I’d heard about this place through a former client of ours, Dave Smith.
Dave won’t mind us mentioning him here and in fact, he’ll probably love it because Dave can deservedly take huge credit for saving the lives of eight weary, tired, dehydrated and cranky cyclists this afternoon.
We met some months back here in Girona and any time I asked where he’d been, where he was, or where he was headed the answer was always the same, Rupit.
He’d sometimes try and bullshit me by pretending he thought about going elsewhere but he was fooling nobody. I just thought he either a) knew nowhere else or b) wanted to know nowhere else.
I eventually thought to myself, maybe I must check out Rupit someday. That day was today when eight of us were in agreement we were doing a Rupit loop.
I’d seen the place mentioned during the week too when Dan McLay (Fortuneo-VitalConcept) mentioned how he bonked on the Rupit loop once and how his midweek bonk at the Tour de France was almost as bad as the Rupit bonk from last December.
I packed accordingly; €5, three Pan de Leche rolls from Aldi with Serrano ham and Philadelphia cheese, a banana and two bottles (750ml and 500ml).
On the ride were Carlee Taylor (Team Liv-Plantur), multiple Irish national champion Olivia Dillon, James Glasspool and Joonas Henttala (both Novo-Nordisk), Anthony Doyle (Strata3-VeloRevolution), Jason Prendergast (Cunga CC) as well as Lee Comerford (ESC co-founder and Controlpak) and myself of Club Ciclista Palafrugell.
It was a perfect and willing coalition.
Let’s paint the picture. It was HOT today in Girona or as the Australians would say on such a day, “it’s fffffrickin’ hot’. The English would say ‘it’s warm mate, innit?’ and the Irish would probably say it’s bloody awful.
Anyway, there was a good crew of eight of us and thankfully, all could ride a good pace.
We did the Rupit loop in reverse, which meant going out by Salt and Angles and then climbing Sant Hilari and then climbing some more and the descending and then climbing again and then….er, I don’t know. The ride was all about Rupit and then home.
Anywhere else did not matter.
I had no Garmin so that meant I was useless to the group. I was a pest, actually, careful not to ask the same person ‘how far was Rupit’….
One answer said an hour…another was 40k…another was ’50k or so’…(that last answer was 10k AFTER the 40k answer).
Long story short, it was getting ugly, the chatter wasn’t as chirpy and the bottles weren’t near as full as they should be on a melter of a day…
So I took matters into my own hands and went to the front with a guy who had efforts to do today (Glasspool). Efforts during a six-hour, 180k ride is BADASS.
Anyway, this was when the group fell eerily silent. Pockets and bottles were emptying and Rupit was allegedly close.
“Not far to go now” means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. You know who you are.
I turned the screw a little tighter at the front in an effort to almost reach out to Rupit.
“The cakes here man…fuckin’ hell” was one optimistic conversation opener. Nothing followed.
“I’m gonna eat every cake in the cake shop”…was also offered. Nobody took it up or contributed anything.
Next thing, with around five kilometres to go on a road that had been cracked and broken and full of holes and gravel came an attack from the group!!
Yes, a rider scorched off the front (Henttala) and called ‘KOH at the top’…I didn’t know how far the top was but I was willing to get there as fast as I could…so I tried, shamelessly, to follow. Glasspool muttered something.
A confession; I was feeling strong from a can of coke 15k earlier and hoped by following the attack I’d provoke a reaction from the other starved souls.
I think it worked because we reached Rupit 25 seconds sooner and the cake shop was open. There weren’t many customers but there were loads of staff. Perfect.
It was a scene you couldn’t script; the smell of fresh bread wafting through, appetising pastries, cookies, buns and bars filling the displays, coffee for €1.35…
“I’ll take one of those, one of those and a coke please”. The lady smirked. I got change out of a fiver after buying a massive chocolate doughnut, a bocadillo (egg sandwich with freshly made bread) and a coke.
It was a moment you just had to love; eight zombies bumping into one another, no orderly queue, eight of us scanning the room for the best value, picking euros from plastic sandwich bags and in ‘some’ cases, er, asking for loans…
We got coffees and cakes and bocadillos and pastries and after all reconvening on the wooden chairs outside the door we didn’t say much; we just ate, looked at one another, gobbled food and looked as smug as we felt.
Life was f***ing awesome again!
Today cost me €5. It will cost me €8.10 if I pay Lee back for the bocadillo he so kindly sponsored me…
Anyway, we made it home…all cooked, literally, and I already have a message from Carlee asking when can we go again.
To all who were on that ride today, you were part of an epic and thank you.
To those who have gotten this far in this blog, the epic Rupit ride awaits you…as do the cakes.
Dave, I won’t ever question you again.
Oh, and here is what that Strava file looked like. (Compliments to Olivia)