trainer. But is this really going to benefit them?

The Benefits of Indoor Training vs Riding Outside

We asked Eat Sleep Cycle coach, Dave Smith, about the potential benefits of indoor training:

The big gain comes from the training being more focused as rides tend to be shorter. It’s a great time to work on power and speed using specific hard intervals without interruptions from road traffic, intersections and changes in gradients. An overlooked benefit is that you can often hear pedalling inefficiencies in the sound of the trainer and tune your pedal stroke to even out the tone. Finally you can develop some mental toughness by doing some sessions without interactive tools and simply staring down at a stopwatch.

Indoor training has long been one of the only ways to train for people with busy lives, families & full-time jobs, so learning about how to train properly now is a great way to establish healthy habits which can continue when normal life resumes.

So, it’s possible to emerge from this period fitter & stronger, but what of the mental impact of exercising inside & can this ever compare to the joy of freewheeling down a hill?

The mental health benefits of indoor training

Turbo trainer & happiness are two words which have never appeared in the same sentence. Cycling outside is a great way to feel alive, to forget about your worries and focus on the ride. Without the distractions of riding outside (traffic lights, traffic, fellow riders, junctions, roundabouts etc), training indoors can slip into feeling like a horrendous battle with your inner-self & sessions can end up being really tough to complete.

However, when the joy of cycling outside must be postponed for the greater good, doing any form of exercise is a good thing. Exercise is proven to:

  1. Help relieve depression & anxiety – physical activity boosts endorphin levels, a ‘feel good’ chemical which produces feelings of happiness & euphoria
  2. Decrease stress – an increase in heart rate stimulates the production of neurohormones, which improve cognition and mood & improve thinking clouded by stressful events
  3. Increase self-esteem & self-confidence – over time exercise makes us fitter, slimmer & toned, perfect for that important boost of self-esteem!
  4. Better sleep – physical activity increases body temperature, which can have calming effects on the mind. Exercise also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, a system which controls when we feel tired and when we feel alert (just don’t exercise before bed, this will wake you up!)
  5. Boost brainpower! – cardiovascular exercise creates new brain cells (in a process called neurogenesis) and improves overall brain performance.

So, indoor or outdoor, exercise can be a game-changer, especially in times of social isolation.

Some training platforms also allow for group rides, which bring a level of social interaction back, also good for a mood-boost & great way to feel connected & keep loneliness at bay.

Equipment for Indoor Cycling: Trainers vs Rollers?

There are so many options on the market for indoor trainers to keep you pedalling.

The first thing to consider is that a trainer will give you greater options for drills than rollers. Rollers are great for high cadence, pre-race warm-ups but are really difficult for out & out efforts (unless you have serious skills!) That said, rollers are better at simulating the actual feel of riding a bike & force you to keep a steady core.

Wahoo Kickr

A great trainer with awesome reviews, this is setting the standard for the industry. At 21 kgs its incredibly stable & there’s no need to wreck your tyres as the bike mounts directly onto the built in cassette. The ride feel is realistic & the trainer is also really quiet – great for respecting your neighbours, family members or housemates. The Wahoo Kickr is compatible with pretty much everything. It measures power and is great to use in conjunction with Zwift (see below).

Wahoo Kickr Core

The lightweight version of the Wahoo Kickr, the Kickr Core is a great piece of kit for those on more of a budget. It features a great ride feel, belt-drive transmission for a quiet training session & full connectivity to all devices. The Core features a smaller fly-wheel & is lighter. But for the money, is an excellent option.

Platforms for Indoor Training

Zwift

Zwift is becoming a synonym for indoor training. Ride in an immersive virtual world, compete against others & customise your ride to gain an advantage. Social integration is a key feature – you can plan group rides & races with your friends. The missing piece is voice chat – but it’s still great fun & hugely popular.

Sufferfest

A different approach to indoor training which doesn’t rely on virtual reality to be fun. Enjoy great music & structured workouts developed by APEX Coaching’s Neal Henderson. They also have Yoga, Strength Training, and Mental Fitness videos to make you a more well-rounded athlete.

Peloton

A completely different experience which requires heavy upfront in investment in the peloton exercise bike. Then enjoy access to a huge library of spin classes. Whilst this is hugely popular in the USA it’s a great option for general fitness, but not for out & out cyclists.

Bike Rumour do a great job of compiling & comparing ten training apps on their latest Indoor Training article.

Alternative Exercise For Cyclists in Isolation

Don’t have access to an indoor trainer or software? There is a huge amount you can do to develop your strength on the bike without actually going near a bike. Spend time building your core strength, leg strength & flexibility. Work on specifics like activating your glutes for maximum impact when you get back on the bike.

You can trawl You Tube for exercises that work for you, or consider working with a coach for a custom plan designed around you & your goals.

Sign Up For Your Custom Training Plan

To find out more about our custom training plans head over to our Coaching & Training plans page, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

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2021-Cycling-Tour-Book-Now-Refundable-€100-Deposit

Secure your place on a 2021 Tour with a Refundable €100 deposit

By Cycling No Comments

Secure your place on a 2021 Eat Sleep Cycle tour with a fully refundable €100 deposit.

Whether you’re dreaming of racking up some quality miles in Girona, thinking about a luxury tour of the south of France, or plotting a hardcore challenge riding across the Alps or the Pyrenees, we think we’ve got the perfect tour for every cyclist.

Special Offer For Your 2021 Cycling Tour

Having something to look forward to is a great way to make it through what will be a tough year for many. That’s why we’ve launched our 2021 €100 deposit offer early! You can now secure your place on any of our scheduled tours rolling out after April 1st 2021 with a €100 fully refundable deposit.

A 50% deposit is due on the 31st January 2021 & up until this point we’ll give your €100 deposit back if you change your mind about the tour or can no longer travel. We can also transfer your deposit to a different tour up until the 31st January 2021.

The offer is valid on scheduled tours departing after 1st April 2021.

Browse our website or drop us an email with your requirements & we’ll be happy to help.

How to Secure Your Tour Place

Complete the form below and we’ll be in touch with any further information and with payment details for your €100 refundable deposit. Remember, 50% of the balance is due on the 31st January, but up until then we’ll give you your deposit back if you change your mind or can no longer travel.

You can also book your favourite tour online!

  • Tell us your telephone number if you'd like us to call you.
  • Where would you like to cycle? Who are you travelling with? Are you interested in a particular tour?

Special Offer Terms & Conditions

This offer is not valid for private & bespoke tours or for tours rolling out in January, February & March 2021.

Your €100 deposit is fully refundable until the 31st January when 50% of the balance is due. The final balance due 2 months before the start date of your tour.

Until the 31st January 2021 we will refund your deposit or transfer it to an alternative tour of your choice.

What-type-of-cyclist-are-you-cycling-quiz

Quiz – What Type of Cyclist Are You?

By Cycling No Comments

Take our fun quiz and see what type of cyclist you are! You’ll need an old-school pen & pencil. Take a note of the answer which best describes you and see your results at the end!

1. At a coffee stop you choose:

a) Espresso
b) Beetroot Juice
c) I never stop
d) Nothing – I stick to my ride nutrition & energy drink
e) Tea & a local sweet treat
f) Double espresso

2. You’re approaching a town sign, what do you do? 

a) Rehearse lead out drills with my cycling club – we do this every week
b) Do a stealth-shift with my sprint shifter & surprise the group for the win
c) Give it everything and let the lactate build. WOO!!! 
d) Nothing – I’m doing a 4DP test
e) Nothing, what was I supposed to do?
f) Nothing, I don’t want to break my cleat

3. You’re in the market for a new bike, what are you looking for?

a) A classic from the Mercx era
b) The latest from my favourite brand
c) A fat bike – I need to keep training outside in 6ft of snow
d) I have a spreadsheet to compare performance & fit data of every bike on the market
e) I don’t need a new bike, mine is only 10 years old
f) Custom steel, custom paint

4. You’re planning a trip, what’s the most important thing? 

a) Reliving the most iconic stage of the 1904 Tour de France
b) Great packaging to keep my bike safe on the plane
c) Fitting in the most miles possible
d) Rides that fit in with my training plan
e) Seeing a new place with gorgeous routes
f) High ratio of insta opportunities: kms pedalled

5. You need a new set of kit, what’s your top pick? 

a) Merino threads from Cima Coppi
b) Pro-team aero kit by Rapha
c) Assos – pure comfort for long miles
d) Sufferfest team kit (plus indoor training shirt)
e) Cycling kit??
f) I’ve put a request in with my sponsors

The Results: What Type of Cyclist Are You?

Mostly A’s: The Purist

Rim brakes are in. Tradition is key. Merino wool is your best friend. Soon to be seen in L’Eroica with your vintage steel pride & joy trundling up hill & down dale. You pass on cycling etiquette of old to new riders with pleasure. You don’t know what Training Peaks is but you’re just getting the hang of Strava.

Your bike collection includes a 1979 Colnago & you’ve begrudgingly swapped your Molteni cycling cap for a helmet.

Mostly B’s: The Tech-Geek

Your bike is in a constant state of flux & upgrades. Di2, ceramic bearings & hydraulic discs are a thing of the past. As soon as one upgrade is complete you’re seeking the next. You have an extensive collection of cycling gear, carefully selected to cover all ride conditions. 

Your bike collection includes a belt-drive commuter bike, a titanium gravel bike and the lightest road bike in the world. A prototype Graphene frame adorns the wall of your high-tech man-cave.

Mostly C’s: The Masochist

You never miss a training session and you don’t own a turbo trainer (and you don’t live in Girona!) Your 2020 ride plan includes stupidly tough events such as the Paris-Brest-Paris, La Purito & the Raid Pyrenees (in 50 hours instead of 100 of course). Often (but not always) a close friend of the Data-Junkie, you love to see your fatigue line climb! 

Mostly D’s: The Data-Junkie

Training peaks, power curves, watts per kilo, threshold, VO2 max, FTP, 4DP (yes, that’s a thing), VAM, you love this stuff and know your numbers inside out. You work with a coach to hone your numbers & prefer to train on a turbo for the most accurate results. Your new year’s resolution is to ride outside & learn some bike skills.

Your bike is a masterpiece in efficiency & you have an identical bike on the turbo (with matching power-meters of course!)

Mostly E’s: The Route Nerd

You don’t mind what you’re riding or what you’re wearing, so long as you’re riding a bike. You decide where to ride based on the best cafe stop or most spectacular view. You’re happy solo or with cycling buddies. You love paper maps, Komoot & Google street view for seeking out the best rides.

You never quite achieve glory in the cycling style-stakes but always have a huge smile on your face when pedalling. 

Mostly F’s: The Fashionista 

You own a carefully curated wardrobe of cycling gear, all selected to complement your collection of stylish bikes. Your bike collection includes a custom steel gravel bike (with custom paintwork), & a stealthy black carbon road bike. You have a selection of shoes, helmets & glasses to ride with each outfit and you use coat hangers to store your cycling gear in a dedicated kit-wardrobe. You always enjoy a pre-ride espresso & a post-ride half-pint of craft beer at the latest place to be seen in town. You ride once a year in poor conditions to justify buying that seriously nice technical jacket, but otherwise prefer riding in perfect #lightbro conditions.

TEAM EAT SLEEP CYCLE TOOK THE QUIZ…

Here at Eat Sleep Cycle we’re passing the quiz around and it turns out we’re a nice wholesome mix of route nerds & masochists…

Lee – Mostly C’s, Louise – Mostly E’s, Mark – Mostly E’s

Let us know your quiz results!

Let us know how you got on in the comments below, or head over to our facebook, twitter or instagram feed to leave us a note.

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Brompton Bikes - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Brompton Bikes x Eat Sleep Cycle

By Cycling No Comments

Brompton is an iconic, British brand of folding city commuter bikes & has an established heritage dating back to 1975, and their presence on city streets across the globe is ubiquitous. The success of Brompton is easy to understand once you have the pleasure of riding one around, the ease with which they fold and unfold makes commuting a breeze. Plus, it’s simply a lot of fun to ride!

More Than Just Folding Bikes

Brompton has become world-renowned, transcending the practical purpose of the brand’s inception to include events such as the Brompton World Championships (first held in Barcelona in 2006), in which competitors race their Bromptons around a course (folding and unfolding the bike is, of course, a part of the race). Indeed, members of our team competed in a Brompton race at Sea Otter Europe this summer with Eat Sleep Cycle founder, Louise, winning the race.

History of Brompton Bikes - Eat Sleep Cycle

The History of Brompton

Andrew Ritchie, the founder of Brompton Bicycles, began designing the bikes in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, London in 1975 and the first crude designs were brought to life in 1977 with official production beginning in 1981. By 1987, Brompton bikes had won the Best Product Award at the Cyclex event held at Olympia, London with the first factory opening the following year. During the next few decades, Brompton’s success soared, with multiple awards, events, and new stores opening around the world.

Burn Calories, Not Fossil Fuels

Across the world the environmental movement is growing and Brompton are leading the charge for switching out an engine for pedal power in their Campaign for Movement. So, why consider using a bike for your daily journeys?

  • Cycling is proven to bring huge benefits to our societies, to health, the environment and the economy. Clean air, quiet streets & a healthy population are just a few consequences of a cycling city!
  • Regular physical activity reduces depression up to 30% and the chance of developing cancer by up to 45%. Switching out an engine for a pedal-powered Brompton is a sure way to stay healthy & happy!
  • 1 parking space = 42 Bromptons. Surely there is a better way to use car parking space?
  • Car parking spaces take up huge swathes of our cities. In Girona, a small city of 100,000 residents, parking is a huge problem. City centre parking is expensive people driving into the centre clog up roads and contribute to air pollution. When most people driving into the city have less than 5 km to travel there really is no excuse.

Riding a Brompton Bike - Rocacorba - Eat Sleep Cycle

Riding A Brompton… Up Rocacorba?

Readers who know Girona will have heard of Rocacorba, a steep & legendary climb to the north-west of the city. The road rises to nearly 1,000m over 13 kms, with unrelenting gradients. Eat Sleep Cycle founders Lee & Louise thought it would be a great test of the 6-speed Brompton rental bikes to see if it was physically possible to ride up it. The answer? Yes. Nailed it in 1 hour, 22 mins (nearly 3 x longer than the current KOM James Knox at 27:13!). See the evidence on Strava here.

Ride Brompton This Christmas

In keeping with our own Brompton tradition, for the second year running we organised a Christmas Brompton ride in our home city of Girona. Joined by friends of Eat Sleep Cycle, we dressed in our Christmas best and set out on a little adventure around Girona before finishing it all off with a cosy hot chocolate! The perfect way to spend a December Saturday afternoon!

Brompton Bike Ride at Christmas - Eat Sleep Cycle

Sold on a Brompton?

If you want to experience a Brompton for yourself we offer you Brompton bike hire one from our Girona Hub, or if you would like to become the proud owner of one of these fantastic, folding bikes, then email [email protected], give us a call on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online and we’ll make it happen!

Already a Proud Brompton Bike Owner?

There is something special about Brompton bikes and ever more special about being Brompton bike owner – there are lots of folding bikes, but there is only one Brompton! So, send us your pictures of you riding your Brompton around your city!

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Calpe Winter Cycling Holiday - 5 Reasons You Should Go - Eat Sleep Cycle

Calpe Winter Cycling Holiday – 5 Reasons You Should Go!

By Cycling No Comments

Much like migratory birds, cyclists can be found heading south for winter in search of warmer, sunnier climes. There are a select few European destinations which take in the bulk of this exodus, amongst them are Girona, Mallorca, Gran Canaria and of course, Calpe. Each of these places has its own merit and any self-respecting fair weather rider should tick them all off at some point, Calpe, however, is one of the original and best tried and tested winter cycling destination.

Near Perfect Winter Cycling Conditions

The primary focus for choosing any winter cycling destination is the weather. After all, isn’t the point of a winter training camp to escape to the sun and replicate those hazy summer cycling days? Calpe offers near-perfect ‘winter’ cycling conditions, with 325 sunny days per year and temperatures during the winter months ranging between a mild 16°C and a balmy 25°C.

Calpe - Cycling Training Ground - Eat Sleep Cycle

Calpe – A Tried and Tested Cycling Training Ground

Calpe has long been the favourite winter training camp location for myriad professional teams, with the likes of Dimension Data, INEOS, Trek-Segafredo and Sunweb choosing to prepare for the season ahead on the Costa Blanca. If it’s good enough for the pros…

The Range of Terrain

Calpe boasts a wide range of terrain, making it a fantastic place for winter training. There are flat roads, rolling roads, and plenty of mountain climbs to choose from. You can ride through forests, along the coast and through towns as you traverse the smoothly-paved roads. This variety of training roads means that whether you want an easy coffee cruise or a monster day in the mountains there’s something for you.

Calpe Winter Cycling Holiday - Calpe Scenery - Eat Sleep Cycle

Calpe Scenery

Depending on the season, you can find orange groves and pink-tinged almond blossom lining the aforementioned smooth Calpe roads. This, accompanied by panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea from the top of climbs and the rolling, imposing figures of the mountains make Calpe a scenic delight, with perhaps the exception of Benidorm….

Spanish Culture

Of course, Calpe may be the place to be for the pros during winter, but there are just as many amateur riders who flock there too and whereas the pros must restrain when it comes to food and other festivities in preparation for the coming season, amateur riders bear no such professional responsibility. As such, a cycling holiday in Calpe can be augmented by a hearty enjoyment of the Spanish way of life: post-ride cervezas by the beach and a mid-ride tapas or bocadillo enjoyed on a lengthy coffee stop are highly recommended, after all, you’ve earned it.

Key Calpe Climbs - Calpe Winter Cycling - Eat Sleep Cycle

Key Calpe Climbs

  • Cumbre del Sol: There are a few ways to tackle this climb, but none of them are easy. The Vuelta a Espana peloton have grovelled their way up the Cumbre del Sol from Alcasar a few times taking on the brutal 3.2 km at 11.9%. Those who don’t subscribe to the mindset of getting it over with quickly can climb from Benitachell which is 6.3 km at 6%.
  • Col de Rates: A crack at Col de Rates is obligatory on a cycling holiday in Calpe. The 6 km climb has gained legendary status among all types of rider and is known as the local testing climb owing to its perfect length and steady 5% average gradient.
  • Tudons: A category one climb at 15.3 km long with an average gradient of 5% this is one of the toughest climbs in the area.
  • Confrides: If the length of this 10.4 km and 4.4% climb seems all a bit much then take a deep breath and appreciate the beautiful almond blossom lining the roads…
  • Vall d’EboThis is a stunning climb, 8 km long with an average gradient of 6% but the views and switchbacks can provide a welcome distraction!

Calpe Ride Camp - Calpe Winter Cycling - Eat Sleep Cycle

Keen to Ride in Calpe?

Check our our Calpe Ride Camp and book online! Want to know more? Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you asap!

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Cycling Holiday Levels - Which One Right for You - Eat Sleep Cycle

Cycling Holiday Levels: Which One is Right for You?

By Cycling No Comments

So you’re in the process of choosing a cycling holiday but you’re not sure which level is right for you? Our four tour levels cover every type of cycling holiday out there, from leisure to epic and everything in between. Here’s our guide on how to choose the right cycling holiday for you based on your level.

Leisure Cycling Holiday

A leisure cycling holiday is in essence an active holiday. The main goal is to combine easy cycling with relaxing and discovering the culture and cuisine of somewhere new.

What kind of cycling should I expect on this type of tour?
– Distances are up to 50 km with up to 500 m of climbing which can be completed at an easy pace and with no time limits.

Who is this tour level suited to?
– People who cycle one to two times a week.

What bike should I hire?

  • Ridley Tempo Disc: A versatile bike which you can ride on the road or on bike paths.
  • Ridley tempo disc electric: For that extra boost.

Eat Sleep Cycle Leisure Cycling Tours - Tour of the Costa Brava

Eat Sleep Cycle Leisure Cycling Tours

  1. Tour of the Costa Brava – this tour is all about experiencing the best of the Costa Brava region in the off-season. Quiet roads, quiet beaches and plenty to see and do. Rides average 60km a day and the itinerary is flexible.
  2. Family Cycle Tour – Ride from the Pyrenees to the Costa Brava and explore Catalunya whilst staying active as a family.

Intermediate Cycling Holiday

An intermediate tour involves more riding than a leisure tour but the aim is still to make the most of exploring the area and taking in the sights.

Who is this tour level suited to?
– People who ride 2-4 times a week.

What kind of cycling should I expect on this type of tour?
– Distances are up to 80 km with up to 1,000 m of climbing

What bike should I hire?

  • Ridley Fenix SL Disc: The Fenix is Ridley’s premier all round carbon road bike developed for strength, durability and all day ride comfort.
  • Basso Venta: Whilst the Basso Venta is inspired by Italian racing the bike is designed for long, comfortable days in the saddle.
  • Orbea Gain M20: The Orbea Gain is an industry leading electric road bike with sleek design and integrated technology.

Eat Sleep Cycle Intermediate Cycling Tours - La Rioja & Pais Vasco

Eat Sleep Cycle Intermediate Cycling Tours

  1. La Rioja & Pais Vasco Luxury Tour: Explore the regions of La Rioja and the Basque Country in style over six nights in luxury accommodation.
  2. Mallorca Experience: Uncover the hidden gems of Mallorca by bike, taste the delicious local cuisine, explore the culture of the island and relax in 4* hotels.

Advanced Cycling Holiday

Now we’re getting a little bit more difficult. An advanced level tour is a challenge to take on and be proud of yourself to complete.

What kind of cycling should I expect on this type of tour?
– 100 to 120 km a day with 2,000 to 3,000m of climbing

Who is this tour level suited to?
– people who regularly ride long distances with plenty of climbing.

What bike should I hire?

  • Factor O2 VAM: The Factor O2 VAM Disc rewrites the rules to make the super-light O2 even lighter.
  • Basso Astra: The Basso Astra promises a responsive, high speed ride & pure Italian style.
  • Ridley Helium X: Ridley’s Helium carbon frame balances lightness with stiffness, offering a great bike for those who like to climb without feeling any flex when putting the power down.

Eat Sleep Cycle Advanced Cycling Tours - Trans Pyrenees

Eat Sleep Cycle Advanced Cycling Tours

  1. Trans Pyrenees: From Girona to San Sebastian via some of the most iconic mountains in the Pyrenees
  2. Calpe Ride Camp: Join the pros in their training ground of choice over the winter and put in some quality kms whilst soaking up the winter sunshine!

Epic Cycling Holiday

Only for the brave, an epic tour takes things to the next level!

What kind of cycling should I expect on this type of tour?
– over 120 km a day with over 3,000 m of climbing.

Who is this tour level suited to?
– hard-core cyclists who love a challenge!

What bike should I hire?

  • Factor O2 VAM: The Factor O2 VAM Disc rewrites the rules to make the super-light O2 even lighter.
  • Basso Astra: The Astra promises a responsive, high speed ride & pure Italian style.
  • Ridley Helium SLX Di2: The Helium SLX is the top of Ridley’s Helium line. Ridley have created the lightest frame possible, without losing any stiffness.

Eat Sleep Cycle Epic Cycling Tours - La Purito

Eat Sleep Cycle Epic Cycling Tours

  1. La Purito: One of Europe’s toughest sportives 145 km with a huge 5,200m of climbing!
  2. Raid Pyrenees: The Raid Pyrenees is an epic 100 hour Challenge and cycle from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea via the most iconic cols in the Pyrenees!

Cycling Holiday - Spain - Eat Sleep Cycle

Ready to Start Your Cycling Holiday?

Browse our Cycling Tours now to choose the right one for you. Still not sure? Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you asap!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Top European Winter Cycling Destinations To Avoid The Cold - Eat Sleep Cycle

Top European Winter Cycling Destinations To Avoid The Cold!

By Cycling No Comments

Winter is coming… but imagine you could avoid donning those woolly overshoes and rain jacket and chase the summer around the world, where would you go? Here are some of the top European winter cycling destinations for some winter sun in 2019/20!

All Winter Cycling Destinations

The following destinations are ready to be explored all throughout the winter months without a leg-warmer in sight! The go-to locations for a mid-winter getaway or epic training camp these are the fail-safe, tried and tested all-winter cycling destinations.

Gran Canaria – Cycling Heaven

More than just a beach holiday destination, a visit to Gran Canaria by bike will leave you wondering if the island was actually designed by cyclists. Year-round temperatures of between 22 and 25 degrees, a mere 148 mm of rainfall on average over 12 months, plenty of climbing and some of the smoothest tarmac you’ll ever ride on make it a cycling haven.

The landscape of Gran Canaria is uniquely stunning and diverse ranging from sparse and volcanic to lively and green. The climbs here can be steeper than the neighbouring Canary Islands meaning the riding is somewhat more challenging and varied – perfect training terrain. Those who aren’t all about pushing their limits on a cycling getaway can take advantage of recovery time on the many beautiful beaches the island has to offer.

Gran Canaria is one of our top picks for legs-out cycling as the rest of Europe stays wrapped up. Join our Gran Canaria Ride Camp to get taster, sign up for our Gran Canaria & Tenerife Experience for a true insight into Island life or check out our top pick of Gran Canaria’s cycle routes to plan your own trip.

Where to stay: Maspalomas, Cruz de Tejeda, Puerto Mogan.

The Costa Tropical/Calpe – Sun & Smooth Tarmac

The Southern regions of Spain are a long-held favourite location of leisure cyclists and World-Tour teams alike. It’s no surprise that so many fly south for winter; Andalucía enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine a year and only 40 days of rain on average. Calpe and the surrounding area boasts a similarly temperate climate and is swarming with cyclists engaging in some winter training during the colder months.

The Costa Tropical region is like most good training locations – the area is very hilly, several climbs over 2,000 m, good road surfaces and sparse traffic. The Calpe/Alicante area is known in summer as a haven for those seeking sun-soaked partying but in winter it attracts a very different kind of clientele who mix with the stalwart mahogany ex-pats. Cyclists flock to the region in search of sun and smooth tarmac, which they receive in abundance. As with the rest of Spain, the draw is not only the fantastic riding but also the laid-back lifestyle and delicious food and drink on offer, re-fuelling with some delicious tapas and a cerveza is a must. Check here to see what cycling kit you’ll need for winter cycling in Southern Spain!

Where to stay: Mojacar, Calpe, Almería, Almuñécar.

Autumn/Early Spring Cycling Destinations

The first cycling destinations that we’re going to look at are the ones which are most suitable for Autumn or Early Spring. They are still perfectly acceptable destinations for deep winter, but you might need a few extra layers!

Best European Winter Cycling Destinations

Girona – The Pros’ Home

Maybe we’re biased but we think that Girona provides an amazing base for year-round riding. Autumn and early spring are key times of year as Northern Europe is under a chill but Girona’s climate remains temperate with very little rain. September – November is the perfect time to extend late summer by taking a cycling trip to the Catalan city and explore the place that so many pros call home. Girona also enjoys warmer weather from as early as February and March making it a perfect European winter cycling destination for when winter feels never-ending at home.

The golden combination of city, coast and mountains in Girona means that you can explore a plethora of terrain in one single ride. In addition, unlike many tourist locations it doesn’t completely shut up shop during winter as there are many locals and students living there. Take the perfect post-ride stroll through the old town to see the stunning Cathedral or visit one of the many excellent restaurants and cafes on offer. Access to Girona is also incredibly easy with the nearest airport a mere 12 km away and the next closest, in Barcelona, is an hour’s train ride away.

Where to stay: in the old town, Hotel Carlemany, Hotel Nord 1901

Mallorca – The Original Cycling Mecca

The original cycling mecca, Mallorca has long seen sun-seeking cyclists making a pilgrimage to the island. Like Girona the best time to make a winter-sun getaway is September-November and February-March. In line with it’s Catalan counterpart Mallorca boasts a combination between coast and mountains meaning that the landscape is varied. Few riders will find the Mallorcan roads too challenging, there is a combination of flat and mountainous terrain alike meaning that riders of all abilities can enjoy what the largest of the Balearic islands has to offer.

One of the most popular rides on the island is to the Cap de Fortmentor lighthouse – the most northern point of the island, for nothing else if not a photo opportunity.  An ascent of the sinewy climb of Sa Colabra, by far the most famous climb on the island and one of the most well-known in the world is also essential. Off the bike there is plenty to see and do including visiting the capital, Palma.

Join our Mallorca Ride Camp to get taster, sign up for our Mallorca Experience for a true insight into Island life or read our Guide to Cycling in Mallorca to plan your own trip.

Where to stay: Sóller, Pollença

Southern Portugal – The Same But Different

It’s no surprise that Portugal is growing in popularity as a location for cyclists considering the warm climate, rich history and excellent riding, not dissimilar to the already well-established Spanish locations in terms of climate, culture and cuisine. Those who are looking for something the same but different will love what Portugal has to offer.

In the past year the country has been awarded numerous tourism accolades and has firmly established itself as a European holiday destination. For cycling over the winter months the southern part of the island is the place to travel to for the warmer weather. Head to the Algarve coast in the south-west for a combination of flat coastal riding and in-land mountains. Away from the riding Portugal has many ancient medieval villages to explore as well as a rich variety of wine and seafood to taste.

Where to stay: Alentejo, Algarve

 

European Winter Cycling Locations from Eat Sleep Cycle

Inspiring Winter Cycling Spots

Inspired? Each of the 5 winter cycling spots above give you the ability to indulge in a cycling tour or training session when it should be too cold to be enjoyable! Take a look at our winter camps to see how you can enjoy some cycling in the sun this winter. For more information or to find out about how we can tailor a winter trip to your needs email us on [email protected] or contact us online!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Getting to Girona

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HOW TO GET TO GIRONA

So you’ve booked a cycling vacation in Girona but you don’t know the best way to get here? We’ve got you covered! Girona is well linked to lots of public transportation so there are plenty of ways to get here, either by plane, train or automobile… read below to discover the many ways to get to cycling’s home town!

GIRONA AIRPORT

By far the simplest way to get here is to fly into Girona. Flights into the tiny Girona Costa Brava airport, however, are usually from Europe only, plus during the winter months they are few and far between. If, however you do manage to get a flight to the local airport you are a mere 12.8km away from the city. There are no trains from Girona airport but buses are regular during the day and cost just €2.75 for a single.

Winter timetable: https://www.sagales.com/uploads/20181026112800_271667854bfbed2571041bea7fa926f1022d610b.pdf

Summer timetable:  https://www.sagales.com/uploads/20180320161558_aab235e0bd5dfad3b928d77ea29b935b1cc8f1ad.pdf

The simplest way is to have a transfer arranged for you, you can do so via Eat Sleep Cycle for €35.

From Girona Bus/Train station to the old town is about 1.5km distance (15 min walk).

BARCELONA AIRPORT

If you can’t get directly to Girona then don’t fear as Barcelona-El Prat will serve. Albeit slightly further away, it is still relatively easy to transfer from El-Prat to Girona. A Sagales coach will cost you €19, a taxi transfer (which Eat Sleep Cycle can arrange) will cost around €180. If you choose to take the train, the fast option takes a mere 40 minutes and costs €17 plus the metro fare from El Prat to Barcelona’s main station: Sants. If you decide to take the train be aware that this transfer may not be enjoyable with a bike bag and cases!

If you arrive at T1 go downstairs following the arrows for a bus (free) between T1 & T2, this bus will take you to T2, then follow signs for RENFE, where you can take the red metro train to Barcelona Sants – R2 line. This train ride takes about 20 minutes. Purchase a single way ticket using the machines on your left hand side as you walk in the station (Single from €4.50). 

Once you are in Barcelona Sants follow signs for the High speed train (AVE), platform 1-6. Try to purchase the tickets online in advance or using the machines there. It’s easy! Please note there is a 20-minute window before the train leaves, that is why we recommend to purchase your ticket in advance! (single from €16.50). http://www.renfe.com/

When you carry a bike box, the High speed train may not allow you on because they allow only one big suitcase (either your luggage or the bike box but NOT BOTH).

The alternative is the regional train that takes 1:40 minutes to reach Girona and there are no limitations to suitcases carried on. 

The easiest way is to take a taxi to Barcelona Sants (around €26), then High-Speed train to Girona.

 

MADRID AIRPORT

While Madrid is over 680 km away there are potentially more flight options for international travelers. Why not integrate a trip to the Spanish capital while you’re there? There are direct trains from Madrid to Girona as well as a bus network.

Cycling-Vacation-Spain-Girona-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-How-to-Get-To-Girona

TRAIN FROM OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE 

For those from Europe for whom time is not of the essence, the option to take a train may be of interest. Most large city stations will service trains to the area, although beware that you may have to make changes along the way if you’re coming with a bike bag and luggage in tow. Check out the Renfe train website to plan your journey. 

DRIVE FROM OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE 

Driving is also a good option for European-based visitors, northern Spain can be reached relatively easily and surprisingly quickly from most of Europe – just watch out for the tolls! There is plenty of parking around the city, take a look at this map to get an idea (n.b ‘gratuit’ means free).

PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY

Now you’ve sorted out how to get here it’s time to start planning! Read our Cyclist’s Guide to Girona to discover the best of what our home city has to offer!

Girona Cycling Tours

If this has got you inspired to travel to Girona then why not view our Girona cycling tours and check out what camps and packages we have available. If you’re planning to travel here and don’t want to worry about bringing a bike then take a look at our rental bikes in Girona for top-quality, fully-serviced road, gravel and mountain bikes. If you’ve any questions about your possible cycling tour to Girona give us a call now on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online for more info!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Factor O2 VAM Bike Review - The Verdict - ESC

Factor O2 VAM Bike Review – The Verdict

By Cycling No Comments

The results of our Factor O2 VAM Bike Review are in! If you read our preview blog you will have seen that we are adding the brand new Factor O2 VAM to our Girona bike hire rental fleet! Well, the bikes arrived at The Hub last week and of course, the first thing we did was take them for a spin! We held a test ride event with Eat Sleep Cycle team members and a few Girona locals and headed out on a 50km hilly loop to put the VAM through its paces.

Factor O2 VAM Bike – Rave Reviews

We asked some of those who joined the ride to give us their verdict on the VAM and sure enough, the bike got rave reviews all round!

“Feels Like Skiing”

Factor O2 VAM Bike Review - Eat Sleep Cycle - Sam Tabotta

“The Factor VAM – possibly the perfect bike for avid cyclists and racers, not only does it have the coolest stock paint job but also an aggressive feel that urges you to step on the pedals. The sensation of riding the VAM is hard to describe, the best I can do is say that it feels like skiing. You cant feel any loss in power through the bike, it never slows down and when riding out of the saddle or even sprinting all of the energy is transferred to the wheels making you feel as though you can go fast forever.”

– Sam Tabotta

“Feels Like It Has A Motor In It”

Factor O2 VAM Bike Review - Eat Sleep Cycle - Girona - Lee Comerford

“The Factor O2 VAM feels like it has a motor in it. Descending is thrilling, like a roller coaster, not quite scary but close enough to scary to be incredible! It’s a bike that needs to be ridden fast. Cruising along, of course it is smooth and an easy ride, but when you put the hammer down then you really feel the power of the VAM”

– Lee Comerford (Eat Sleep Cycle partner)

“Classic…Clean…Sharp…Stiff”

Factor O2 VAM Bike Review - The Verdict - Eat Sleep Cycle - Marco Hemskerk

“I like the look of the bike. Classic, clean and low profile in colour. Feeling on the bike was good. You immediately feel the bike wants to ‘go’. The bike also felt secure. Already after the second corner in the descent I felt confident and could descend fast. The feeling is ‘sharp’ in the corners. I did a sprint uphill and that was fast. The frame is stiff and the feeling is that power is speed. So in short I really liked it. If only I had the money…”

– Marco Hemskerk

Factor O2 VAM Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Factor O2 VAM Bike Rental

Do you want to try the Factor O2 VAM for yourself? Reserve yours now by visiting our bike hire portal or give our team a call on +34 972 754 301.

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to join our newsletter to receive regular updates on our latest tours!

 

Photos by Daan Van Meeuwen