One of the joys of cycling is heading out on an all-day adventure. Leaving in the fresh light of the early morning and returning dusty, satisfied and relaxed just as dusk falls. Even better is doing it on an e-bike because with pedal assistance you can go further, see more and enjoy your day out without returning home exhausted.
To test the range of e-bikes and show just how much fun you can pack into one day in the saddle we sent two riders on an adventure from Barcelona to Girona.
Planning your big day out.
Going somewhere new is always exciting but there is something special about a one-way journey to a new destination. We picked for our long day out a route from Barcelona to Girona. A mix of road, bike path and gravel riding that leads from the vibrant beaches of Barcelona to Girona’s majestic medieval walls at the Jardins de la Muralla.
Planning your route is part of the fun. Looking at the map, picking the places you will stop and piecing together the places to explore builds anticipation for the ride ahead. There are loads of apps to help you plan routes, Komoot.com is packed with ideas, ready-made routes designed by other users and tools to help customise your own route. Following a cycling gps makes navigation easy and some Shimano e-bike head units allow you to connect with Garmin or SIGMA to keep your route at your finger-tips.
Preparing for a long-distance ride
Our route was a 130km, a challenging but manageable distance for us and our bikes, so we needed to be prepared. Before any ride it is essential to check-over your bike to make sure it is in great condition and this is even more important when planning a long-distance route. Ensure your battery is fully charged before you set off!
It is not just your bike that needs to be well fuelled, you will need lots of food and water to keep pedalling. We filled our pockets with our favourite jelly sweets to keep us going between stops and made sure we topped up our water bottles along the way.
Getting the most out of your e-bike
E-bikes make long days out not just possible but easy on your legs but how you ride, the terrain even your own weight and riding style can influence how far an e-bike will go on one charge.
Eco-mode is the perfect balance for the majority of your riding time, it provides the support you need whilst not taking too much energy from the battery. Using Eco-mode on the flat and gentler sections of your day ensures that when you come to a challenging climb or steep section you can move up a mode into Boost to get more assistance.
After a few photos to mark the start of our day we rolled out, hugging the beach and spotting the early morning sun-worshippers. Leaving Barcelona, we started to gently climb almost as soon as we turned away from the beach. Following the Riu Mogent upstream the gradient was almost imperceptible as the e-bikes took the strain. A short steep climb up to the church of St. Joan Sanata temporarily quelled our leisurely conversation and had us reaching for Boost. As the Montseny Massif came into view on our horizon we were grateful to be appreciating the mountains only from a distance!
Keeping on top of energy levels
Just as the heat intensified we found a cool fountain to top up our water bottles, staying hydrated is just as important as eating well on long rides. As soon as you start to feel a little bit thirsty you are already showing signs of dehydration which can make you feel lethargic. A nearby deli offered up a mouth-watering range of snacks so we took our picnic and headed for the shade. It’s amazing how being outside on your bike makes even the simplest food taste absolutely amazing!
A quick check on battery levels on the bikes and we were reassured to see they too had plenty of energy, more than enough for our final kilometres into Girona.
Tired but satisfied
As the sun started to dip and the air cooled we could see the end in sight. As we reached the first city streets the tempting smell of freshly cooked food filled the air. We could hear the clink of glasses on the tables. Hot and dusty from the gravel trails we started to fantasise about the condensation running down the first chilled glass of beer and the taste of crunchy, salty fries.
There is something deeply satisfying about the gentle waves of tiredness that tell you that your body has carried you from one city to another. We had ridden over 130km in one day but we still had the energy to be looking forward to our evening exploring Girona. After a quick high-5 and finish line snap it was time for a final pedal, this time to the nearest bar.
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