Today is the last day of my Festive 500 2015 and I wake up happy. The weather is going to be fantastic, the ride will be short and I know the route well. What else can I ask?
It seems my neck and legs have improved thanks to yesterday’s special treatment. My attitude has improved too. I have plenty of time today and I won’t be worrying about speed averages. For the first kilometres I don’t even look at the speedometer or my heart beat readings. It is a different route today. Starting in Santa Fe I cross Les Cabanyes and Pacs until I take the road to Sant Martí Sarroca. There starts a gentle climb towards Pontons. It is 9 kilometres at an average gradient of 3.2%. It is only in Pontons, and after crossing the town, that the positive gradient increases clearly above 5%, but it is less than 3 km. Today I simply enjoy the day and the new route, stopping to take pictures without any kind of remorse.
Once I get past Pontons the road is deserted. It is so quiet. I like a lot this part of Penedès, it is full of isolated housing developments and old country houses. Another profession that is highly compatible with cycling is to be a real estate agent. I finish the major climb of the day at Coll de la Torreta. I stop to eat a brioche with Nocilla. There is a big house with an astronomical observatory, alone at the top of a hill. The place is perfect, quietness, isolation and near empty roads. Someone is very lucky.
Find me here in case of zombie apocalypse.
Right at the top of Coll de la Torreta there is a road crossing. From there you can get to Querol. I am already making plans for next year, maybe repeating at least the three Cistertian monasteries without repeating this year’s routes. I start the descent towards Santes Creus. At first the road is quite twisty, but I take it easy as there are still many parts of the road in shadows and I don’t want to fall. But after a few kilometres the road flattens and opens a bit. I feel well enough to charge with all I have, big ring and aero position, in this 4.3 km segment I average 37 km/h. Sweet.
Santes Creus, the last stage.
I stop twice before finally arriving to Santes Creus to take some pictures. I have been in Santes Creus before but I never got into town, so I don’t know what the monastery looks like from the inside. It is a pleasant surprise. Like Santa Maria de Vallbona, it is inside the town. In fact, part of the town is inside the monastery premises. The local council is past the arch that leads to the monastery, and you enter it through a tiny cloister. It is a pity that I can’t leave my bicycle and make a visit to the monastery today because it is so early – 11 am – and I am already at my destination. I text family, send them pictures. We agree we have to come to visit Santes Creus, which is the closest one to our house in Santa Fe. My scout duties are fruitful. We will come, by car, of course. I am not that lucky.
Ready for a Game of Thrones filming!
As I leave Santes Creus to find my way back to Santa Fe – this time I will repeat for a third and last time the last 30 km – I find a long, flat straight. I feel good again so I am back to the big ring and the hands down on the drops. It feels slightly downhill but I will check later and the gradient is 0%, absolutely flat. I average 38 km/h for 4.2 kilometres. I guess that without the grin in my face I would be more aerodynamic, but I couldn’t care less. I am having a great time.
I feel victorious and lucky, the weather has been perfect for a challenge like this, the temperatures were not very cold, it has been mostly sunny, no rain at all, no accidents, no mechanical problems. Before I get home I stop to clean the bike, she deserves it.
It has been a good way to say goodbye to 2015, my cycling year, the year that I challenged myself to complete Transpyr, the year I realized that I want to ride bicycles for the rest of my life.