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Girona

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Connecting Cyclists - Girona Bike Rental and Tours

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub – Connecting Cyclists

By Girona No Comments

Our cycling vacations are Europe-wide but Girona, Spain is our base. We’ve written previously about why we chose Girona and how much we love this Catalan city, however, Girona is more than just where we live and where we operate our tours from – it’s also home to The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub.

What is The Hub?

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub is our physical base in the heart of Girona. It’s our one-stop-shop for all things cycling; bike hire, cycling kit, cycling accessories, mechanical assistance, massage, guide hire, GPS device hire and more. More than just a shop, however, The Hub is a place where we host events, where our rides such as Lazy Lunes start from and where we all gather to watch a bit of bike racing!

Whats the Hub - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

The Genesis of The Hub

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub is in its second incarnation. Our location at Carrer del Vern, 3 is Hub 2.0, opened after we out-grew the original, much smaller version which started life as just three partners, a mechanic and 7 bikes aimed at the growing demand for Girona bike hire. In February 2018 we opened the current Hub, bigger and better, with room for plenty more bikes and over two floors with plenty of space to showcase our brands and what we do!

What’s in The Hub?

The Hub is where we sell a collection of products from carefully-chosen selection of forward-thinking brands with like-minded goals. Both a combination of local brands such as Tactic and CHPT3 and not-so-local but compatible with the Eat Sleep Cycle ethos such as MAAP.

The Bikes

The Hub is also home to our ever-expanding fleet of rental bikes. Our bikes are now used for more than just Girona bike hire, they are transported all around Europe on our European cycling tours! We also sell bikes at The Hub from the brands we use for rental bikes which has now increased to five different brands; Basso, Factor, Ridley, Brompton, and Worx.

Bike Rental Girona - The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub

The Workshop

The Hub workshop is where all of the aforementioned bikes get treated to some much-needed TLC! Our amazing mechanics make sure the bikes are thoroughly checked over and turned around for their next outing with a guest. The workshop is not limited to our rental bikes, however, the workshop team also take care of people’s personal bikes and use their extensive knowledge and skill to fix and build bikes for the Girona community!

The People

Which brings us on to the people who make The Hub what it is… Our team are at the centre of the Eat Sleep Cycle experience and without their dedication to ensuring that everyone who walks into The Hub gets the highest level of service The Hub would not be where it is today. Here’s a quick introduction to the people who make the magic happen:

Zulma – Front of House
Zulma is from Colombia and is returning to Girona after living in London for several years. Zulma has a background in retail, is getting into cycling & looks after our Girona Hub.

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Zulma - Front House

Bernat – Front of House
Bernat is from Catalunya and is obsessed with all things bike. Your go to guy for technical questions and the low down on the latest gear.

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Bernat - Front House

Joan – Mechanic
Joan is from Catalunya and is an insanely skilled mountain biker. When not cycling Joan is fixing bikes in the Eat Sleep Cycle workshop.

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Joan - Mechanic

Daan – Mechanic
Hailing from The Netherlands, Daan is the latest member of the crew, a committed roadie, he keeps our rental fleet running silky smooth.

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Daan - Mechanic

Chris – Team Leader
Hailing from the UK, Chris relocated to Girona to manage all things Hub & tours!

The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub - Chris - Team Leader

Visit The Hub!

Book a Girona cycling vacation and come and see The Eat Sleep Cycle Hub for yourself! Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

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Images: Gin Torrado, Daan Vaan Meeuwen, David Powell, Szymon Kotowski.

The All-New Basso Venta - Bike Preview - Eat Sleep Cycle

The All-New Basso Venta – Bike Preview

By Bike Hire No Comments

We love Italy. The culture, the food, the cycling and since working with Basso, the bikes! For the end of the 2019 season we are super excited to be introducing the newly re-designed Basso Venta to our rental fleet. The new Venta landed in the Hub this week and we can’t wait for our test-ride event, but until we get our hands on it, let’s take a more general look at Basso and the new Venta’s spec.

Basso Bikes

Founded in 1977 and based near Bassano del Grappa, Italy 50km northwest of Venice and less than 10km from the base of Monte Grappa, Basso have been making 100% Italian bikes for over 40 years. In their own words, the brand’s aim is to “put the product first, while always moving forward in terms of innovation, our technicians create with an extreme attention to detail, high precision and relentless perfectionism”, which sounds like a recipe for some pretty special bikes. Basso also work closely with another of our favourite brands, MAAP. The Australian brand, who design and make our beautiful Eat Sleep Cycle kit, worked with Basso to design a Diamante frame as well as running the MAAP/ Basso road team.

The All-New Basso Venta - Basso Bikes

The New Basso Venta

The Venta model is not new to Basso, however the brand has completely redesigned the bike for the 20th anniversary (it’s described as the venti venta, venti meaning 20 in Italian), making it lighter, more aero and trickling down technology and lessons learned from the high-end Diamante but with a much smaller price tag at €??. Available in both disc and rim, they describe the bike as one for “from the pro racer to the Sunday amateur” which is reflected in the more relaxed, but still relatively racey fit.

Basso Venta Bike Specs

Now, onto the details that you need to know about the new Basso Venta bike – it’s a beauty!

  • Frame: Full carbon construction and no aluminium reinforced parts.
  • Tapered Headset: Headset and fork 1-1/8” to 1.5” for more rigidity.
  • 2 Fit: The frame can be used with both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
  • Tyres: The Venta comes spec’d with 28mm tyres and there is clearance for a few mm more.

The All-New Basso Venta - Basso Venta Bike Specs

Basso Venta Road Testing

We will be road-testing the Venta in the coming days along with some of our Eat Sleep Cycle Hub customers and we will be sure to get feedback. Check back here soon for a full review of how the new Basso Venta fares on the roads of Girona! And, if you’re keen to find out more about Basso, check out our Basso Palta review here.

Basso Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Basso Venta Bike Rental

To find out more about buying or renting the Basso Venta visit our bike hire web page, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

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Costa Brava Cycling - The Perfect Coastline for a Cycling Vacation

Costa Brava Cycling: Why the Catalan Coastline is Perfect for a Cycling Vacation

By Girona One Comment

Rolling, Mediterranean coastlines, stunning medieval towns and villages and the vineyards of the Empordà region – the Costa Brava is a fantastic place for a European cycling vacation, with plenty for non-cyclists to enjoy too! The best time to visit the Costa Brava is outside of the summer months when the region is quieter and the weather is slightly, but not too much, cooler. The combination of mountains to climb and rolling, coastal roads to cruise along makes for a truly stunning cycling vacation, and with the cycling hub of Girona in close proximity this region truly is a cyclist’s paradise!

In this post we’ll outline some of the best that Costa Brava has for cyclists, give some top picks for places to visit and perfect spots to rest up after a satisfying day in the saddle, read on!

Emporda Wine Region – Costa Brava Cycling With A View

The Emporda region is known for its vineyards where you can cycle out along the beautiful lanes to a winery such as Finca Bell Lloc where you can take a tour of the amazing architecture before being treated to wine-tasting and gastronomic experiences.

Medieval Towns of the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava Coastline is punctuated by a myriad of picture-postcard Medieval towns and villages with ancient histories and striking buildings. Cycle anywhere along the coastline and you’ll soon come across one of these enchanted municipalities, stopping to take in the beauty of each individual town could end up making for a long day out!

Costa Brava Cycling Vacation - Cadaques - Eat Sleep Cycle

Top Town Pick: Cadaques

If you visit just one town on the Costa Brava then make it Cadaques, although those in the know do so outside of the summer months where it can fill to it’s white-walled capacity with tourists. The celebrated Catalan Impressionist Salvador Dali spent his summers there as a child before later keeping a studio nearby. With Picasso, Matisse and Magritte among other notable former frequenters, one look at the narrow, steep streets framed by white walls and the impossibly blue sea is enough to inspire anyone to whip out a canvas and start painting.

Where to Stay in Costa Brava

Many of the hotels in this region are cycling friendly due to the popularity and number of cyclists who frequent this region every year, here are a few of our hotels of choice:

Costa Brava Cycling - Where to Stay in Costa Brava

For that little bit extra:
Make your cycling vacation to the Costa Brava that little bit more special and stay in one of these stunning boutique hotels:

Costa Brava Cycling Routes

Our cycling tour of the Costa Brava incorporates the best that the Catalan Coastline has to offer, taking in all of the must-see places, staying in the best accommodation the region has to offer and sampling fresh seafood straight from the Mediterranean. To find out more about our Costa Brava cycling tour give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

Costa Brava Cycling Routes - Eat Sleep Cycle

Costa Brava Day Trip Packages

View our day trips packages to see how you can sample the Costa Brava by e-bike (and learn why electronic bikes are a game changer for cycling vacations!). And, are you looking for a cycling vacation where non-cyclists are also welcome? Take a look at out guide to non-cycling activities in Costa Brava. Whatever you are looking for in Costa Brava with 2 wheels we can provide so get in touch!

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Style and Innovation - The Technology of CHPT3 Clothing - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Style & Innovation: The Technology of CHPT3 Clothing

By Girona No Comments

CHPT3 are a brand that we first started working with last November after their focus on local Girona cycling influence and innovative clothing caught our eye (something that ESC partner Brian has already written about and we’ve also explained why CHPT3 are a great fit for ESC). The Girona-based brand helmed by ex-pro David Millar are as much about style as they are innovative technology and to that end we hosted a tech talk with David at our Girona Hub where he explained the ins and outs of some of their key pieces. In this post we’ll give you the recap on some of the technology behind CHPT3 clothing and the style and innovation they are bring to the cycling world.

CHPT3 Cycling Gear - Innovative Technology - Eat Sleep Cycle

CHPT3 – Innovative Technology

The CHPT3 website states: “We founded CHPT3 to be a platform through which we and our partners can do creative, collaborative projects. Together, we seek out new technologies and new contexts in which to push ourselves to the edge of what is possible.”

CHPT3 kit is made in collaboration with Castelli, so you know that you are already getting good quality, but the brand take the innovation up another notch such as with added trickle-down from the pro-level kit used by the likes of Team Sky. For example, the Girona 1.27 Jersey uses the same fabric as the Castelli Maglia Rosa worn by Team Sky at last year’s Giro but with the features enhanced for an everyday use.

Likewise the Girona 1.17 shorts use a special version of the Castelli Kiss Air pad designed to perform both during short, intense efforts and long days in the saddle. The attention to detail goes as far as “multi-panel construction for great muscle support at every point of the pedal stroke, whilst lightweight mesh bibs and 90mm high silicon dot leg bands keep everything where it should be.” From the chamois to the stitching the quality and attention to detail makes for some of the best quality cycling clothing on the market.

CHPT3 Cycling Gear Collection

Road Testing CHPT3 Clothing

Of course, the measure of any good cycling kit is how it fares on the road, so we asked Girona local and CHPT3 ambassador Ramon Lozano to put the kit through its paces on some Girona cycling routes and to give us his thoughts on it. Here’s what he had to say!

Q. When did you first encounter CHPT3 and David Millar?
A. I came across the brand because I followed David Millar when he was racing, I liked his story and the fact that he lived in Girona where we could just cross paths on a ride which as a fan I loved. But it was on a photoshoot that I first came into contact with David. I had noticed this brand for its exclusivity and design which was unlike anything else, but I never had the chance to “touch” it until that day. This past summer, David contacted me directly for the photoshoot of the new collection again and to as if I was willing to collaborate with them from now on, that’s how it all started!

Q. What aspect of CHPT3 do you most like?
A. I particularly like CHPT3 because everything has a history, all the kits are made with a design based on some place or aspect of David’s career, each garment has its history that the fan can know, anyone who knows a little about the brand can spot it from a distance.

Road Testing CHPT3 Cyclng Gear - Ramon Lozano

Q. How does CHPT3 clothing differ from other brands?
A. Chpt3 is not like all, it’s more classic, not everything in cycling is aerodynamic and aesthetic “pro”, cycling is much more. We all like to feel elegant and special at times.

Q. What is your favourite piece of CHPT3 kit?
A. I don’t think I could choose just one item as a favourite but if the ‘Origin” collection is definitely my favourite. The JJ jacket is also a garment that every cyclist should own.

ESC x CHPT3 Collaborations – More Coming Soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for future ESC x CHPT3 collaborations and in the meantime you can shop the latest collection at the Girona Hub or via did the CHPT3 website! And, if you have some new CHPT3 kit that you’re looking to test on a cycling tour then give us a call +34 972 649 131 or contact us online and we’ll help you put the CHPT3 gear through its paces!

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Classic Girona Cycling Tours - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Classic Girona Cycling Routes

By Girona, Spain No Comments

Girona is an inexhaustible playground for cyclists with myriad quiet roads to explore and challenging climbs to tackle. There’s a lot to be said for going off the beaten track here and exploring the hidden gems of the area. However if you’re here on a European cycling holiday with minimal time then you’re going to want to make the most of your stay, and that means ticking off the some of the classic Girona cycling routes.

We asked members of the Eat Sleep Cycle team to tell us about their favourite cycling routes in Girona.

An Epic Girona Cycling Route – Begur Loop

The Begur Loop is littered with beautiful and charming Catalan villages and towns. The route heads through the stunning Emporda region. Heading in the direction of the coast, in the cove of Sa Riera come a series of short, steep climbs taking you South around the coast through Aiguafreda, Sa Tuna and Tamariu which are perfect for a lunch or coffee stop. The route then loops around the lighthouse in Llafranc before turning inland around the busy town of Palafrugell and then back towards Calogne and the coast. From there comes a steady 5km climb followed by a descent into the town of La Bisbal d’Emporda followed by the beautiful medieval villages of Corçà, Monells and Madremanya. From Madremanya you can either climb the steeper side of Els Angels and drop into Girona from the other side or return to town via Celrà.

Begur Loop – Route Facts

  • Selected By: Louise – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Begur Loop
  • Distance: 124 km
  • Elevation: 1,700m
  • Level: Epic

Epic Girona Cycling Routes - Begur Loop - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Leisure Cycling Route – “Silvia’s Loop”

Silvia has her very own loop named after her! ‘Silvia’s Loop’ is for those who enjoy flat terrain, peaceful countryside and rural Catalan villages. The ride traverses South through Plaça Catalunya and across the river to exit Girona towards Quart and on to the completely quiet roads of Llambilles and Campllong. After around 19km you will reach Cassa de la Selva which is the biggest town on the route and therefore the best chance for a coffee stop! After, head to Sant Andreu Salou before riding along the peaceful road to the picturesque town of Caldes de Malavella. From here, the route loops back up towards Campllong into Fornells de la Selva and back into Girona via Montilivi home of the city’s university campus and Girona FC’s Stadium.

“Silvia’s Loop” – Route Info

  • Selected By: Silvia – Hub and Tours
  • Route Name: “Silvia’s Loop”
  • Distance: 44 km
  • Elevation: 400m
  • Level: Leisure

Leisure Cycling Route Girona - Silvia's Loop

Intermediate Girona Cycling Route – Els Angels & Santa Pellaia

This is a real Girona favourite among pros and leisure cyclists alike, the two climbs are both gentle on the legs and surrounded by beautiful scenery. Ride out of Girona keeping the river on your right and take a left at the roundabout to start the first climb: Els Àngels: a gentle 10km at 3.4% average gradient. Be sure to grab a coffee at the top and take in the stunning views of Girona before descending down the other side into the medieval town of Madremanya and onto the rolling country lanes to Monells. After the village of Sant Sadurní comes the next steady climb: Santa Pellaia, which consists of 6km at an average gradient of 4%. After enjoying the views from the top descend into Cassà and towards Caldes de Malavella via the two charming towns of Sant Andreu Salou and Fornells de la Selva.

Els Angels & Santa Pellaia – Route Info

  • Selected By: Brian – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Els Angels & Santa Pellaia
  • Distance: 68 km
  • Elevation: 1,100m
  • Level: Intermediate

Intermediate Cycling Route Girona -Els Angels and Santa Pellaia

Advanced Cycling Route Girona – Coast Loop

A bona-fide Girona classic, leaving Girona without riding the Coast Loop is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower – it’s a must ride! The route heads South out of town before reaching the tranquil roads through Fornells de la Selva and Sant Andreu Salou and onto Caldes de Malavella. Head towards the town of Llagostera from where, shortly after you will reach the 10km climb of Sant Grau which reaches 8-9% in places. After Sant Grau comes one of the highlights of this route: the descent along the coast road with fantastic views of the sea. At the bottom of the descent you will be heading towards Tossa de Mar and cruise along the beach front or stop for ice cream or lunch. However, it’s best not to overfill your stomach as you will be tackling an 8 km climb out of Tossa towards Girona. The remaining 35 km is on the familiar roads from the way there.

“Totally Costal” – Route Info

  • Selected By: Lee – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Coast Loop
  • Distance: 94 km
  • Elevation: 1,300m
  • Level: Advanced

Advanced Cycling Routes Girona - Coast Loop - Eat Sleep Cycle

Girona Gravel Cycle Route – Sant Grau & Llemena

Head out of Girona on gravel tracks. The main climb on this ride comes at 11km in and has average of 7.3% with a 13.1% max gradient 4.8km long switchbacks at the top so make sure you don’t burn all of your energy here, the track is rugged and it is followed by a fast, fun descent. After 24km you will come out in the Vall de Llemena – if your legs are tired from here you can take the road, otherwise, take the gravel track which hugs the river. At 35 km you can warm down on the flat gravel tracks all the way back into Girona.

Sant Grau & Llemena – Route Info

  • Selected By: Boris – Workshop Manager
  • Route Name: Sant Grau & Llemena
  • Distance: 51 km
  • Elevation: 550m
  • Level: Gravel

Gravel Cycling Route Girona - Sant Grau & Llemena

Cycle A Classic Girona Route With A Guide

Want to ride one of these classic Girona cycling routes yourself? Take a look at our Girona Services to hire a Wahoo or a guide. If you’ve any questions about any of the routes or our services give us a call on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online.

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Bike Hire Girona - How To Chose Your Perfect Rental Bike - Eat Sleep Cycle

Bike Hire Girona – How To Chose Your Perfect Rental Bike

By Bike Hire No Comments

When planning a cycling holiday a key consideration is what bike to ride. Whilst some people choose to travel with their own bike the majority opt to save the plane fare & hassle of lugging a bike box around and rent instead. Renting a bike can be daunting – so many colours, models, sizes, groupsets, braking systems, frame materials, companies etc etc. But, renting a bike is a golden opportunity to try something new or even test ride the bike of your dreams.

By asking yourself these simple questions you can decide which bike to choose from all the options out there. Given our location this will be focused on Girona Bike Hire but should help choose your perfect rental bike wherever you’re traveling to!
Road - Off Road and City Cycling in Girona Bike Hire - Eat Sleep Cycle

What Type of Cycling Would You Like to Do?

It sounds obvious but if you know what terrain you’ll be riding on this is a big part of the puzzle & you can start to narrow down your bike hire options:

  1. Road – Girona is a hub for road cycling in Europe. Professional road cyclists choose to make Girona their base for training and racing. Quiet roads, respectful traffic a huge variety of terrain & route options make road cycling the most popular type of cycling in Girona (and as a result one of the most popular types of bike hire in Girona).
  2. Off-Road – Girona also has a network of gravel roads, mountain bike trails and family-friendly bike paths. There are plenty of bikes to choose from in the off-road category, depending on which type of terrain you’d like to explore.
  3. City – Cruising around the city and Devesa park on a bike is a cool way to see the city. You could even consider taking a 40 min train to Barcelona and bike around there too. This is a great option for families and groups of ‘normal’/non-cycling people. A Brompton has to be the ultimate city machine – it’s great fun to ride & is completely foldable – perfect for carrying on and off trains & into cafès and restaurants (for more info make sure you check our guide to cycling in Barcelona!)

Road Bike Hire in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle - Climber - Endurance -AeroRoad Cycling: What Type of Cyclist Are You?

Ok, so you’ve decided you want to explore Girona’s beautiful roads. Let’s take a deep dive into the world of road bikes and see how to separate the options so you can choose the perfect rental road bike. Road bikes tend to fall into three broad categories and are best suited to different types of cyclist.

  • Lightweight – The Climbers Rental Bike: For cyclists who love to climb then a bike designed around the ability to climb will maximise the enjoyment of the ride.
    • Top Pick: Factor O2 Ultegra Di2 – ok, so it’s a treat but we think a Factor 02 rental is the ultimate climbing machine. With a precision engineered Factor 02 frameset, Black Inc carbon wheels, bars, seatpost & stem & the high performance lightweight groupset that is Shimano Ultegra Di2 this is a machine that flies uphill.
    • Best Value: Ridley Helium X Ultegra – if the Factor’s way out of budget there’s no need to panic. Enter Ridley’s lightweight sensation that is the Helium. Aptly named this is a beautiful frameset which heads skywards with ease.
  • Comfort – The Endurance Bike: For riders who love long days in the saddle on varied terrain the endurance bike is the way to go. These bikes tend to offer a more relaxed geometry giving the rider a more comfortable position, best for long days in the saddle.
    • Top Pick: Ridley Fenix Ultegra Disc – The Fenix is Ridley’s answer to Paris-Roubaix. Designed to absorb the shock of the cobblestones the Fenix promises a smooth, sweet ride. Disc brakes offer powerful braking & the ultegra groupset promises perfect shifting.
    • Best Value: Ridley Fenix 105 – the same as above but with rim brakes and Shimano 105 groupset. Perfect for a smooth ride for those on more of a budget.
  • Fast – The Aero Bike: we don’t recommend this type of bike for cycling in Girona. With a more aggressive geometry & added weight for the aero features this is a bike that will neither climb particularly well or be that comfortable for a long day in the saddle.

Off Road Bike Hire in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Off-Road Cycling: What Type of Terrain?

If you’re heading off road the key consideration when renting a bike in Girona is to decide what type of terrain you’d find most enjoyable – this will best help you to select your steed:

  • GravelA good definition of a gravel road is anything that a car can be driven down, any more technical and gravel riding starts to head into mountain bike terrain. A gravel bike has wider tyres and more tread compared to a road bike – offering better grip off road. A gravel bike has a more relaxed geometry than their cyclo-cross counterparts. Make sure your rental bike is geared for the rides you’re planning to do: the steep trails around Girona tend to need a larger cassette that what might otherwise be normal. Get an introduction to gravel cycling in Girona from our ESC tour guide Peter Gaskill.
    • Top pick: Basso Palta – ‘Palta’ is Italian for mud & this is a high-end carbon gravel bike which thrives in dirty conditions. With a specially designed fork and shock-absorbing seatpost enjoy a stable and comfortable ride. There’s also space for up to three bottle cages – great for a hot, off-road bike-packing adventure.
  • Trails & Single-trackIf you’re planning on tackling more technical trails then consider a mountain bike. A hardtail will cope with most of what Girona has to offer. A full-suspension is pretty niche and not widely available to rent in Girona.
    • Top pick: Ridley Ignite – A lightweight 29’er hardtail designed for cyclocross competition, this is an ultrafast bike for ultimate off-road fun.
  • Bike Paths – Girona has a network of bike paths, the most popular being the Via Verde, stretching from San Feliu at the coast to Olot in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A hybrid bicycle is best suited to these trails. Equipped with wider tyres than a road bike for extra grip on the gravel and a super comfortable upright position. Hybrid bikes often come with a rack for carrying bags – perfect for stashing a picnic for when you reach the beach!
    • Top pick: Ridley Tempo Disc – a comfy, versatile bike for enjoying bike paths & roads alike. This bike comes in female specific & men’s geometry & comes equipped with a rack for carrying your bags.
    • Add Some Gas: Orbea Keram Comfort Electric – turbo boost your ride and take the edge off the climbs with this dreamy electrified hybrid. Equipped with a rack you can carry everything you need for a lovely day out on the bike.

If some of the rental bikes mentioned above have piqued your interest you can check our range of rental bikes in Girona here and we also have some of them available for purchase if you’re really tempted!

What About Renting an Electric Bike in Girona?

The trend of electric bikes is booming here with electric bike rentals on the up. Sales across Europe are up & more & more people are turning to electric bikes and it’s no surprise why. Electric bikes offer many people the opportunity to ride a bike in places they never imagined they could physically cope with. Electric bikes mean groups of friends & families with riders of different abilities can ride together and enjoy shared experiences. Electric bikes are a serious amount of fun.

  • Top Pick: Orbea Gain M20 – this is a very special electric road bike. A carbon frame & ultegra groupset mean this bike oozes quality and puts Orbea at the forefront of electric bike design. The battery is discreetly hidden in the downtube meaning the bike doesn’t stand out in a field of non-electric bikes.

Bike Hire Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Bike Hire Girona – Choose Your Bike!

If you’re in Girona and looking to hire a bike we hope the above guide has given you some useful information about the types of rental options that are available and which one would suit you best. If you’ve any questions about which rental bike is for you then 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!

Cyclist’s Guide To Girona

By Girona No Comments

Girona is now well established as a capital of cycling. It has been decades since the first pros moved here to use the Catalan city as a training base and nowadays close to hundreds of riders call Girona home for at least some part of the year. With this influx of professional riders Girona has raised its profile as a place for those seeking a European cycling holiday. The myriad of stunning rides and routes coupled with a vibrant and beautiful medieval city as a base has drawn ever-increasing numbers of cycling tourists to the area. Girona is such a fantastic place for cycling that you could, in theory, arrive and simply muddle along and still discover a fair amount of what the city and surrounding area has to offer. However being somewhat more organised is preferable and as such we have compiled this comprehensive, but not inexhaustible, guide to Girona cycling.

Where To Eat in Girona

Food occupies the average cyclist’s consciousness to a greater degree than most ‘normal’ people. Whether you arrive starving at dinner time or need to know the best lunch spot, here’s our top picks of where to eat and drink in Girona:

Breakfast

  • +Cub – If you’re heading on a ride with Eat Sleep Cycle then the best place to eat breakfast is right next door! Grab a coffee and a croissant, or something more substantial, before discovering some new roads! Carrer de l’Albereda, 15, 17004, Girona
  • La Fabrica – A Girona classic, La Fabrica now has an established reputation for serving delicious speciality coffee and brunch! Carrer de la Llebre, 3, 17004, Girona
  • Rustik Empordà – Grab a snack on the way out of the door and then ride to Bellcaire D’Empordà to fuel up on a tasty breakfast at Rustik. Carrer de dMolí, 4, 17141, Bellcaire

Where To Eat in Girona - Cyclist's Guide to Girona

Lunch

  • Federal – Just down from the beautiful Girona Cathedral, Federal is a great option for both lunch and dinner, serving brunch earlier in the day and delicious dinners in the evening. Carrere de la Força, 9, 17004, Girona
  • Bionèctar – Delicious, organic plant-based food and juices. Carrer D’en Francesc Eiximenis, 8, 17001, Girona
  • Coffee & Greens – Relatively new in town but already hugely popular thanks to their top-notch coffee and tasty food. Rambla de la Llibertat, 25, 17004, Girona
  • Veggana – For those who avoid meat and dairy Veggana is a great option both for lunch and dinner, serving a range of classic Catalan dishes and burgers without animal products. Carrer de la Rutlla, 108, 17003, Girona
  • El Cafe – a local bar serving tapas, coffee and drinks. Carrer dels Ciutadans, 1 17004, Girona

Dinner

  • L’Arcarda & La Tagliatella – Head to either of these restaurants for delicious pizza & pasta to cram in those carbs ready for long days in the saddle! Rambla de la Llibertat, 38, 17001, Girona & Carrer dels Ciutadans, 10, 17004, Girona
  • Arròs i Peix – Visit Arròs i Peix for delicious fresh seafood. Carrer dels Ciutadans, 20, 17004, Girona
  • Txalaka – Delicious pintxos (a Basque speciality similar to tapas). Carrer Bonastruc de Porta, 4, 17001, Girona
  • L’Alqueria – Fantastic Paella! Carrer Ginesta, 8, 17002, Girona
  • B12 – another one for the veggies and vegans (and even the carnivores)- B12 also has a huge selection of beers! Plaça del Vi, 11, 17004 Girona

Coffee/snacks

  • Mes Cub – For post-ride beers & patatas bravas head to +Cub (right outside the Eat Sleep Cycle Hub) Carrer de l’Albereda, 15, 17004, Girona
  • Espresso Mafia – Another Girona coffee classic! Carrer de la Cort Reial, 5, 17004, Girona
  • Martina Sweet Cakes – This place is exactly as it says on the tin – delicious sweet cakes! Carrer de la Força, 1, 17004, Girona
  • Gelats Rocambolesc – From the owners of the Michellin Star rates Can Roca comes Rocambolesc ice cream, inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, here you can choose from delicious flavours and add toppings such as candy floss. Carrer de Santa Clara, 50, 17001, Girona
  • Crêpdequè? – A ‘hole in the wall’ serving crêpes with topping of your choice, perfect for a snack or desert as you stroll through the Barri Vell. Carrer de les Ballesteries, 49, 17004, Girona
  • Dulce Pikika – If you ride or drive out towards the coast a stop at Dulce Pikika for one of their artisan cakes is a must! Av. Del Cavall Bernat, 143, Local 3, 17250, Castell-Platja d’Aro, Girona

Where To Sleep in Girona

A good night’s rest is essential preparation to taking full advantage of a day’s cycling in Girona, somewhere to safely store your bike is a bonus, the city has it all:

    • Hotel Carlemany – This four star cyclist friendly hotel has a dedicated bike room and in general is accommodating to cyclists.
    • Raset Ciutadans – These are cyclist friendly apartments in the heart of the city, a place to store your bike and a base from which to explore the Old Town.
    • Bravissimo Apartments – Apartments located right above Espresso Mafia in the heart of the old town.
    • Villas in Girona – If you’re looking for an escape a villa in Girona or the Costa Brava region could be just what you need.

Accommodation for Cyclists in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Where to Cycle in Girona

Now to the important bit, the cycling!

We’ve waxed lyrical on many occasions about the amazing cycling that Girona has to offer both on and off road (like the Pirinexus 360 cycle route!). When you come to here you will find an enormous selection of roads and iconic climbs at your disposal such as the Girona classic Rocacorba.

Where to Cycle in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

The best way to find your way around on two wheels is to hire a guide. A local guide will be able to traverse the Girona area with ease and impart local knowledge you would otherwise not be privy to! The advantage of having someone showing you the way means you can focus on enjoying your surroundings without worrying about taking a wrong turn!

Of course, if you prefer to you can also guide yourself by following a route installed on a device which you can pick up from Eat Sleep Cycle. Or you could simply create your own, hire a bike and just explore!

Whichever way you choose to see Girona by bike you will no doubt fall in love with the smooth roads, abundant climbs and fantastic views that it has to offer!

To See & Do In Girona

Whether you’re having a rest day or travelling with a partner who doesn’t cycle there are plenty of things in and around Girona to occupy your time outside of pedalling.

Barcelona
Barcelona is a relatively short train journey away and as is to be expected from a major city there are plenty of activities to do there. Why not hire a Brompton in Barcelona as a novel way to get around the city?

Wine tasting in the Empordà Region
Located just north of Girona is the autonomous region of Empordà the area is known for its wine production and there are a number of vineyards which you can visit either by bike or another form of transport, and taste the produce.

Figueres Dalí Museum
If impressionist art is your thing then a visit to the place that Salvador Dalí called home is a must. The town of Figueres has a Dalí museum dedicated to the artist which is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Local Market
A Girona gastronomic experience in the Local Market is a must!

Aqva Gerunda
Relax and wind down after a long day of cycling in Girona or simply treat yourself regardless at the town’s Roman baths and spa.

Banyoles Lake
The lakeside town of Banyoles is a short ride, drive or bus journey from Girona and is not one to miss, (our Lazy Lunes ride heads there every Monday at 10am). A coffee by the lake is a must as well as exploring the old town. If rowing, swimming or running are your thing it’s also a perfect location for all three.

Running
There are plenty of on and off road running routes around Girona, which can provide a great way to see the city and surrounding area!

Getting to Girona

Of course, the first part to enjoying Girona is getting here! There are numerous ways to travel to the city, depending on where you are coming from.

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. If you prefer to have a transfer arranged for you, you can do so via Eat Sleep Cycle for €35.

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 €180 or if you choose to take the train it will cost €16 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!

Madrid Airport
While Madrid is rather more of a jaunt away there are potentially more flight options for international travellers. 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.

Train from London, Paris and other places in 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.

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!

Girona - A City for Cyclists

Girona – A City for Cyclists

Whatever time of year and in whatever capacity you visit Girona its charms are sure to compel you to return. The sheer number of cyclists who settle in the city are testament to how special it really is for two-wheeled exploring! This cyclists guide to Girona is intended to be an up-to-date guide to our home city and we will be updating it regularly with any new recommendations and activities – so be sure to check back!

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 Bikes Rental from Eat Sleep Cycle

Focus On Factor Bikes

By Bike Hire, Cycling No Comments

At Eat Sleep Cycle we are, first and foremost, cyclists and as such we are always searching for the best bike. Therefore when the chance to work with Factor Bikes, a brand founded on years of experience within both the carbon manufacturing industry and the peloton, we jumped at the chance. We like to work with like-minded brands, those who engage with their audience and are closely involved with the delivery or production of their product. It was in this vein that we chose Ridley for our rental fleet in 2018 and with the same ideal in mind that we are collaborating with Factor.

Factor Bikes – A Winning Combination

Add to this the input of none other than David Millar and you truly have a winning combination. Indeed, winning is exactly what the professional athletes who have had the privilege to ride bikes made by Factor have gone on to do. In their own words the brand “was conceived from a commitment to innovation, speed and performance through advanced engineering”, commitments for a bike manufacturer. So who are Factor?

From Formula 1 to Factor

Factor has an interesting history: despite being a young brand it has years of experience behind it; founded in 2007 by BF1 systems, the Formula 1 engineering company based in Norfolk, UK, the early models were inspired by the supercars and designed to showcase the engineering prowess of the company. The Factor 001 was launched in 2009 and was a concept bike with a built-in computer, disc brakes and an eye-watering £20,000 price tag.

Nowadays the brand is producing somewhat more attainable but still high-performance models designed for racing. Baden Cooke, a former pro of 14 years and 2003 Tour de France green jersey winner, along with Rob Gitelis, co-founder of Carbon Composite bikes bought the brand during this shift from prototypes to the peloton.

Factor Bikes Romain Bardet - Factor Bike Hire and Purchase

Factor Accolades

Thus, with the brand still in its infancy it took up sponsorship of a World Tour team in the form of the French set-up AG2R La Mondiale in 2017. With this came the need to produce a lightweight race bike that complies with UCI regulations and the 6.58kg Factor O2 was born. Since switching to Factor as a bike sponsor AG2R La Mondiale have enjoyed myriad successes in some of the most prestigious races on the cycling calendar including 3rd on GC and a stage win at the 2017 Tour. The most recent success, however, was Romain Bardet’s silver medal at the world championships in Innsbruck. Few bike brands this young can boast the same accolades.

But Bardet and co. are not the only professional riders involved with Factor. David Millar, former pro cyclist and multiple Tour de France stage winner, has been involved with the brand from early on, developing the design with Cooke and Gitelis having lamented the lack of input he was afforded with regards to the bikes he rode during his career. Millar has since collaborated with Factor via his own brand, CHPT3, on a limited edition One which he described as: ‘the coolest bike I have ever had’.

Factor Bike Hire and Purchase from Eat Sleep Cycle

One More Lap Factor 02 Bike Hire & Purchase

If you’re inspired to test out the quality of Factor bikes in the high mountains then you’re in luck, as the Factor O2 with Shimano Ultegra Di2 is available both for bike hire and purchase from our Girona Hub and on tours. Take a look at our photo gallery below & give us a call now on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online to book your ride!

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

Summit of Rocacorba

Classic Climbs of Girona #5: Rocacorba

By Girona No Comments

20 km from Girona on a nondescript road in the outskirts of the town of Banyoles, overlooking the sparkling blue lake is the mountain of Puigsou, also known as the climb of Rocacorba. Once a well-kept secret amongst those in the know and only fully paved in 2006 it is now arguably one of the most infamous climbs in the Girona area and one of the first places people head to when visiting the city on two wheels.

Like many of the climbs in Girona the popularity of Rocacorba comes not from its association with huge grand tours and TV coverage but from a slowly built up reputation amongst the professionals who live and have lived here, perhaps none quite so much as David Millar, who founded the Velo Club Rocacorba. As the number of riders in Girona both amateur and professional continues to expand the so-called ‘secrets’ of the area become less so and Rocacorba is no exception.

The fact that the proverbial cat is well and truly out of the bag with regards to Rocacorba is no surprise, the location itself carries enough of an appeal. Banyoles is worth riding to in itself, simply to soak in the beauty of the lake and surrounding area. In addition to its location, part of Rocacorba’s appeal is the challenge of the climb itself, there are few climbs in the area that begin to match it for the gradient and length. When you take the full 14 km into account the average gradient of 5.6% is laughably deceptive and hides the brutal reality of slopes of up to 15% for long periods. However, take the climb as 10 km, starting from the stone bridge over the Matamors river, cutting out the flatter bottom section and the average gradient is a far less forgiving 7%.

How to get a quick time up Rocacorba

But it’s not all just one big wall, the key to climbing Rocacorba in a quick time is to hit the gas on the few interspersed flat sections against your legs’ better wishes. Once the red and white radio masts come into view you can be reassured that the top is near, but don’t get too comfortable, as some of the hardest slopes are within the final few kilometres.

Don’t miss: Rocacorba Food Truck

But, not all of Rocacorba is pain and suffering – alright, most of it is – but the addition in June 2017 of the Rocacorba Food Truck situated 1.5 km from the summit and open every weekend means that the effort required to reach it can be rewarded by delicious local food and drinks. The Food Truck was founded on the concept of passion for mountain sports and local produce and it’s well worth making sure you plan your visit to Rocacorba to be at the weekend to make sure you catch it. Before stopping for a well-earned snack, however, climb the remaining kms to see the stunning views from the top and sit with your legs dangling off the hand gliding ramp feeling on top of the world. There’s only one way up and down so you’ll be going past on the descent anyway.

Want to take on Rocacorba yourself?

No cycling trip to Girona is complete without an ascent of Rocacorba. To experience the challenge of Rocacorba yourself why not sign up to our Girona Experience tour or simply visit The Hub to rent one of our Ridley Bikes and book a local guide to show you the way.

For more information Rocacorba Food Truck visit their Facebook or follow them on, Instagram and don’t forget to check out their jersey’s and tee’s in our Eat Sleep Cycle Girona Hub.

Thanks to Bike Office Espana, Tomas Montes @arriere_du_peleton, Rocacorba Food Truck & Sergi Mas de Xaxars @de_xaxars for the fabulous photos.

Girona Cycling Climbs

Classic Climbs of Girona #4: Mare de Déu del Mont

By Girona No Comments

Girona is renowned as a cyclist’s paradise for a reason: the city provides the perfect base from which to explore the myriad climbs of the surrounding area as well as being home to a plethora of cafes and restaurants – and as we know, cyclists love coffee and food just as much as riding bikes! This is the first of a forthcoming series of blogs on the cycling highlights of the Girona area, and what better way to start than with one of the most iconic local climbs and a real favourite: Mare de Déu Del Mont.

Let us first dispense with the problematic mouthful that is its name: Mare de Déu Del Mont literally translated, means ‘mother of God of the mountain’ and is actually the name of the shrine located at the top. A HC behemoth and one of the longest climbs in the area you would be forgiven for issuing forth a ‘Mare de Déu!’ of your own upon tackling the gradients of it’s upper slopes.

There are two ways to take on Mare de Déu, the ‘easier’ route is from Cabanelles: 18.54km with an avg grade of 5%. The gradient is more constant and less gruelling on this side but there are also short descents and flats in places, which do provide welcome breaks but can mess up your rhythm (this is true of both sides). The bottom slopes are surrounded by woodland so there’s nothing much to look at but your own stem or whoever happens to be in front. As you gain elevation, however, the trees give way to some of the most stunning views around which coincides nicely with the most painful part of the climb so you can concentrate on picking out where you just climbed from instead of your burning legs. Indeed, one of the draws of climbing Mare de Déu del Mont is the spectacular scenery from the very top of its 1,093m summit which include panoramic vistas of the surrounding area including the Pyrenees in the distance, Banyoles Lake and, on a clear day, the Costa Brava coastline.

The second route is through the Medieval town of Besalú, the charms of which make it worthy of its own blog, and I would recommend posing for the obligatory photos with the 12th century Romanesque bridge before Mare de Déu leaves you looking sweaty and knackered. From this side it’s 20km in length and the average gradient is still 5% although much of that comes from the flatter bottom section. After taking a right turn in Besalú the road edges upwards slightly before you reach the tiny town of Beuda where the climb begins proper. From there you need to choose your gear selection wisely as the narrow road can go from a descent to a 10%+ slope in a matter of one corner. After a few kilometres of this and a series of hairpins comes a junction – it will be very tempting to take a right and descend the other side down to Cabanelles but that won’t get you any glory or kudos from your mates so take the left and continue the climb following the same road as the Cabanelles side for the remaining 6.6km of 7-10% gradient to the top.

It’s worth adding that, once you’ve enjoyed your fill of the scenery on offer from the top, the descent should be treated with great respect and care as the roads are narrow, steep, and twisty and there may be oncoming traffic.

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