The TaG Cycling Conquistadors of Prades!
Our TaG Cycling group of 6 (including TaG “chaperone” & coach, Bryan Kelly, aka: “Rex Belvista”) descended upon Prades, Spain under the knowledgable, enthusiastic guidance and support of ex-pat Chris Georgas. We were there for 7 days and it was our mission to carve every corner, crush every uphill and drink all the cava we could get our hands on.
Our hopes and expectations were exceeded to say the least. From the dead empty, pristine ribbons of rolling, descending, climbing asphalt to the fresh, local food and drink, it was tough not to fall in love with Spain from the get-go! Other than one brief storm the weather was fantastic, rolling out each morning at approximately 9:30am most of us were wearing bibs and short-sleeved jerseys. Some wore arm-warmers to start the day which were usually abandoned within the first 90 minutes. Having been to Limoux, France with TaG Cycling and Chris (Le Monastere Adventures) last year, it was a lot of fun experiencing the different terrain and culture of Spain. Having more focus on climbing, over the 7 days we rode approximately 505 kilometers and gained almost exactly 13,000 meters in elevation! Averaging just under 75 kilometers per day and 2000 meters of vertical gain, it’s safe to say most the group “rode into their legs” and got stronger with each day. Accommodation was comfortable and not lacking in any way. It was also a fantastic bonus being able to walk to the town square for fresh baking and cortados each morning!
In the end, I found myself wanting to “miss my flight” and work the almond fields or be a dish-washer at a local tapas bar on the sly just so I could live in this mountainous paradise and climb and descend the empty (almost literally empty of vehicles and/or cyclists…..but not inter-urban buses), smooth roads all day, every day from now to eternity! Well, as long as there’s a lot of cava and patates bravas in there as well – hehe.
A huge thank you to Lesley Tomlinson, TaG Cycling and Le Monastere Adventures for creating what was yet again an epic adventure by bicycle in a beautiful place with some hilariously wonderful people!
Andrew Summers – June 2015