Anna Barrero is both a 3T and Instagram fan. Her trip deserves to be seen in full-screen images though, so we’ve converted her Instagram story into a full-on post. Emoticons included. You can read more of Anna’s stories at www.instagram.com/anna.barrero
With some delay but here I am, on my way to a #bikepackingadventure. Yesterday I did a solo ride to test all the stuff I’m gonna be using since it is all new… and WOW😍I’ve done many bikepacking trips before, but none of them with such great material. See below all the details.
The funny thing is that the last 2 weeks have been sunny and warm (one could say that summer was already here), and now the weather forecast looks promising: storms, rain and cold days 😂 So yes, congratulations to myself for taking such great decisions 👏🏻 The bike that I’m gonna use (which is the best bike I’ve ever had) is the @3tbike Exploro LTD that you all already know. This time with big wheels 🤘🏻 the route will be 90% off-road
113 technical km and 1000m ascent! What a long and epic day😱95% off-road tracks. We’ve been following a pretty nasty and dirty path (perfect for mountain biking) that slowed us down making us arrive after sunset. Cold and windy evening. We had a huge dinner and planted the tent ⛺ while it wasn’t raining yet… because, obviously after 2 months without raining, today was the day to water the whole country 😅 ☔☔I gotta say that after 2 days carrying such amount of weight, my bike doesn’t look as heavy as I thought if I compare it with Didac’s bike. Man…that guy has even a shower inside his bags 😂
Today- like yesterday- @qriolis rode with us, but from now on we’ll be just the two of us. Thanks 😘
It’s nice finding such nice people offering their help and a roof 😍 we really appreciate it !! Note to people offering a roof: we are dirty (dust everywhere), smelly and we eat quite a lot 🙄 it reminds me when I was doing the Tour De France… starving the whole day 😂 But in exchange, we can offer our company and explain adventures and stories. Note to myself: never ever use again road shoes for #bikepacking … silly me!
The night was crazy. What a wind! We got half of the tent flying and had to fix it in the middle of the night.
One of the best things about #bikepacking is the people you get to know and all you can learn from them.
If yesterday’s stage was hardcore…today’s stage was … We woke up pretty destroyed from the day before and started with an easy but constant steep road… in fact it’s been like this the first 55km. Basically from sea level to 1500m mountains…so you can imagine what I’m talking about. But, the hard part was those 10k in which we climbed 700m in one go 💥
As you can imagine we arrived pretty late. In fact the last descent was a magical thing: the sky was on fire. The sun went down behind the mountains and the sunset was just a gift for all senses (pretty cold though ❄️, actually it was freezing 😂). But that was not the only gift. We arrived in a small village (with 200 inhabitants) where @josepmariaroma opened the door of his warm house for us. He and Assumpta were waiting for us with cake and chocolate and a warm cup of chocolate milk that returned us to life. After this, a highly appreciated shower (really needed, believe me) and a nice evening talking about Japanese culture while waiting for dinner. The dinner, oh boy…. we had plenty of delicious homemade dishes that we devoured. Now I’m writing to you from a warm and comfy bed in a relaxed mind and body state 🤗
I told @didacilla that the day was not going to be easy but worth it. And indeed it was. And not only for the amazing landscapes but to spend the night with such a nice family.
In life, you can find nice people and then you can find caring and hospitable people like the Roma-Tort family who opened the doors of their house to two smelly, starving #bikepackers. Ready for more km and adventures ! 🚲🏔️ .
What a hard day yesterday.
We started the day with 20km downhill. Fast and comfy! And then 30km at around 2/3% more before we stopped to have lunch. Thanks, @josepmariaroma for the sandwiches, cake and fruits 😍 And finally 25km more to arrive at a pretty decent time to go shopping and prepare dinner and plant the tent with natural light. Excellent dinner with pasta, vegetables, tuna, eggs… Everything looks fine until here, right?… Easy day, arriving before the sunset, time for shopping, excellent dinner, . … But wait!…we started feeling a little bit cold. Actually, things got fuc*** up when we reached temperatures below 0°C with a crazy humidity that left us frozen. We hit -2°C at around 5 am and as you can imagine we barely slept. We were just praying for the sun to come up. This morning the tent ⛺ was frozen and we had to wait to dry everything up. In fact, we are waiting right now for the temperatures to rise up as none of us has the guts to ride a bike with these temperatures.
Tonight we’ll be arriving at Ceret (Languedoc-Roussillon) which is close to the sea, so we expect to have higher temperatures 🙏 .
There are two types of cyclists: the intelligent ones who do not climb cols during winter (for obvious reasons) and the ones who dare fully dressed like ninjas. And then there’s us, who climb cols in winter with bib shorts 👏🏻😅❄️ After this short introduction let’s talk about yesterday stage. It was a simple 80 km ride: 40 km climbing 1500m (col d’Ares) and 40 km descending against the wind towards Céret.
The good news is that we slept in a pretty nice place in the middle of the mountains and with temperatures around 8°C 😍 what a pleasant night under the stars 🌟
We slept 12 hours-ish 😴 and the birds woke us up singing around 🐦 .
What a day! 75 km and 95% off-road trails that were more suitable for a mountain bike (or not even that). As I’m riding with road shoes I had to use my flip-flops to push my bike at some step roads with gradients over 35% (swipe to see my style 😅) As we woke up pretty early we had a midday stop to have a nice and expensive french coffee in the sun. Those moments are worth it. We got some summer tan lines 😂
Warm and sunny day in general. I’m really enjoying this trip with my afro mate @didacilla and I may invite him to do bigger projects if he reduces the weight of his luggage 🤘🏻 .
Yesterday we stopped at Rai’s place. We washed all our dirty stuff. Much appreciated after one week wearing the same sweaty and smelly clothes 😅
@raipuigg is a kayaker who has done many trips paddling in the most remote places of the world. We studied together and both specialized in outdoor activities 🙂 Gràcies per tot Rai 😘
Today 110km with +1200m ascent against an awful non-stop wind. If we had gone in the opposite direction we would have done an average velocity of 40km/h instead. No kidding.
We finished completely destroyed. Not in the mood to explain anything else today. .
Fast and light day today after a rest day of basically eating & sleeping. We are getting ready for 2 funny stages with a bunch of Italians 😎🇮🇹
Actually this weekend we may be 7 bikepackers having fun together! 🤗
I will make some adjustments to the sleeping stuff to avoid another cold and frosty night 😅
After so many days #bikepacking today it’s been readjustment day. I changed many things for camping ⛺ at night to be more comfortable and I also adjusted many things of my @3tbike Exploro.
I have elevated the handlebar and removed the protections of the @choikebags handlebar bag so I have more space between it and the front wheel. I have also changed the pedals and put ones for mountain biking instead of road biking. I’ll be wearing mountain biking shoes too with Vibram soles so I can walk when needed 😅. My position will be less aero but more comfortable.
From now on when we stop and it gets cold I’ll be wearing a jacket from @cumulus_outdoor (Incredilite endurance lady). I was gonna use it for stargazing when sleeping in the mountains peaks, but the past nights got really cold and I don’t wanna stay awake another night because it’s -2°C 😱. I have also changed the mattress. Instead of a shitty one, I’ll use a normal one 😬. I have updated the @hammerheadrides software so I’ll be able to see the upcoming elevation graph. Oriol will be using a hand made strap from @andyshlt so he’ll be able to shot while riding better 😊. So many changes that will make this trip even greater. Stay tuned for next days and adventures.
As I explained in my last post I made some improvements. Changing road shoes for mountain bike shoes was a smart decision considering that the last days we’ve been cycling and walking (i.e. hiking and carrying the bike on one’s back) in equal proportion 😅 I am also using now a @cumulus_outdoorjacket for these cold nights stargazing. Warm and light… Perfect for bikepacking and mountaineering expeditions. It will be the greatest asset for these cold nights sleeping in mountain peaks 🏔️😍 , By the way, last night we slept with a couple owls🦉 staring at us the whole night and having a long conversation with each other. Regarding the route that we’ve been following the last days (many people asked me about) …. well, let’s just say that it’s been fun, but I won’t ever let an Italian prepare the tracks, or at least I will check them before 😂
Andrea’s shortcuts may be shorter in terms of km, but not in terms of time. PS: It doesn’t have anything to do with this trip, but one day I’m gonna be hiking and bikepacking (and maybe kayaking too) in Patagonia. I have let the cat out of the bag, haven’t I?.