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The Roosters (Madrid-Valencia). Sufferfest

The Roosters,  a group of friends in which the friendship has been built up on basis of cycling, in which all get along, in which all work together and enjoy pedalling together. The main objective is having fun.

“Trips are done for fun. They are not done to overcome anything. The aim is to support each other and get together”.

All have been started with a trip Madrid-Bordeaux with the excuse of going to visit the girlfriend of one of them who was living in the French city. A four-day trip, without any assistance, alone with their fixed-gear bikes and their bike-messenger bags loaded up above. A feat which did not go unnoticed and it was the beginning of everything.

After this trip, came Barcelona-Madrid after the second edition of the Red Hook Crit in Barcelona.

And now, with the main objective of presenting officially The Roosters with a spectacular video, another challenging trip, this time Madrid-Valencia.

First they showed it in Madrid, in the best cyclist coffee shop that we like so much, La Bicicleta Cycling Café and, after riding for three long days, they showed it as well in the store of the DeQueBikes friends, in Valencia.

They had the support of brands such as W·A·U (weareunited), Bolero Meatballs, Proisme, and Arnette throughout the adventure and, despite that we didn’t have the chance to be able to accompany them on this madness travel, we have been able to replicate, thanks to Mario Cranks, a columns overview of the three days that they passed on the backs of their bikes riding night and day until the glory.


Friday, 6th of February
(Madrid – Tendilla (Guadalajara). 80 km & 1.000 m of gradient)

Meet up at about 15:00 at the Bolero Meatballs in Madrid to eat together, review the planning of the trip, make the last adjustments and start the trip as soon as possible, but, as Murphy tells (Murphy’s law), by very early that you plan to leave, you always leave late, and this wasn’t going to be an exception.

About 17:00 they left Madrid with destination to Valencia. A 3 days journey, with 412 Km, and more than 4,100 meters of altitude. Almost nothing.

The dense traffic-jam, typical on Friday afternoon, complicated the coming out of the big city. They arrived at the periphery in the night and they had to ride the most of the trip under the dark, hard cold and the only company of their lights.

Only 30 km before reaching the first destination they stopped to rest a little, especially Nacho who felt rather weak and they didn’t want to force. Had been more than one month without getting on the bike due to injury and he was one of them who perhaps was off form. All and thus, he did not hesitate to make this trip.

About 22:30 they arrived at Tendilla (Guadalajara), where they spent the night in a typical hostel of the deepest Spain, those with a little rooted to the past mentality, but nonetheless was a problem, on the contrary, they attended them superbly, cared for their bikes, dined very well and they could rest all night to deal with a new day of hard pedalling.

Saturday, 07th of February
(Tendilla (Guadalajara) – Carboneras de Guadazaón (Cuenca). 152 km & 2.160 m of gradient)

At 08:30 resumed the journey to a new stage. This time 150 km and quite uneven. In fact, just outside and they found the first slopes

They rode the first 30Km surrounded by pleasant landscapes, ups and downs, and a drop-dead cold.

They crossed Sacedon (Guadalajara) to do the second breakfast that usually they not tend to skip.

With a full stomach, they took their fixed-gear bikes and they restarted the trip without knowing what awaited them.

After a few meters ridden they met a defile with 9% of gradient on average, which they suffered a lot, to the point that, Mario, reached the highest nosebleeds due to stress and low temperatures.

The ups and downs did not stop and at the 80th km the landscape became white due to the snow fell during the previous days.

After eating and having overcome the last outstanding, the road began to be flat and they could improve the rate and the teamwork, quieter, more attuned and more concentrated in move forward.

Certainly, Nacho was who wore it worse. His knee was taking its toll on and had difficulty keeping up with the rate of the group. The last Kilometres for him and Aukerman, who also began to suffer, became very hard.

Around 20:00 they reached Carboneras de Guadazaón (Cuenca) where they spent the night.

There was the time for a cold beer, a good shower and a meal in conditions, review how the day had gone and courage to take the last step.

Sunday, 8th of February
(Carboneras de Guadazaón (Cuenca) – Valencia. 180 km & 1.450 m of gradient)

It was Sunday, the last day of travel. There were 180 km to Valencia and was going to be a tough day.

They woke up at -8 degrees, bikes were completely full of salt due to the area of ​​snow that they had passed the previous day but the best was that the sun was present for the first time since leaving Madrid.

Nacho and Aukerman were quite annoyed, each with their respective pains.

The first few Kilometres were tough until they managed to warm the articulation and get the right pace.

Still 35 km of very hilly which they suffered a significant physical wear.

Little by little they were beating each and every one of the slopes that were presented on the road and watched as the landscape changed as they moved forward.

They left the snow behind and began a flat area downwind that helped them to advance easily to Utiel having ridden about 90 km since leaving in the morning.

They stopped eating and their mood was a little low after ridding these endless lines which they had just crossed where you pedal and pedal and it seems that the kilometres not pass. Nevertheless, they made a good time and the forecast was arriving about 19:00 in Valencia.

Once again, back to the road with renewed strength and desire to arrive.

They were ridden along the state highway and had to take the motorway A3 (Madrid-Valencia) because they had no other alternative.

After riding for a while on this road, they realized that there was a service road parallel and it would be better circulate on it. No sooner said than done. Without thinking twice, was caught and jumped the fences that separated the two roads and resumed their march by that much calmer way.

Began to dusk, the landscape became better and did a good temperature. Everything was going well but they did not expect was that, suddenly, the secondary road by circulating became a mostly dirt road.

Maybe in a different context a person became angry and tried to find an alternative option to exit of this trouble but these five “thugs”; are not put off with nothing and less for poor road conditions. It was time to forget the fatigue and pain, and put the CX way to enjoy those 3 or 4 Km as children.

After this brief unexpected parenthesis, A3 motorway became again a state highway and they joined it again. They took a fast rate, with intent to recover the lost time.

They were coming to Buñol and as they approached the city, everything was complicated at times. Each time there were more road intersections and was very difficult to discern the way. They could see Valencia in the distance but it seemed they would never get it.

They began to wander, to take alternative routes, confusion, etc. In the end, they found a way in a residential area that theoretically goes to Torrent where the guys of Dequebikes? awaited them. I’ve told theoretically because suddenly, the road was cut off by a fence that surrounded a huge orange grove and, once again, had to gather their courage and jumped with bikes and bags (this time to a private enclosure) to continue. The strange thing is that the road continued inside, not disappeared but there was no logical reason why it was like that.

After leaving the garden, managed to regain some calm to see that already were on the right track and that everything was going well.

In Torrent, they met the group of people that awaited them, the joy and the euphoria began to sprout for the welcome, congratulations and encouragement of all that awaited them.

Once in the city, toured some streets to Dequebikes? where officially ended the trip. They had done. All the effort, suffering (especially Nacho and Aukerman), cold, fatigue, mental battle to not give up and stop pedalling, the good times and the not so good, all that and much had been worth it.

Champagne, pizzas, joke and good vibes were waiting in Valencia to host these five courageous as they deserved.

  • Mario Cranks – Gear ratio: 48×16 – bag load: 10,2 kg
  • Carlos Terroso – Gear ratio: 48×16 – bag load: 9,6 kg
  • Delvis Marte – Gear ratio: 46×16 – bag load: 9 kg
  • Nacho Tapia – Gear ratio: 48×17 – bag load: 9,3 kg
  • Jaime Aukerman – Gear ratio: 48×19 – bag load: 7,5 kg

The best of the journey?

CX time. The support of people with the project and during the trip and, of course, the reception upon arrival in Valencia.

The worst of the journey?

Personally, the difficulty of the group to get a good rate. The first hours of the journey between the nerves, pressure that everything went well and concerns, it took awhile to find the point and start working together. Although, as we move forward, we were relaxing and everything fell into place gradually.

With the support of…


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