Catalonia’s climate for cycling
Put on your sunglasses
The region of Catalonia enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long hot summers and mild winters. The warm months offer plenty of sunshine – more than 10 hours a day – and rainclouds only make an appearance on the blue horizon about 15 days per year. Here, clear blue skies reign overhead almost everyday. So before you set off exploring on your bike, put those shades on!
Unzip your jacket
Catalonia’s sunny climate is much milder and dryer than that of other Spanish regions. This is because of its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and the cooling effect of its breeze. Whistling through the palm trees, the gentle wind keeps the average temperatures steady. And so they drop very gradually, going from a fantastic 30C in the summer, through an average 20C in autumn, to a pleasant 10-15C in winter and back up to over 20C in early spring. It’s warm, it’s dry and there’s always a breeze. Go ahead and take that jacket off if you like. It’s cyclist’s paradise here.
Pull up your socks
Catalonia does not only have the perfect climate for cycling – just let me tell you about the terrain.The region offers an astonishing variety of landscapes for both mountain bikers and road cyclists. From the Pyrenean foothills in the far north, green farmlands of the Catalan Depression stretching from east to west, all the way to the coves on the Mediterranean sea in the south, Catalonia has it all. Pick your peak from a long list of legends – Montserrat, Rat Penat, Turó de l’Home, Coll del Pradell, Coll de Collfred… or maybe you just wish to conveniently nip away from Barcelona for a couple hours and, just quickly, appreciate the most majestic view of the entire city from the top of the Tibidabo mountain? And if you’d rather look around you than down at the map, climb with us.
Tip your hat
Whichever you choose, pull up your socks- these climbs are epic. So epic in fact, cycling legends Lance Armstrong and sir Bradley Wiggins and their teams have both lived and trained in Catalonia. Many other pros stayed near Girona over the years to perfect their techniques and the fourth-oldest still-existing cycling stage race in the world takes place here: La Volta a Catalonia. And no wonder. The region has long, empty stretches of quiet back roads, old railway passes converted into green bike paths (Vias Verdes) and safe bicycle lanes leading out of main cities. And no need to be put off by the big names either, as most pedalling along these roads are amateurs. More than 55% of the population of Catalonia has a bike for personal use and 450,000 people cycle everyday. So when in Catalonia, tip your hat off to that driver smoothly overtaking you. He’s probably a cyclist too.