Day 5: cycling with Shane Starling, Girona

Rocacorba and Mare De Deu Del Mont

Before pain there is ambition. Before ambition there is desire. Without desire there are no obstacles. Take a mountain for example, it’s a big fucking obstacle. If you desire to climb it, there will be pain. 
One of the best things about Girona is that if you know where you are going, you can be in the countryside in about 15 mins, surrounded by poppies and hails and all the wins that get Dutch painters juices flowing. Our juices were flowing not only after we turned left out of Ardi and up a gravel road. Steep loose rocky paths slapped wet by little streams. Little mounds to stop erosion reminding us where not on the right bikes for this sort of terrain. A crossroad. What are we doing? We are we going?
The Rocacorba mountain above us. No way we’re taking the gravel road. We wind to the base of the mountain and find the sealed section. Shane wants to turn back, but when I call him a sissy and say I’m doing it, he quickly changes his mind. Sissy. The great motivator. Motivation, movement. These climbs require a different mind set to what I’m used to. I am a sissy. The hills I’m used used to are about a 1/4 of the size of these guys. You can normally see the top not long after beginning. However with these beasts, you turn hairpin after hairpin hoping to see relief. Respite for a km of two to regain composure, breath. 
At the top we see the Mare De Deu Del Mont. There’s a 30km ride between here and there and we stop for lunch near the lake. Shane is still stronger and takes the wind for the majority of the time. 
The final 4km of Del Mont really killed me.  

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