By Brian Canty
Girona is a city we are proud to call home for the last three years and this week we´ve just made it that little bit more homely with the official opening of our new shop.
The catalyst for this blog was two wonderful people (husband and wife) coming into the shop 15 minutes ago to wish us every success with our new premises so I am going to try and summarise what it means to feel ´at home´.
Without boring you to tears, we have two places now in the Barri Vell; a Taller (or workshop) and a HQ from where we will conduct our travel agency responsibilities as well as do all our bike rental.
The shop is open just over a week now and to say things have been busy, inspiring, uplifting, motivating and rewarding would be an understatement.
But those two lovely people who came in epitomised the spirit of this town; honesty and heartfelt sincerity.
It´s funny how bike racing and business are so absolutely intertwined; neither are easy, both require a huge amount of luck and support and bloody hard work, both are exceptionally rewarding.
We opened our shop on a Wednesday afternoon of last week when the electricity was installed and we held our opening night four hours later.
We did a quick social media of the event, sent WhatsApp messages to anyone we thought might be interested or free and incredibly, four hours later the Cort Reail was rammed.
We called one particularly distinguished gentleman at 6.56pm for the 7pm start. He apologised for being late at 7.15pm.
People actually wanted to come to see us and it was a very moving thing to witness that. Before long we realised six bottles of Cava would not be near enough to quench everyone´s thirst.
It was a very straight-forward evening; few words, few drinks, move on. But the point here is just how many people bothered to come and how many people sent messages of apologies to excuse themselves.
Bike racing is like that and we all need everyone. We need each other to keep our spirits up, we need each other to train, we need each other to get to races, we need each other in those races when shit starts to go down.
I recall one of the first races I ever did here, before I knew Lee. We were in a small group racing for the win but I was on my last legs with dehydration. Who was the man I asked for a bottle? Lee Comerford. He ended up sixth.
Who came to my aid one day in Eat Sleep Cycle when we needed pedals and a help with a bike? Bike Breaks. Who takes our business cards and spreads the good vibes about us? You know who you are and we do to.
And we are massively grateful to everyone who has helped us make the Barri Vell our home.
You know you can knock on our doors when you need a favour.