Riding Rioja! Road cycling Spain!

Road Cycling in Rioja, an unforgettable experience for me. Such a fantastic trip, it delivered a waterfall of great memories, each moment was fast flowing and over too quickly. An enjoyable week, with great company in a country pulsing with warmth and passion.

Clad in Lycra, the smell of sweat and suntan lotion, and the sun gently turning skin a warm golden brown, gliding over the smooth Spanish tarmac on two slender wheels and drops. No better feeling…working hard for the pleasure and satisfaction!

Riding through the Sierra de Cantabria, fantastic switchback climbs hugging the mountain sides coupled with fun, fast descents… regrouping at beautiful view points for coffee and relaxed, unwinding chatter. Many evenings were filled with street entertainment, wine tasting, delicious Pinchos in Logronia. We also had an overnight stop in a historical Spanish monastery, world heritage site San Millan de la Cogolla! This trip has so many highlights Rioja Ruta del Vino!

Spanish national parks, climbing the mountain summits of Rioja and crossing over into the Basque Country, stopping for a picnic feast of hot cooked chicken just below the summit; laying in the blazing hot sun with the view of the gorgeous mainland blanketed below; far and wide, rolling on into the horizon…

I had a few favourites…

Navarra, tall thick green trees with winding roads, quiet rural villages and luscious gigantic roses of pale pink and lilac hues. Relaxed under the sunshine, offering views towards the ‘Teeth of the Lion’ mountain line.

Ezcaray, nestled in between the mountains, with the traditional Spanish town square centered around the water fountain, children playing and families gathering together. Bars and small shops dotted the edges. On this trip I made sure I’d packed my trail shoes, and this was the perfect location to explore the surrounding trails along the river during an early morning run before breakfast.

A memorable evening in Laguardia, this was filled with whisky, gin and friendly laughter. A few of us explored after dinner and enjoyed the Spanish custom of late dining, dancing and music.

I cannot wait for my next Spanish adventure, this country allows your senses to over indulge, each day serving up a new feast!

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