Lyon -> Barcelona in 4 days

Lyon -> Barcelona in 4 days

I started on Monday the 14th, 6 o’clock, in front of my apartment. The first kilometers the city lights illuminated the streets but soon it was just my tiny light and the moon. Quite a enjoyable atmosphere to cycle in even though it became quite crowded on the road. Around 7h30 I passed Vienne and the morning traffic started to get annoying. (avoid big roads on rush hour for the next trip)

The sun came up and the wind was still relentless but on the first day the legs are still very fresh so it was just a mental problem of not progressing as fast as I wanted to. But I got to ride some beautiful parts of the via rhona and in general the countryside was just excellent.

Around 1 o’clock I passed by Valence, already 100k into the day and realized that even there was a lot of wind the progress is still amazing. I rode parts of the via rhona several times, either alone or with friends and knew the villages a bit, already 6 hours into the trip was usually the effort of 2 days with a normal touring bike. Food wise it was just a bakery stop somewhere and lots of energy bars and M&Ms.

In Pierrelatte I “enjoyed” some McDonalds food, at least it’s lots of sugar and fat which is what the body needs in this times. Also really easy to keep a look on the bike while eating and charging up electronic devices.

At Pont Saint Esprit I started to turn west to Nimes, I used the roads a bit north of the cities, it was wine yards everywhere and just beautiful hilly landscape all around, even though a bit harder to ride the lack of traffic was absolutely worth it.

Around 20h it got really dark and my light setup wasn’t the best so I decided to just turn into some field and bushes to setup my tent.

The first day I did some mini videos as well :

During the night there was a big storm coming up that finally hit the tent around 4 o’clock. I had borrowed it from a friend an so luckily also made a mistake when I put it up in the night which resulted in some quite wet floor with me on my dry sleeping mattress.

Around 9h I was on the road again, having some breakfast at Uzรจs, some lovely medieval town that I should definitely spend more time in.
Basically it was a nice day in beautiful wine countryside with a battering headwind.

I was passing by Montpelier and than in the evening decided to camp slightly after Bezier because of the darkness.
One episode I could have lived without was google maps sending me over the fields to get to the camping which of course resulted in my first puncture and 2km left to walk with the bike.

The evening was spent hovering over my wheel to put the tire on (I had never done it on road bikes) and chatting to some nice people.

The night was just terrible, the temperature dropped to 9 degrees and because of my lite bag setup I couldn’t take a sleeping bag, so I was wearing every peace of cloth I had, moving around, trying to get warm by rubbing legs and arms.

Eventually I could sleep a bit in the early morning, had a really nice chat and coffee with a pensioner who used his free time to make a whole tour de France which was quite cool.

Then on the road again I noticed some kind of air bubble on my back tire, I guess I had done an error putting the tube in but didn’t know why, so in Narbonne I preferred to cycle to a bike shop and the guy was kind enough to have a look, apparently some part of the tube was stuck between the wheel and the tire, not very safe but at least now I know you really have to push the valve of the tube strongly into the tire to make sure it fits well. Another short stop at Decathlon for sun cream (it was getting quite sunny) and energy bars.

For the first time I had a nice back-wind going down to to Perpignan and I finally came close to the sea.

The next part was the nicest of the whole journey, I started the coastal road of the Pyrenees quite late and had beautiful golden sunlight on all the little hills, vineyards and coastal towns.

It was just a pleasure racing through the hills, with electronic music blasting through my phone and always having some Haribo to eat during the climbs.

In Spain I had a nice evening ride through a nature reserve and again as it was getting quite dark I stopped at a campsite, the restaurant was still open so I treated myself to a nice big pile of pasta and tomato bread as well as a beer.

The first time of the journey I realized I should just use the survival blanket that I had with me which made the night much more enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚

I had around 160km left to Barcelona and didn’t want to arrive in the evening so for the first time I got up to be on the road at 7h already. It was great to ride in the dark again, I would love to ride all night and will certainly do next time with more light at my disposal.

I rode a few hours to arrive at the next highlight, a beautiful hilly coast road from Saint Feliu de Gaixols to Lloret de Mar. It was the first time I saw plenty of other riders on the road, even some American tourists, coming all the way to enjoy racing the hills next to the sea.

To make the story short, the last 60k were just miserable, it was hot, there was again strong headwind and I only had a big road passing by all the ugly touristic villages to Barcelona, I learned afterwards that there was a nice slower path just next to the beach and really should have opted for this one. 15k before Barcelona I stumbled into one of the Catalonian Marches to protest the high sentences some politicians got for their involvement in the independence referendum. It was a strange atmosphere, not violent but still charged with excitement, not knowing which direction things would go.

I arrived in Barcelona happy none the less to have been able to get here safe and sound in only 4 days. Juhuu ๐Ÿ™‚

Had 2 great days with my sister and other friends and then took the train back to the french border. Not any further because the french train drivers were on strike, it was for an important reason and I didn’t mind at all to ride again the Pyrenees, continuing until Narbonne were I took a train very early the next morning to arrive in Lyon for a very important dinner of Raclette in the evening ๐Ÿ˜€

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