Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Fast bike & Fast cars, Barcelona day 4

Stats from todays ride:  34 miles, 4,250ft elevation gain, 2:57 minutes.

Back to training even when on vacation, and that means intervals, and thus far on my rides around Barcelona I've yet to find a road that is safe and uninterrupted for 30 minute threshold intervals (threshold means all out effort sustainable for an hour) besides the mountain climbs I've done already.  So, since I needed to do two 30' intervals and another two hours of endurance pace I headed north to the hills.  Getting there is a bit of a chore and requires lots of stops and starts, and couple that with my unfamiliarity of the roads a 5 mile ride to the start of the climb means over 30 minutes of really slow riding.

Barcelona seems to be perpetually hazy in the late morning, but after my two intervals I decided to go check out the Sagrat Cor perched atop Tibidabo Mtn.  The route there offers amazing panoramic views of the city, and I tried again to capture the beauty of the urban sprawl of Barcelona.  You can see kind of make out Sagrada Familia by Gaudi in the center of the photo sprouting forth from the ground competing against other high rise glass structures I'm unfamiliar with both to the right and left.  Tomorrow we are going to go by foot to check out Gaudi's Guell Park and Sagrada Familia so I'll provide some better pics later!

I continued on and went through a small, beautiful village called Vallvidrera that overlooks Barcelona, simply stunning - I'd love to live there! - and stopped again along side the road when I was a few hundred feet higher in elevation to soak in the view.  Two German tourists were there as well and offered to take my picture.

There was still more climbing to do before I got to the top of Tibidabo, so I clipped back in and continued on for another mile or so to the top of the mountain where Sagrat Cor is located along with a very swanky hotel.

The hotel was located slightly below the church, and had an equally impressive view and judging by the cars parked in the small vestibule, it costs a lot to stay there.  Three cars were parked outside, and they were probably worth nearly 1 million dollars combined.  One was boring and just a giant custom luxury car, but the other two were worthy of the Alize's company.  I could tell the doorman was a bit nervous initially when he saw me near the cars, but he decided I was harmless and left me alone.

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