December 30, 2021

DANCING WITH WOLVES. NORTHBOUND.

Taking the white wolf to his habitat. Northbound, from Barcelona to Vallter 2000.

Northbound. Until the sun goes down.

It is the idea that Ismael came up with at the beginning of December. Multiple destinations as an option, all with one thing in common. snow.

After commenting on this idea at the Velodrom Barcelona round table, David started scheming. Move four strings, bundle four cyclists, two photographers, plan an epic route and try to find the day with the best weather.

Everything was ready.

Five cyclists. Five Aurum Magma. White wolf included.

From Barcelona to Vallter 2000, traveling two hundred and twenty kilometers and ascending four thousand six hundred meters of unevenness to bring the new Aurum Magma Artic White to his habitat.

December thirtieth. Departure at 8:00 am from Velodrom Barcelona. David, Sergi, Oriol, Enric and Ismael pedaling, Jose and Xavi capturing. The course was clear and the pace could not be excessively calm. The hours of daylight give for what they give at this time of year.

We escaped from Barcelona through the Coll de la Ventosa to go in search of the Vallès. Ride and pick up the pace before tackling the first long uphill section of the day. From Caldes de Montbui to the top of Can Taló passing through Sant Miquel del Fai.

La Plana de Vic waited gleaming. The fog, at first, did not seem to want to appear. The rhythm of the five was hasty and the kilometers were flying. David had prepared a good dose of country roads around Vic, something that made the kilometers in the middle of the route even more enjoyable.

Trying to avoid the city of Vic on the rural roads of the neighboring towns. Taradell, Sant Julià de Vilatorta, Folgueroles, Tavèrnoles ... We avoided the city, but finally we couldn't avoid the fog. For a few kilometers we entered it and the temperature dropped considerably.

It was time to climb the slope and thereby escape the typical fog of La Plana. We were all already thinking about the stop we had planned in Rupit. But before that, more truly spectacular rural roads awaited us that took us into El Cabrerès and some of its towns. Wide open landscapes and a radiant sun that even warmed a little more than normal for December 30.

Rural roads are at risk. And it is to find you some section where the asphalt, cement or gravel is not in the best condition. A few kilometers after passing through the town of Tavertet, the good asphalt turned into broken concrete. In that section Enric had the only puncture we had during the entire route. He could only prod .. The junior!

After solving the breakdowns and overcoming the section with broken asphalt, we had the stop in Rupit a stone's throw away and the Coca of its typical bakery. With one hundred and thirty kilometers and two thousand six hundred meters ascended, it was time to eat something calm and gather strength for the hardest part of the journey. Ninety kilometers with two thousand positive meters awaited us.

The only bad thing about the stops is starting again. But we couldn't get lost. Back to the mess with the visit of Pep, who from Olot came to find us in Rupit to share kilometers and help with relays through the Garrotxa, where we would go down from the Coll de Condreu. Delicate, humid and gloomy descent where we do not take any type of risk. Get off calmly, digest well the stop that we had made minutes before and think about the next port: Capsacosta.

Capsacosta was going to become a barrier. David and Oriol kept up their strength. Enric, Sergi and Ismael began to turn on the emergency lights. Capsacosta is not a hard pass, but the previous pace, the kilometers and the accumulated unevenness were beginning to take their toll. Going up at a steady pace, eating and drinking was the only option to try to overcome this pass and go in search of Ripollès.

Time to face the end. Approach to Setcases and think about Vallter 2000. The forces were at the limit and the worst remained.

Twelve kilometers at seven percent on average. Maximum slopes of twelve percent.

Sergi can't take it anymore. His legs have said enough. Ismael with continuous ramps. David next to Ismael telling him that "By your mother you get to the top", while he helped him with some push. Enric doing eses to overcome the first really hard kilometers. Oriol rising to the rhythm of him.

Fortunately, after overcoming the first three kilometers and reaching "the barrier" of Vallter 2000, the pass softens. The slopes above ten percent end and we can go up, slowly, but without the pain of the previous kilometers.

Survive to the top of Vallter 2000. Each one at their own pace. Each one with their thoughts. Each one enjoying in their own way overcoming an adventure to remember.

The sky was spectacular. Night was about to fall. The mountain totally silent. Silence broken by our cries of mutual encouragement. Vallter 2000 was ours.

We had all crowned this pass on occasion, but never in these conditions.

It was six in the afternoon when Ismael, after David, Oriol and Enric, reached the top of the port.

We were at the top. We did it.

Happy and shattered.

Two hundred and twenty kilometers.

Four thousand six hundred meters of accumulated positive elevation gain.

Eight and a half hours of moving time.

Five cyclist.

Two photographers.

One more experience to remember!

Photography by Tour Pics & Xavi Derch

Sponsored by Aurum Bikes

View the route on Strava

Text: Ismael López

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