Monday, April 16, 2018

Bike tours in Montserrat

Montserrat mountain by bike
Beautiful mountain! Impressive!!



Montserrat is the magical mountain close to Barcelona.
The meaning of Verge de Montserrat for catalan people goes beyond the religious feeling. Visiting the virgin in pilgrimage is the usual thing to do to rengrace for anything that happened.

This is also the reason why visiting the Monastry and the Basilica is better on working days rather than in the week end. Satudays and sundays local people is also visiting, on top of the usual foreign visitors. Then, much better avoiding the week end.
Montserrat mountain by bike
Lighting a candle in Montserrat, a must!
The usual thing to do in Montserrat is touching the virgin (for that you will have to wait in the long queue at right on the Basilica) and also lighting a candel.

Sports in Montserrat are a great experience. No need to say that rock climbing is king in these steep walls. Lots of rock climbers around! Aslo hiking is a great experience in Montserrat. Our recommendation is to get the highest point of the mountain (Miranda de Sant Jeroni, at 1200 mts), from the monastry (at 700 mts). You can do that in just a couple hours (way and back) and the views from the top are stunning! Click here for the detail of the route.

Montserrat mountain by bike
On the left you can see Monestir de Sant Benet
In our cycling tours we will lead you to the best roads around Montserrat. We will take you to tiny roads without any traffic, and will surround the whole mountain. This way you will see the massif walls from all prospectives. This is an amazing trip with great views, do not miss it!

The end of our cycling tours is, obviously, the monastry. The steep final climb is, in words of one of our customers, a mistic experience, fighting the road and the slopes!

Montserrat mountain by bike
Tiny roads without any traffic in our way to Montserrat

Friday, March 16, 2018

Volta a Catalunya 2018 edition

Map of 2018 Volta a Catalunya
Next week will take place the main professional cycling race in Catalonia: Volta a Catalunya.
More information and details here:
http://www.voltacatalunya.cat/ca/home/

Volta a Catalunya is one of the first races in the season with the main riders participating. This year we will have Valverde, Quintana and the recent winner of Paris Nice Marc Soler in Movistar team, Daniel Martin, Rigoberto Uran, Fabio Aru, Sergio Henao, David de la Cruz, Van Garderen, Kruiswijk, Thibaut Pinot, Warren Barguil, etc.

The route is demanding, including several very important climbs as Vallter 200 and La Creueta. Stage 3, finishing at Vallter 2000 is, no doubt the queen stage. Following stage ending at La Molina includes also some very long and steep climb, as La Creueta.

Stage 1 Calella-Calella (medium mountain)

Stage 2 Mataró-Valls (medium mountain)

Stage 3 Sant Cugat del Vallès-Vallter 2000 (high mountain)

Stage 4 Llanars La Molina (high mountain)

Stage 5 Llivia-Viella (high mountain)

Stage 6 Viella-Torrefarrera (medium mountain)

Stage 7: Barcelona Barcelona (medium mountain)



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Mare de Deu del Mont, such a climb!

Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
Great views to Canigou from the top!

Mare de Deu del Mont is an iconic climb in Girona province. The mountain is visible in the distance, a shap peak with a building on top, with the road snaking to get there. It has spectacular views over Canigou mountain in Pyrenees, but also to the Roses bay and the Empordà region.

The road is in quite good shape, very narrow at some points. No problem at all when climbing, specially because it is a very solitaire road with no traffic at all (specially on working days), but the descent should be taken carefully...

Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
Close to the top!
At the top of the climb your get an unasphalted parking area, but it is absolutely worth to go a bit further and reach de Sanctuary and the restaurant. Views are spectacular! You can also find a statue of Mossen Cinto Verdaguer, one of the most important writers in catalan language.

You can see the numbers in the joined profile. Very long climb (almost 19 km at a 5% average gradient), but with very steep sections up to 14%... Worth a try!!


Mare de Deu del Mont Girona cycling
A real challenge!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Portugal, a growing cycling destination

Maybe because it is so close to Spain, or just because it is direct competition of our cycling offer, Portugal has never been a very popular destination for Spanish cyclists (especially for the Catalans). And yet it's a very attractive cycling destination especially in winter, when we have to look for the sun and good weather that we need in the north of iberian peninsula.

Not just for the cycling, but historically and culturally, Lisbon is a world-class destination.
The amount of attractions that Lisbon has to offer is enormous, the Belem Tower, the Jerónimos Monastery, the monument to the discoverers or the the Alfama district are just some of the attractions that we cannot miss. The fact that the metropolitan area of Lisbon, with 4 million inhabitants, represents 20% of the total population of Portugal, gives an idea of the concentration of population in the metropolis and depopulation of much of the rural Portuguese territory.

The food is, of course, another great incentive. Not just the Bacalhau (cod, of course), but also the caldo portugues, the francesinha, all this is a guarantee that it is a great destination for foodies! The wines are also an undeniable quality: Albariño, wine Alentejo in the South or green wine in the North.

The weather is mild even in winter. We had 4-5 ideal days for the tourism and sports activities. Only one day we found rain and some of wind (it might be a problem). In January, for example, the average temperature is 10 °, which is not bad. The proximity of sea makes the climate usually soft. Regarding to the weather in the summer, it would be advisable to avoid the hottest months, not only because of the heat but also for the traffic that is increased significantly.

Lisbon will always be for the spaniards the magical place of Freire's second World Championship, with the ascent to Sefarina and with a fairly hard circuit, a must in Lisbon, the other city of the seven hills, where there isn't much flat, except on the riverside of the Tagus River, perfect for a more relaxed cycling. Lisbon was also the start point the of the Vuelta a España in 1997 (to promote the 1998 Universal Exhibition in Lisbon. They were three stages in Portugal (Lisbon-Estoril circuit, Evora-Vilamoura and Loule-Huelva). By the way, the winner that year was the Swiss Alex Zulle.

But cycling in Portugal equals to Agostinho, the most known Portuguese cyclist with a premature death, still on the bike (he fell in a turn in the Algarve on May 1st 1984, dying 10 days later after not being able to overcome the coma). Cycling in Portugal is also the Volta a Portugal (la Grande) with very hot weather in August.

The first cycling day we went to Sintra, declared world heritage by UNESCO in 1995. Depart from Cascais and following the coastline, passed by the famous Guincho Beach (where surfing is very popular) before we went into the Sintra area with some very interesting ascents (tough ones!) which highlight was the curious and multicolored Palacio da Pena. A very interesting area, with narrow roads and many palaces and monuments aside the road (Palacio de Seteais, Monserrate Park). The highlight of the route we did, as well as Sintra, was Cape da Roca, the westernmost point of the European continent.

The second cycling day had to be Montejunto, that we included together with the nearby Obidos, starting at the hometown of Agostinho, Torres Vedras, where the legendary cyclist have dedicated a couple of monuments (see picture).

The second real day of bike meant to discover the wonderful Serra de Arrabida. A wonderful coastal road with a magnificent view and where is located the monastery da Arrábida. There are 3 interesting sides, the closer to Lisbon (Azeitão), the ascent from Setúbal and finally perhaps the hardest from the beach of Galapinhos. The highest point of the road is 491 m, with magnificent views over the sea and the Troia peninsula (to the other side of the Bay). By the way, one of the most popular sportives in Portugal in the so-named Troia-Sogres, with almost 200 km along the coast southwards to the most southern point in Portugal Atlantic coast.

At cycling level Portugal is very hard competitor to the Spanish offer. Specifically the Algarve area is developing pretty much and in that area takes place the Volta ao Algarve http://voltaaoalgarve.com/ in February (category 2.1 Europe tour), and also has its touring version, disputed February 17, 2018 from Tavira.

Sportives and Granfondos are developing quickly in Portugal. In particular this year will be held the Granfondo Lisbon https://www.granfondolisboa.com/ of April 22, 2018, with 136 km away

Also the Gran Fondo New York https://gfny.com/gfny-world/gfny-portugal/ has arrived to Portugal, and will be held on September 9, 2018 from Cascais, with 160 km and more than 2,000 meters elevation, with a similar route to the Granfondo Lisbon, via Sintra and up the Atlantic coast. It is no coincidence that also in Cascais will take place the Ironman 70.3 on September 30, 2018, in a cycling route getting through the Formula 1 track of Estoril. Great destination Cascais for cyclists and triathletes!

In short, the bike is a great excuse to travel to Portugal and rediscover all the monuments and the history of this nice country. The golden age of the 16th century when his navigators discovered half the world. Its food and wines. Fado. Does not need to be an exclusively cycling destination in our getaway, but always can take time for a pair of outputs on a bike, don't you think?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Rat Penat, the steepest climb in Catalonia?

Roadcycling with Montefusco Cycling
Great views over the coast!
Rat Penat (translation from catalan language: bat) is one of the inconic climbs for cyclists in southern Barcelona.
Also known as Plana Novella (the urbanised area nearby) and also know for the Buddhist Monastry on top. Belonging to Massis del Garraf (Garraf range of mountains), Rat Penat is a real challenge for every cyclist. Here you have the Strava segment for this climb:


If you would like to discover this climb we can rent and deliver carbon road bikes in Castelldefels and Gavà, then let's go for Rat Penat climb! Steep, very steep, with some parts over 23%! Rat Penat was included in Vuelta a España route years 2010 and 2013. See the profile attached.

Roadcycling in Barcelona with Montefusco Cycling
That's a climb!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Game of Thrones and cycling: welcome to Catalonia

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular series on TV, if not the most.

Possibly all of you know that Catalonia is the location of the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
One of the most impressive locations is Santa Florentina Castle, in Canet de Mar. It is also very close to NII, a very popular road for cyclists and triathletes coming from Barcelona. Flat and fast one. Then, it is very easy to get to Canet the Mar from Barcelona, just following that big and nice road.
Game of Thrones and cycling
Castell de Santa Florentina (Canet de Mar)
Of course, another very popular location is Girona Cathedral. The impressive stairs just in front of the main entrance are very famous not just for the series!
As you know, Girona is a very popular cycling destination in Spain (also living town of many professional riders), then cycling around Girona and taking a picture in front of Girona Cathedral is a must!

Will you join us to discover those locations?
Game of Thrones and cycling
Catedral de Girona

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Turó de l'Home, one of the king climbs in Barcelona

Roadcycling in Montseny Barcelona
Tiny cyclists at the top of Turó de l'Home (Picture by @rosdemora)
Montseny mountains are really close to Barcelona. You can reach them in about 50 km. Once in Sant Celoni (the starting point of many of the climbs) then you can choose several roads:

1) Turó de l'Home. This is the king climb in Montseny. Reaching 1700 mts height, the climb is 25 km long with very steep parts, specially arriving to the summit.
Detailed numbers for Turo de l'Home
2) Santa fe del Montseny. Spectacular road also 25 km long reaching 1300 mts. Specially on working days there is no traffic at all, perfect for cycling!

3) Coll Formic. One of my personal favourites. A scenic, sunny road, you can climb it even in winter, reaching 1145 mts. Mild climb most of the 26 km, but last 9 km are a bit steeper. A real first category climb.

4) Coll de Ravell. Between Montseny and Guilleries, this is also one of the solitaire roads you can ride when touching Mounmseny mountains. Really worth!
Roadcycling in Montseny Barcelona
Great views reaching the top of Turó de l'Home (Picture by @rosdemora)
Roadcycling in Montseny Barcelona
Long, steep and beautiful climb. Picture by @rosdemora
No doubt that Turó de l'Home is one of the highlights if you are in Barcelona and you are into cycling. A real challenge!!