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Words and photos: Michael Barry
Ride: Three Peaks Pilgrims Ride. David and I have spoken about doing this ride for several years. After a few failed attempts we finally accomplished the goal: three long climbs--Mare de Deu del Mont, Rocacorba and El Angels-- over a 200+km clover leaf shaped route around Girona.
At the top of each mountain is a monastery with stunning views of the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenean peaks. To make the ride a little more interesting, and on some level, thrilling, I carried a map so we could seek out the quietest route over the smallest, often dirt, roads.
On the ride we stopped at a few bakeries/bars. Midday the bars are filled with truck drivers and construction workers. As we drank coffees and ate pastries, they shoveled down plates of pork and potatoes and sipped on glasses of red wine. We both ate a few energy bars on the final run into town when our legs were aching and vision started to blur.
Pockets: In our pockets we also have our mobile phones in case of emergency, to take the occasional photo and to get in contact with worried wives when we've been out riding too long.
I carry along a rain vest and cap for the descents or if a storm blows in from the mountains. I have no idea how long the ride was as our cyclo-computers weren't working but we were out for most of the day. On a ride like this one time and distance don't really matter, as it is all about the countryside and company.
Michael Barry is the author of Le Métier: the Seasons of a Professional Cyclist.
David Millar is the author of Racing Through the Dark: the Rise and Fall of David Millar.
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