Girona, Spain. Somehow all those youtubers didn't do it justice.

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CarlosFerreiro
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Shetland, Scotland

by CarlosFerreiro

robertbb wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2023 10:22 pm
So much more to be asked/said on this topic, but to OP: would you say Girona is liveable for someone who only speaks English? (noting of course that holidaying at a destination, and living there successfully long term, are two entirely different propositions).
I'm not sure language is really an issue (at least with any of the easier European ones).
I lived in Portugal for 2 years 20 years ago, and as a UK guy with low expectations of language skills based on how high school went, I actually ended up going from a few phrasebook words to get by in the supermarket to being able to have 20 minute conversations on that news story about "what the government is doing now" with about 6 months of 2x1 hour/week of 1 to 1 lessions.
It really is different when you live somewhere full time and when you are having conversations and all the daily interactions. If you have had the drive to have put yourself in a position of being able to move and fund an overseas life, I'd see learning the language as a much easier task.

by Weenie


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RDY
Posts: 2587
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:31 pm

by RDY

In terms of scenery, climbs and descents it's beaten hands down by many other areas in Spain, Europe and the world. But as pointed out, drivers do indeed seem to be way more considerate than most of the rest of the Iberian Peninsula or world generally, and for such a small place it's probably unmatched in terms of bike servicing, part availability and fitters. And you can easily string together some long gravel rides from right outside settlement. City's nice, but it's difficult to imagine many locals will be left soon.

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

Really interesting on Bentonville. I wonder how much of it is because of Walmart. I know the family is big on bikes, sponsors racing both amateur and pro, and like... bought Rapha. Tho my understanding is Bentonville was big on MTB/Gravel, but maybe Road is big as well?

Back on Girona, sounds like we should pack a boogie bag and go. By the way, I definitely know what you mean about NorCal's 'epic' rides. In some areas of Northern California, it is very easy to make a great routes by stitching various mountain climbs, rollers, and skyline roads to fit whatever you feel. Exactly with some of the roads you've mentioned and more.

Having travelled around some, I found this level of flexibility in route making is quite uncommon. There are places in the world that have very strong cycling culture that have far less variety than what NorCal offers. I actually sometimes wonder if NorCal is underrated, but maybe it's just hard to access and missing that deep culture compared to other cycling-centric destinations around the world like Girona? I'm not sure. But thank you for your report, very interesting.

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

maxim809 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:55 am
Really interesting on Bentonville. I wonder how much of it is because of Walmart. I know the family is big on bikes, sponsors racing both amateur and pro, and like... bought Rapha. Tho my understanding is Bentonville was big on MTB/Gravel, but maybe Road is big as well?

Back on Girona, sounds like we should pack a boogie bag and go. By the way, I definitely know what you mean about NorCal's 'epic' rides. In some areas of Northern California, it is very easy to make a great routes by stitching various mountain climbs, rollers, and skyline roads to fit whatever you feel. Exactly with some of the roads you've mentioned and more.

Having travelled around some, I found this level of flexibility in route making is quite uncommon. There are places in the world that have very strong cycling culture that have far less variety than what NorCal offers. I actually sometimes wonder if NorCal is underrated, but maybe it's just hard to access and missing that deep culture compared to other cycling-centric destinations around the world like Girona? I'm not sure. But thank you for your report, very interesting.
Yes, Stuart and Tom Walton are the grandchildren that have invested 100's of millions into the state for cycling. Currently around 400 miles of singletrack MTB trails, and so mant amazing miles of gravel in just Benton County to count. All tree lined like a canopy giving shade. Punchy hills and steep and fast descents make up the topography. Road riding is equally as good. Just a few hours away you can get 100'-150' foot of elevation gain per mile on longer climbs. Lots of lakes and rivers lining the roads and surprising how patient drivers are in this area because so many cyclists out on the roads and many signs and dedicated bike lanes. So many Brew Pubs and resteraunts which cater to bikes make it feel very special. I grew up in Las Vegas which is a terrible bike town prior to moving to Bentonville. I've been here since August of 2020 and plan to stay permanantley.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

I think Girona is worthy of 2-3 week stay mixing in gravel and tarmac riding especially if you like longer days in the saddle. The best routes start 25-30km outside the city limits but it's a good way to warm up and cool down when heading out on those 160km rides. I'd like to visit in the fall season next time I visit. I've flown to Barcelona and then took train with my bike and also took the train from Madrid which fast and effecient. Bike hire is very convenient and even renting wheels is easy if you have one of the newer frames the can fit 34mm-38mm tires so you can ride mixed surface. One last note is just outside town is Bikeinn.com so very easy to get almost anything needed to keep the bike running fast if it's not in stock at one of the local shops.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

Are there tips or rules for taking a bike on a train in Spain? Specifically from the major airports to Girona?

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

maxim809 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:52 am
Are there tips or rules for taking a bike on a train in Spain? Specifically from the major airports to Girona?
You need to check with each carrier as not all train's will allow bikes or even larger luggage aboard. I've had my Scicon case on 5 trains without issue and they all ahd one cabin which had oversize luggage car with seating nearby. Renfe is the carrier I usually use but they also have Renfe Ave. which has stricter rules on baggage. I have the Trainline app on my phone and it tells me whats allowed.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

Bike hire is much more reasonable and accessable in the EU than other places. Here in the US its unaffordable and close to 100 USD per day. I lived in Colombia part time for 6 years with my wife and although you could hire a low end bike good luck finding anything bigger tha a size M frame since almost all Colombians are shorter in stature and Colombia is still growing as a riding destination for tourism so not much investment in the rental space.....It also rains almost everyday so it's hard on gear. I was amazed at the quality and choices for bike hire in Spain and cheap as chips IMHO. I rented a Teammachine DI2 for 40eur/day, SSE3 for 50eur/day in Mallorca and an Aethos in Calpe for 35eur/day. All those places also set up the bikes for stack and stem adjustment if i]t wasn't integrated. The only problem I had in Mallorca was U.K. brake setup moto style but I adjusted. Sometime just not dealing with the hassle of transporting your bike may be easier unless it's a long term stay.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

gurk700
Posts: 1042
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:40 pm

by gurk700

Yeah if you don't wanna deal with taking your bike I highly recommend bike hire in Girona. It was WAY cheaper than US, had way more high end options. I did it at Eat Sleep Cycle. Bike hire / mechanic guy there was super helpful, friendly, seemed to love his job.

Bondurant
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:28 pm

by Bondurant

Another recommendation for Eat Sleep Cycle, a painless process and easy to get to being right in the middle of a small town.

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Nohands83
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:41 am
Location: Leeds, UK

by Nohands83

Myself and Mrs Nohands spent 3 weeks in Girona last Dec/Jan, we drove from the UK (with dogs, bikes and lots of wheels).

We rode both on and off-road in equal amounts but the accessibility and scale of the gravel was remarkable - the only place with anything similar in the UK is Scotland. I've ridden a lot in Spain and France previously so although the road riding was good it wasn't significantly better than Mallorca, Calpe, South of France etc.

I actually think one of the best things about the city is, how compact it is. Makes getting around really easy, and there are loads of great places to eat and Drink. We're planning to go back in May as part of a larger road trip.

FYI there are loads of great routes on the Service Course's Komoot.

gurk700
Posts: 1042
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:40 pm

by gurk700

Nohands83 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 10:35 am
I actually think one of the best things about the city is, how compact it is. Makes getting around really easy, and there are loads of great places to eat and Drink. We're planning to go back in May as part of a larger road trip.
This is exactly it!

I DESPISE cities. I've lived in the Bay Area for almost 10 years now. Besides the few years I went into the office in SF, I spent almost 0 time in the city. I just don't like it.
Same for my hometown, Istanbul. BLEH.

I honestly thought I was gonna hate the city part of Girona and enjoy the riding but it wasn't so. I fell in love with the center. If I lived there I'd absolutely try to be central.

A man can dream. If I had the balls I'd sell the house and 100% commit by buying property there but that'd mean not having rental income when I'm retired lol.

User avatar
Nohands83
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:41 am
Location: Leeds, UK

by Nohands83

Yeah man, if Brexit hadn't f**ked things up for us Brits I'd definitely consider buying out there

RDY
Posts: 2587
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:31 pm

by RDY

skinnybex wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:50 am
I think Girona is worthy of 2-3 week stay mixing in gravel and tarmac riding especially if you like longer days in the saddle. The best routes start 25-30km outside the city limits but it's a good way to warm up and cool down when heading out on those 160km rides. I'd like to visit in the fall season next time I visit. I've flown to Barcelona and then took train with my bike and also took the train from Madrid which fast and effecient. Bike hire is very convenient and even renting wheels is easy if you have one of the newer frames the can fit 34mm-38mm tires so you can ride mixed surface. One last note is just outside town is Bikeinn.com so very easy to get almost anything needed to keep the bike running fast if it's not in stock at one of the local shops.
A note re: BikeInn. I wouldn't rely on them for much. It seems little is kept on hand at their warehouses in Spain these days. You often ending up waiting weeks for stuff that's supposedly in stock to be sent from NL / DE / IT to Spain to ship, or DE / IT to NL to ship.

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

RDY wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 5:14 pm
skinnybex wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:50 am
I think Girona is worthy of 2-3 week stay mixing in gravel and tarmac riding especially if you like longer days in the saddle. The best routes start 25-30km outside the city limits but it's a good way to warm up and cool down when heading out on those 160km rides. I'd like to visit in the fall season next time I visit. I've flown to Barcelona and then took train with my bike and also took the train from Madrid which fast and effecient. Bike hire is very convenient and even renting wheels is easy if you have one of the newer frames the can fit 34mm-38mm tires so you can ride mixed surface. One last note is just outside town is Bikeinn.com so very easy to get almost anything needed to keep the bike running fast if it's not in stock at one of the local shops.
A note re: BikeInn. I wouldn't rely on them for much. It seems little is kept on hand at their warehouses in Spain these days. You often ending up waiting weeks for stuff that's supposedly in stock to be sent from NL / DE / IT to Spain to ship, or DE / IT to NL to ship.
I have ridden to the warehouse showroom and purchased things in-store and it usually takes about 15-20 minutes for the items to come to the front counter for collection. Tires, tubes, cockpit parts and the like are many time available immediatley but I also understand certain things are backordered. I bought my first set of Galfer rotors and installed them right at the store where they gave me a bikestand and tools instead of using my multitool.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



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