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Girona Insider: Insights from the Cycling Community

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Insights from Inside Girona

Ever wanted to know more about the cycling community here in Girona? We’ve launched a new series on Instagram live where we talk to members of Girona’s cycling community. We chat to pro-cyclists, cafe & restaurant owners, hotel & apartment owners & anyone who’s anyone connected to cycling! The goal is to stay connected, to share stories & gain insights into life in Girona. We’ll get insider tips on where to visit, where to ride & where to stay & we’ll share the highlights of each chat right here!

Marco Hemskerk, Bravissimo

Girona Insider Live, Friday 1st May, 18:00 CET

Marco is an amateur cyclist from Holland who now runs the best guest apartments in Girona, Bravissimo! Bravissimo have been providing temporary homes for Girona’s heath professionals fighting Covid-19 & in the normal world offer beautiful, cyclist-friendly apartments for visitors.

Follow Bravissimo: @bravissimo_girona

Find out more: bravissimo-girona.com

Michelle Wilson & Mike Duff, Owner-Operators of La Bruguera

Girona Insider Live, Thursday 30th April, 18:00 CET

La Bruguera is a unique eco estate located close to the village of Púbol, for retreats, holidays and events. Fully-modernised from 2015 – 2019, it was built between 1978 and 1981, for Catalan landscape painter Francesc d’Assís Casademont “Le Vieux”, a friend and contemporary of Salvador Dalí’s. Michelle & Mike are an awesome couple who own & run this incredible estate. Mike is an expert in urban sustainability & Michelle’s professional interests are in the use of evidence-based therapies for achieving mental health and wellness, and the use of the arts as a change agent.

Follow La Bruguera: @labrugueradepubol

Find out more: labrugueradepubol.com

Laura Siddall, Pro Triathlete

Girona Insider Live, Wednesday 29th April, 18:00 CET

Laura Siddal Ironman Champion Girona Insider Eat Sleep Cycle“Don’t die wondering”. This is Laura’s motto & inspiration. Laura is a mechanical engineer turned amateur triathlete, turned pro. Laura has an insane palmares – she is the four time amateur World Champion, the fifth fastest British woman of all time over the iron distance & a four time Ironman Champion, which includes winning Ironman Australia for three consecutive years. She’s also the ETU European Long Distance Champion. Laura is from the UK but travels all over the globe chasing summer between the Southern Hemisphere in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Girona, Spain in the Northern Hemisphere…wherever the racing and training leads.

Follow Laura: @lmsid 

Find out more: laurasiddall.com

James Whelan, Pro Cyclist for Education First

Girona Insider Live, Monday 27th April, 18:00 CET

Jimmy-Whelan-Pro-Cyclist-EF-Education-First-Girona-InsiderJimmy Whelan is a runner turned pro-cyclist from Australia. He’s one of the stars of the recent Digital Swiss tour & a promising classics rider who loves the Ardennes. During his swift rise through the ranks of the Australian under-23 cycling programme, Jimmy raced in Belgium and won the U23 Tour of Flanders in 2018 – after just 18 months of being a bike rider & his first race in Europe.

Follow Jimmy: @jimmywhelan.jpg

Joey Rosskopf, Pro Cyclist for CCC

Girona Insider Live, Sunday 26th April, 18:00 CET

Joey-Rosskopf-Team-CCC-USA-National Champion-Girona-InsiderJoey is a pro-rider from Georgia USA who, like many others, has chosen to make Girona his home. Joey worked his way up through the ranks of cycling via the Hincapie Development Team to join World Tour team BMC in 2015. Joey now rides for Team CCC. Joey is the 2 x champion of the USA ITT & has ridden 5 Grand Tours. Joey lives in Girona with his partner Georgia, who teaches at a local school.

Follow Joey: @joeyrosskoph

Robert Bellsolà, President of the Antiga Casa Bellsolà Girona Cycling Team, Screenwriter & All-Round Legend

Girona Insider Live, Wednesday 22nd April, 18:00 CET

Robert-Bellsola-Antiga-Casa-Bellsola-Cycling-TeamRobert Bellsolà is a colourful Girona character who founded Girona’s first Junior mens cycling team in 2018. He owns a chain of bakeries which supply the people of Girona with delicious baked goods. He is also a screenwriter & video maker – tune in for entertaining chats & insights into the world of Bellsolà!

Follow Robert: @antigacasabellsola_gironateam

Check out the Anitga Casa Bellsolà Girona Cycling Team: www.antigacasabellsola.com/en/acbteam/ 

And check out the Antiga Casa Bellsolà Bakeries: www.antigacasabellsola.com

Cheynna & Rory Sutherland, Cyclists & Owners of Federal Café Girona

Girona Insider Live, Monday 20th April, 18:00 CET

Cheynna-Rory-Sutherland-Pro-Cyclist-Federal-Cafe-Girona Cheynna was born and raised in Southern California. She has been a cyclist since 1988 and is a former state and national champion. She continues to compete in gran fondos and ultra marathon events. Cheynna holds a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado and spent many years introducing children to cycling and healthy living through various community projects in Boulder, Colorado. Now living in Girona, she has developed community- based businesses in health and lifestyle sector, while keeping up with their two children.

Born in Canberra, Australia, Rory has been a professional cyclist since 2002. He has raced for the top teams in the world, represented his country at the World Championships and is widely regarded as being one of the best domestiques in the European peloton. Off the bike, Rory has dedicated his time and efforts to various community projects and charities over the years to encourage healthy living through sport. Alongside Cheynna, Rory owns the Federal Café Girona.

Follow Cheynna & Rory: @cheynnasutherland, @rorysutherland82 & @thefederalcafegirona on instagram

Check out Federal Café Girona: Visit www.federalcafe.es/girona/

Jetse Bol, Pro-Cyclist for Burgos BH

Girona Insider Live, Sunday 19th April, 18:00 CET

 Jetse-Bol-Professional-Cyclist-In-Girona-Burgos-BHJetse started his life as an athlete as a speed skater before switching to cycling. He’s from Holland & lives with his (Mexican ex-pro cyclist) wife Nancy & their little boy Mikel. Jetse won the combativity award in Stage 18 of the 2018 Vuelta and came 2nd on Stage 5 of the 2019 Vuelta (sacrificing 1st place for his team mates polka dot jersey). Jetse is a much-loved rider in the peleton & enjoys popularity in Mexico, Holland & in his Catalan home!

First ride after lockdown: Sant Hilari Sacalm & the Montseny area – into the mountains!

Jetse recommends: Coffee in town after a ride & chilling on his balcony with views of the mountains!

Follow Jetse: @jetsebol on instagram

Toms Skujins, Pro-Cyclist for Trek Segafredo

Girona Insider Live, Friday 17th April, 18:00 CET

Toms-Skujins-Girona-Cycling-Pro-Cyclist-Trek-SegafredoToms is a pro-cyclist from Lativa & one of the most approachable professionals in the peloton. He was the first ever Latvian to wear a jersey at a Grand Tour, and that jersey was the polka dot jersey at the 2018 Tour de France. He’s an awesome racer to watch and has worked his way up the ranks, starting with the Hincapie Development Team in America, before being picked up by World Tour team Cannondale Pro Cycling. Toms now rides for Trek Segafredo & can be counted on to make a race explode & commit to audacious breakaways! The Tour of California is one of Toms’ favourite races & has played host to the biggest wins of Toms’ career, as well as his biggest crash.

First ride after lockdown: Rupit. The long way.

Toms recommends: Espresso Mafia for coffee, the bakery on Plaça de Vi for lunch & yoghurt at the place just before the climb to Montjuic!

Follow Toms: @tomashuuns on instagram & check out his website for more fun www.tomsskujins.com

Jessica Allen, Pro Cyclist for Mitchelton Scott

Girona Insider Live, Wednesday 15th April, 18:00

Jessica-Allen-pro-cyclist-mitchelton-scottJessica Allen is a pro cyclist from Perth, Australia. She dominated the Australian road race scene as a Junior and became the Junior World Time Trial champion in 2011. In 2013 she signed her first pro contract & joined Mitchelton Scott in 2016 and is undoubtedly one of the teams strongest & most loyal domestiques, helping her team leaders to multiple major victories. After storming to victory in the Australian Criterium Champs in 2017, Jess moved to Girona in October 2018.

First ride after lockdown: The coast – from Tossa de Mar to the cake shop in Platja d’Aro! Or go super-long & ride to Cadaques.

Jess recommends: La Taverna for tea, Blend for a delicious blue drink & Federal for a Green Kale Salad

Follow Jess: @jessallen1993 on instagram

Andreu Garriga, Lawyer to the Cycling Community

Girona Insider Live, Tuesday 14th April, 18:00

Andreu is the go-to lawyer for anyone setting up life here in Girona. He arranges residency & visas, he provides advice on taxation, on buying & selling property, on starting new businesses, on wills & inheritance & also represents cycling teams. Andreu is the guy you go to see to get important stuff done and has been a huge part of the Eat Sleep Cycle journey – thank you Andreu!

First ride after lockdown: To the coast on an e-bike!

Andreu recommends: Bistrot for a relaxed meal in a beautiful setting – you can get a 2 course meal for €15 at lunchtimes!

Find out more about Andreu’s services: Visit www.advgarriga.com

Join the Conversation

We’d love to here your questions for our guests & suggestions for who we should chat to. Make sure you’re following @eat_sleep_cycle on instagram to tune in & follow our stories to be the first to hear about our next guests.

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

 

What’s Next For The Cycling Tour Industry?

By Cycling No Comments

The world has changed significantly since our blog on “How a Cycling Business can Adapt in the Face of a Crisis”, just 2 weeks ago. COVID-19 has a worldwide strong-hold, cycling has been banned in Spain, Italy & France, & the international cycling tour industry has ground to a halt. In this blog we explore the immediate impacts on cycle tour businesses, consider what recovery might look like & when it will start to happen.

The COVID-19 Curve

You will be familiar with the bell shaped COVID-19 curve, normally accompanied by scenarios of levels of action leading to a lower peak in cases, easing the strain on the healthcare system. Everyone has a critical role to play to ‘flatten the curve.’

Each country and region is in its own position on this curve. At the time of writing, the number of daily cases in Spain is stabilising and showing encouraging signs of dropping, meaning Spain is nearing the peak. In other countries like the USA, the number of cases continue to rise steeply suggesting a time lag to Europe of around 2 weeks.

Within countries and using Spain as an example, there are areas much more affected than others, for example Madrid and Igualada have higher concentrations of infected COVID-19 patients. Much of the “locking down” has been to isolate these more affected areas so the virus does not spread in the same way to the less affected areas.

The length of this curve (time on the x-axis) is still unknown. From the first reported case in China at the start of the year, the country has now, after 3-4 months, returned to some kind of normality. Of course there are social distancing, safety, hygiene and cleanliness measures, however people are moving around and businesses are operating. Using that timeline in Spain and assuming similar results from lock-down measures, some normality is possible in May.

Flatten-the-curve-covid-19-impact-of-social-environmental-measures

The Psychology

As well as the medical implications of COVID-19 we are all dealing with the psychological impact of what feels like a very personal, global pandemic. The numbers on the graphs are real people, with families & loved ones. Whilst we cannot imagine the devastation of losing a loved one to Covid-19, or the trauma of being in intensive care, or the worry of having a a friend or family member fighting the virus on the front line, the effects also reach far beyond those directly impacted by the virus.

Social media is rife with arguments and strong points of view, everyone is an expert & is ready to judge the actions of others – the reality is that everyone is handling the global crisis differently, everybody has their own personal problems and unique situation. It’s a ‘personal pandemic’ which has impacted the lives of millions of people.

There are many ways that psychologists are explaining this unique situation. In the following image we see that people who are perhaps suffering from fear may join in with panic buying or react negatively to situations surrounding the virus, whilst those in the Growth Zone may be more open to understanding each person’s unique situation.  We’re all making our way in and around this spectrum, oscillating between positive actions & negative thoughts, plunging into the depths of despair at our surreal reality & rising up again look to the future & the good times that will come.

Social Norms: To cycle or not to cycle outdoors

If you are a cyclist reading this you have probably been involved in the argument for or against cycling outdoors during this period. The argument for involves the benefits of cycling to general health, both mentally and physically, as well as the low environmental impact (if the ride is a mode of transport). The argument against is, in the case of an accident, well-needed hospital resources could be taken from patients that need them more. Also that cycling in a group is not respecting social distancing rules and could result in spreading the virus.

This social pressure against cycling outdoors and in groups could have a longer lasting impact on cycling events and cycling tours. It is particularly interesting that even where bans on cycling outdoors are not in place, riders have received pressure from cyclists in places where a ban is in place. 

In the UK, the bicycle industry saw an initial surge in business as Londoners swapped out crowded public transport for bikes & many took on board the health & well being message. Now the conversations are turning to discussing the length of ride which is socially responsible & no doubt opinions of cycling communities & public opinion as a whole will continue to shift as the UK continues its journey to peak cases. Most recently there was criticism of newspapers in the UK who printed misleading photos of cyclists appearing to ride too closely together. 

However, we’re an optimistic bunch here at Eat Sleep Cycle and we know that cycling is a great way to get fit & healthy. We predict a boom in those cycling & even tacking up racing as everyone tries to live life to its fullest after weeks (or months) of restrictions.

When will flights begin?

We’re keeping a close eye on travel bans & flight schedules – as soon as these are lifted, when planes can fly & when it’s seen as socially acceptable to travel again there is no doubt that our business will benefit.

On the 7th April 2020 Jet 2 announced that flights would resume on June 17th. Easy Jet has not yet confirmed when they will be operating again, but staff have been given a two-month leave of absence, suggesting a temporary date in June. British Airways is still operating some “repatriation” flights under a UK government contract. Virgin Atlantic have suspended all flights apart from to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Although it is difficult to predict, current suggestions are that airlines are hoping to run flights in June, although it’s still unclear as to how many people will be choosing to travel by June. 

What the experts say 

In a recent report, Deloitte Spain created a handy graph comparing the predicted impact of Covid-19 on food, retail, restaurant & leisure, travel & the hotel industry compared to 2019. All sectors barring food see a significant immediate drop in activity and then gradually recover over the coming months. Critically, industries to not recover back to 2019 levels, even by the first few months of 2021. We’re in this for the long haul.

Spanish-economic-recovery-from-covid-19-deloitte-report

As the saying goes, knowledge is power & for a Spanish based European tour operator like ourselves, knowing that domestic Spanish tourism recovers more quickly than international travel is a great insight to have. In this scenario international tourism starts to pick up this summer, but gets nowhere near full recovery until the end of 2020 & into 2021.

What does all of this mean?

Cyclists are getting reacquainted with turbo trainers are are looking to data & power numbers to stay motivated! As a consequence we think riders will come out of this with great explosive power but gagging for some long, endurance miles in the sun. As soon as their personal circumstances allow we’ll be welcoming guests back on tour and to our Girona Hub for beautiful rides in the great outdoors. 

A new appreciation of freedom. After weeks of restrictions which many generations have never known, people will just want to live & make the most of every day. Cycling, travel, new places will figure, but also a warm glow about normality!

It might be that we are more cautious as a whole about congregating in public spaces, it might be that people ditch public transport for bikes or cars. It might be that we celebrate the reduction in pollution & emissions caused by our massive shift in behaviors & realise the potential we have as a human race to guide the planet to a more sustainable, greener future.

Local tourism & ‘stay-cations’ will make a comeback – this is great for the planet & great for everyone developing appreciation for what’s on our doorstep. Perhaps we can create bespoke cycling tours which depart from our guests homes? There is something unique about pedaling to a new place from your front door…

How are we reacting?

We’re looking to the future & doing what we can to serve our cycling community in the present! For example, we’re kicking off our first ‘virtual tour’ this Easter Weekend. Cyclists can join from all over the world & take part in indoor cycling workouts, stretching sessions, nutrition workshops & even enjoy a social night. It’s great to have the excuse to collaborate with cycling experts in lock-down here in Girona & is set to be a novel way to spend Easter.

In the short-term we’re looking to local Spanish tourism for a summer boost & making the most of the downtime to develop our website, tour itineraries & online shop – all critical steps which will help us get back to the new normal as quickly as possible. We’re helping our guests navigate the minefield of travel bans and move their planned tours to later in the year, or to 2021 – it’s a tough time for the world but we’re sure everyone will be hungry for travel & a bike ride when it’s safe again.

What do you think?

We’d love to hear from you about your cycling plans! How are you coping now? Where is the first place you’d like to ride? Why not take our Cyclists Travel Survey & be in with a chance to win a cycling holiday in Girona?!

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

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!

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

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!

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

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?

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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?

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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!

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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!

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