Sometimes, we insist on planning to the smallest detail and the fact that there is a bit of improvisation and letting things flow on their own, always adding a plus to any experience.
In our case, the result of several coincidences, we had the opportunity to meet again in Girona with a great friend of the fixed gear world that we were so attached to for years: Ash Duban.
Ash is from Austin, Texas (USA), works as a graphic designer and she is pure dynamite. She loves traveling, living new experiences, knowing unfamiliar places and, above all, cycling and competing. A huge amount of adrenaline run through her veins.
It was not the first time that she visited Girona but, this time, she did it as a training camp to prepare the crit season. The area is perfect for cycling, there are fantastic roads and you can find very hard mountain passes, flat and fast roads, routes along the coast, and countless rural roads, ideal for riding in gravel. In addition, in the Catalan city, literally, you live and feel cycling every day of the year.
We meet her in the cycling café of this city, La Fábrica Girona, captained by the former professional cyclist Christian Meier. The place is perfect for recovering before or after cycling; excellent quality, good coffee and a wide variety of products that, along with the cycling environment, as usual, there is an ideal option.
After greeting Ash, I gave her what would be her bike for a day (thanks to the guys from Ride Barcelona for providing us all things and lending us a fantastic Bellé Cycles Gravel of her size) and charging batteries with a delicious breakfast in the company of friends and addicts of cycling, we headed to Cassà de la Selva through the well-known rural road named “Carrilet”, the beginning of our route.
The track chosen for this adventure was based on what was the first edition of the Gravel Bonanza. Apparently, it did not look bad, nor too hard, at least that way we remembered it but, finally, the reality exceeded expectations.
After having some problem with the GPS, if they ask me, I will always deny that we got lost, we ended up finding the path that would take us to the Puig de Les Gavarres through a path where we tasted the first important ramps of the day.
Toni, as usually, got a flat tire once more and we had to stop to repair. It was perfect as a recovery after the endless ramps.
Once up and with the heart rate stabilized, we started to cross the mountains a little towards the famous viewpoint of Els Àngels passing through the Puig de Sant Miquel, Montnegre, and the Puig d’en Figa. A route full of beautiful landscapes full of trees and nature on all sides.
While we rode kilometers of authentic gravel, we talked with Ash about how the criterium season was presented with her new team The Meteor // Hey Allez! along with Sammi Runnels and professional rider Nicole Mertz.
“Every time there is more level in women, but my maximum rival is still Ainara Elbusto”.
In a few days, a new edition of the RHC Series would begin, starting with the criterium that takes place in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and which is the name of this great competition. Fighting for the podium was not going to be an easy task but Ash was very clear that she would give it all.
Finally, we reach the road, a few meters from the Sanctuary of the Mare de Déu dels Àngels, and we began the descent towards Girona by a fantastic road of those that give goosebumps.
More pictures in The RAW Stories official site.