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  1. #1
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    Moving to Barcelona for Winter training and racing - any advice??

    Hi,

    As the nights are beginning to draw ever shorter and colder here in the UK I was thinking of upping sticks and moving to Barcelona to train for some of the Winter.

    This year was my first full season of racing in the UK, I managed to go from 4th to 1st Cat in one season which I'm quite pleased about. I'm looking to do some big races next year, and so I want to be able to train hard over winter to be stronger for next year. So I thought to myself how I could do this - move to warmer climates!

    I was wondering a few things;

    1. Are there many groups that I can train and ride with? I'd like to do some long hilly rides (100 miles/ 160km) as well as short intense efforts (1-2 hours 35kph average, ie chain gang).

    2. What is it like for racing in the area?

    3. Is there a BCF equivalent?

    4. Where can I get a cheap place to stay?

    5. Is it possible to get some part time work (preferably within cycling but not essential) in order to buy food and rent etc.

    6. Are there many teams out there, possibly where I could get sponsored?

    Any information whatsoever on any of these questions will be much appreciated,

    Cheers,

    Stu :-).

  2. #2
    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    I hate you

  3. #3
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    haha, sorry? ;-)

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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    If you need BF advice about Europe, don't go to Europe.

  5. #5
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    I did some races in Germany with my BC licence. Is it different for the rest of Europe? Or just Spain/Catalunya?

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    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    Also looking. We (mom, dad, son) are there Dec 31-Jan 6. We are renting a bike from Claudio Montefusco <claudio.montefusco@gmail.com>
    Claudio Montefusco | Cyclist on Strava
    I've been downloading his rides :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member zizou's Avatar
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    There are a few world tour level pro's based in Girona but other than that i don't know any amateurs / youths who have gone over to Girona or Barcelona to gain race experience - Belgium and Italy are the main places for that although i know a couple who went to the Basque Country.

    Regardless there wont be much road racing going on over the winter so perhaps somewhere like Mallorca or Tenerife would be more suitable if you want to use the time as a training camp.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I spent a winter in Spain a couple of years ago. I was in the Alicante region, though, not Barcelona, so not all my experience will be relevant.

    You can race in Spain on your BC licence as long as you get a letter of authority from BC. Email the events people on the BC website and they'll sort it for you. You'll need to amend your travel insurance too, run-of-the-mill policies cover you for every type of cycling except racing.

    If Barca is anything like Alicante, there won't be a huge amount of racing in the winter but there will be some. It'll be relatively informal bt Brit standards, you'll need to get hooked up with a local cycling club to find out about them. The latter is easy - I found that all the local clubs were extremely welcoming, and if you acquire a little Spanish (or Catalan, for Barca) before you go they'll be especially delighted to help you out. I found it extremely easy to find groups that rode at regular times during the week and that were very happy to have the visiting Brit tag along. You have to get used to it being a bit more chaotic than a club run at home, though, and don't expect anyone to stop at traffic lights if the road is clear - even vaguely clear.

    You'll enjoy it. The climate where I was encouraged one to train, I was knocking out about 250 miles a week. Came back with a very big base. If you're set on Barca, fair enough, it's a terrific city. There are cheaper places to stay, though. On the Costa Blanca there is an oversupply of holiday apartments. I rented a two-bedroomed apartment for three months at €250 per month.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    On the Costa Blanca there is an oversupply of holiday apartments. I rented a two-bedroomed apartment for three months at €250 per month.
    This boggles the mind. If I were able to take a month or two off to train, it would literally be cheaper to fly to Spain to do it than to drive somewhere in the US...and I speak enough Spanish to make it work. Where's that lottery win when I need it?
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  10. #10
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    This boggles the mind. If I were able to take a month or two off to train, it would literally be cheaper to fly to Spain to do it than to drive somewhere in the US...and I speak enough Spanish to make it work. Where's that lottery win when I need it?
    It was actually cheaper for me to spend those three months in Spain than it would have been to stay at home. Food and drink is cheaper, and the monthly rent wasn't much more than it would have cost me to heat my home during the winter months.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    You guys are killing me.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    You guys are killing me.
    Give me a break. You don't have much to complain about, climate-wise.

    Actually, neither do I. UK winters are mainly pretty mild. Not like Southern Spain (or SoCal), though.

    EDIT. OK, Sacramento is further north than I remembered.
    Last edited by chasm54; 10-20-14 at 12:06 PM.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  13. #13
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    given an unlimited amount of time to ride most of you guys would hurt yourself or burn yourself out long before your unlimited time to ride expired.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Give me a break. You don't have much to complain about, climate-wise.

    Actually, neither do I. UK winters are mainly pretty mild. Not like Southern Spain (or SoCal), though.
    It wasn't about the weather so much as the location. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world. The food, the culture, coming out of a restaurant at 1am and then ambling the streets, people watching, maybe stopping for coffee or port. Es la vida dulce.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    given an unlimited amount of time to ride most of you guys would hurt yourself or burn yourself out long before your unlimited time to ride expired.
    One of the benefits of being so old is that not only is there an unlimited amount of time to ride, there is also the acquired experience (and feebleness) to avoid overtraining.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  16. #16
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    It wasn't about the weather so much as the location. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world. The food, the culture, coming out of a restaurant at 1am and then ambling the streets, people watching, maybe stopping for coffee or port. Es la vida dulce.
    Ah. I'm certainly with you there, it's a terrific city.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    I am with Caloso on this. If I could get work there and move my.family and friends (oh, and EU citizenship...), I would never leave.
    February, however, is rainy and less than warm there, IME. For a Canadian, fall or spring temps, but not much warmer than much of the UK.

  18. #18
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley36 View Post
    I am with Caloso on this. If I could get work there and move my.family and friends (oh, and EU citizenship...), I would never leave.
    February, however, is rainy and less than warm there, IME. For a Canadian, fall or spring temps, but not much warmer than much of the UK.
    Doesn't rain that much- maybe once or twice a week. Not as warm as further South, though, I agree.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    Might have been a wet Feb when I was there last

  20. #20
    Arrogant Roadie Punk save10's Avatar
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    Don't get pick pocketed on Las Ramblas.

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    Why do I all of a sudden have a craving for Jamon Iberico de Bellota? Shame it's $180/lb here! Got offered some free slices to taste a few months ago and almost fell over at the offer.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    I *just* (5 min ago) got this email in looking for places to stay in early Jan. Look up Montefusco Cycling. And the ride.

    Claudi Montefusco
    Montefusco Cycling Rentals & Tours / Catalonia
    http://www.montefuscocycling.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Montefuscocycling
    http://montefuscocycling.blogspot.com.es/
    http://www.claudi.blogspot.com/


    Can Mateu de La Creu is a fantastic location to cycle. That climb to Santa Pellaia (road from Cassa de la Selva to La Bisbal) is one of the best roads to cycle in whole Catalonia.
    Wikiloc - ruta Caldes De Malavella-Sta Pellaia-La Ganga-Romanya-Caldes - Caldes de Malavella, Catalunya (Espaņa)- GPS track
    One of my favourite rides. 80 km with 3 climbs (not that steep). Solitaire roads even in summer! Maybe a bit cold in winter, but precious anyway!
    Last edited by Doge; 10-20-14 at 05:08 PM.

  23. #23
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    Thank you very much for all of the useful info and advice. Really appreciate it :-).

    To be honest, I want to use it as more of a training camp, as I know there will not be many (if any) races over the winter months. I was just thinking of early season stuff to dust off the race legs!

    In terms of accommodation, I have a friend who lives in the north of the city. So I think this would be good in terms of getting out to ride without having to go through too much hassle from traffic?

    How much do you think I should budget for per month for food, drink? Probably the odd bike part here and there too! I've saved a bit but wondered if it would be worth getting a job as it detriment the training if I can't recover and absorb my training as some you have pointed out. I've got a pretty good idea of how to train well, which has got me to where I am quite quickly so far :-). It seems to work for me anyway!

  24. #24
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    The food and drink budget depends very much on whether you are cooking for yourself, or eating out. If the former, you can eat very cheaply indeed. Fruit and vegetables are very cheap - three kilos of oranges cost me one euro in the local market. They'll be slightly more expensive in Barca, but not much. If you shop in local stores and markets, and eat loacl food, you'll find that you're spending roughly half of what it would cost at home.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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