Hi! I am Adrià, some people call me “Fus”, and I am the main guide in Pedal Bike Rental.
The day started quite rainy in Barcelona on 7th June.
I went to Pedal bike rental shop in Poblenou, at around 8am to just finish the set up for the road bikes that Andy and Emilie were going to ride.
They came right on time and since first moment I felt really comfortably with them.
We served a strong espresso before start riding (that must be mandatory) and we had a look at the sky…cloudy and a few water drops. But goal was clear: ride our bikes on Collserola mountains.
Mood was high and we started with any doubts (well, I was a bit scared, because weather looked really bad, and Collserola roads could be slippery, and so, the crash risk important.
We took Diagonal Avenue until the Forum area, to follow then the bike lane direct to Besòs river (which is my preferred escaping way of the city). Besòs river marks out the area of Barcelona city, sepparates it from Sant Adrià del Besòs on the closest part to the sea, and from Badalona and Santa Coloma de Gramenet, if you keep following the river direction to Montcada i Reixach.
There is a bike lane just beside of the river which is totally safe and a perfect way to warm up before the mountains coming up, so we took advantage and used that time to talk a little and know each others better.
As usual in the mornings, wind comes from the country side, so an almost 10 k’s, become a bit more difficult, but nothing too hard (specially if you are behind my wheel…).
Before arriving to Montcada we turned left , across a bridge to find the road that crosses the outskirts of this city. At that point I always warn that this is the starting point of the first climb.
Locals use to name it “Cementiri”, because during the climb you find the Collserola cemetery at your left side, but the right and official name is Coll de la Ventosa.
This is a 6k climb since you start climbing and is a very irregular one, is like doing steps. It mixes short steep sections (10-13%) with easier sections.
So, this was the point where I “checked” my route mates. And the pace was really decent in the whole climb, but after the first steps I realized that Emilie was in better shape than Andy (they told me before this, as she use to ride more often than him).
After 6 k’s, we reached the top. Is not the highest point of the route, but is one of my favourite spots, because during the climb you ride in the middle of the forest and can not see much further, and after crossing below the bridge at the top, suddenly the city “hits” you with some amazing views from the north side.
We stopped at that point to take a few shots, and they grabbed a gel from their pocket to prevent a bonk later on the route.
We kept riding the 2k’s short downhill until we found the Cerdanyola del Vallès road, which took us to the Coll del “Forat del Vent” (it means windy hole). This is a steady one: 3,5k’s at around 5-6% average. We took it easy, chating and watching. Passed “Forat del vent” we did the long downhill to Cerdanyola del Vallès. This is a really nice one, good tarmac, no dangerous corners, and lots of fun.
Then from Cerdanyola del Vallès to Sant Cugat del Vallès, we did the “transition” between climbs, and we stopped for a coffee and donut (I skipped the donut…I needed to burn fat, as usual…) before starting the way to Tibidabo.
The last climb was the longest one. Around 8,5k’s with an average of 5%. We took it easy from the beginning, clouds were away and sun was hitting hard, so we found a friendly pace that allowed us to climb talking the most of the time.
As usual, they became very impressed with two things after we turned right to the last km of the climb: One was the great views that they watched, and second one: the amusement park located at the top of the mountain, just next to the Tibidabo church.
When we reached the top, a photo stop was mandatory before starting the nice downhill to the beautiful Vallvidrera and Barcelona. Once we arrived at the top of the city we just needed to cross it, mainly through Diagonal Avenue until Poblenou, where we stopped in our favourite restaurant terrace, to enjoy a well deserved beers, the amazing “bravas” they cook and a great time talking.
We all had a great ride, safe and funny. So have no doubts, if you want to ride on the roads, no matter when, no matter how, no matter where, just better call “Fus”.