Bilbao to Barcelona

A fortnight in Spain

For my first tour this year (2019) I’m heading off to Bilbao for a couple of weeks riding along the foothills of the Pyrenees and heading for Barcelona. Probably about 10 days or so cycling , maybe more, maybe less depending on how things pan out.

This tour is a little loose around the fringes – other than picking out a few towns I’d like to hit, I’m not doing any route planning, just rolling with the weather and the mood.

The flight is booked for 11th March into Bilbao where I have a hostel booked for the night. The following day is a reasonably long ride up to San Sebastian where I will again grab a hostel due to the desire to stay in town and explore.

From San Sebastian I’m heading to Pamplona and then roughly towards Zaragoza. I’ll probably stick around Zaragoza for a day or so as I’ll need to decide where to go next. The choices are either to head east/ north east back to the foothills of the Pyrenees or to continue vaguely south and head for the coast south of Barcelona. There are places I’d like to see on both routes by not enough time to squeeze them all in.

Here’s route 1 – heading for the hills (or similar);

 

 

Here’s route 2  – heading for the coast;

 

Whether I head south or north will probably depend on the weather and how I am feeling at that point in the ride. There may be a boozy night in Zaragoza watching the rugby before the decision is made!

For this tour I have made some kit adjustments. Firstly on the bile itself I have opted for some slightly fatter tyres – Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 47mm /28 x 1.75″.

I have also gone back to panniers in the expectation of there being a few lumpy bits in Spain! I find riding with a trailer harder work uphill… So I invested in a new front rack – Tubus Low rider and some Ortlieb front rollers. The Tubus low rider has another advantage; it provides a solid base to attach a small kickstand on the front. The benefit of this is that the front wheel can be prevented from swinging over and pulling the bike with it when parked up.

 

My techy bit for this tour revolves partly around some additional fixings for the GoPro, both on the bike and a new helmet (I havent worn a helmet in previous tours) and the addition of a Busch & Muller Luxos IQ2 lamp to the front.

This is a great peice of kit which runs off the front dynamo and has an internal battery pack to allow pass through USB charging of gadgets while not using the light.

 

My camping gear is slightly improved too -a new down sleeping bag and a MSR gear shed are added to the mix, along with a MSR Whisperlite stove. This is all packed up in an Ortlieb Pack Pack which will clip onto the top of the rear panniers.

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