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Places to Ride: Hidden Vallès

We are releasing Places to ride with the idea to approach ‘secret’ roads to our readers, small cycling monuments from a more intimate point of view, directly narrated by the rider who tells us about his experience and favorite places around his home. In times like this, we have learned to value and appreciate more what we have around. In a certain way, we all have a tiny cycling paradise closer than we think.

Hidden Vallès: by Ismael López

I am 27 years old and I have spent 22 of them as a cyclist. Living and learning on a bicycle is what, from an early age until now, has always been my passion.

In this article, I would like to show you a region very close to where I live, a place easily accessible from practically any corner of the area, especially if you find yourself around Barcelona. A place that might not probably be the most known in Catalonia, but will not stop surprising you.

On some occasions, we get carried away by what most people do, moved under the strong influence of social media. We are reduced to copying certain things, and we do not think about what we are missing: exploring.

I want to make you discover Vallès, a region that, at first sight, might seem too industrialized, but I guarantee that it has some corners that are worth putting some long hours on the bike to fully enjoy them.

Vallès Classics – Gallifa lap
My first suggested route, known as Volta a Gallifa, starts with the comfortable Bigues i Riells pass, to later take us to the tiny village of Gallifa through the spectacular road that connects Sant Feliu de Codines and Sant Llorenç de Savall. In the latest town, I recommend a stop in Pastisseria Dómenech to enjoy some exquisite pastries or a coffee in the historical Bar Royal.

From Sant Llorenç we will enjoy an 8 km descent through a pleasant road till reaching Castellar del Vallès.

Vallès Classics – Sant Miquel del Fai and Farell
The second track will take us to two ‘must’ corners that we could not miss: Sant Miquel del Fai and El Farell.

We will get to the heart of Sant Miquel del Fai and its singular landscape, going deep into Cingles de Bertí, our personal smaller version of the Great Canyon. Following the track, we will arrive at a classical climb of the area, Farell, 7.8 km with an average grade of 6.5%. On the way down, we will be linking consecutive turns while enjoying the views, totally worth the climb.

Vallès Classics HC
The typical roads of the region are something remarkable, but the alternative will not be less!

Exploring is something that I personally love. Getting off the main roads to find out where the secondary roads and paths appearing along the road will lead you. It is something that I have been doing for a while in order to get my cycling group out of the typical routes of the area and to keep ‘unlocking’ roads on the map.

Until the moment, it has been something for those around me, but now I would like everyone to enjoy and discover a route that has it all. Everything but passes.

125 km of secondary roads, country roads, steep short climbs, sterrato segments, and some pavé zones. If you like classics and adventure, I am sorry to confess that you will love this one.

A route that rides, mostly, through the Vallés Oriental region. The original track starts from Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, but it can be easily linked from Barcelona or surrounding areas without missing any of it. Moreover, the route goes back together every few km, so in case the track becomes too demanding, there is always an easy way out.

Your road bicycle, simply lowering the pressure of the tires or the tubulars, will be enough to properly enjoy a day of a classic. Another good option is a gravel bike, but remember to add some pressure to your tires to avoid dragging your bike on the upcoming 110 km of tarmac.

The pleasure of exploring Vallès is all yours. Enjoy, always.

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Text: Ismael López
Translation: Pol Sopena