WHY? The Coast
“I don’t get too much out of riding easy. I really enjoy going fast. I always prefer that.”
Running along one wall of The Service Course in Girona is a crisp grey profile cut from wood. It’s not just there to hold up the rails, shelves and hooks. It portrays the elevation profile of the Coastal Loop, an undulating fingerprint of the very best riding in Girona, a 120km circuit from the city centre to the Costa Brava, along the rugged cliffs and back home again.
Every cyclist has their favourite ride–somewhere special that combines the right roads, the right winds, the right feel. The Coastal Loop is ours.
The ride was Christian’s winter training staple when he was a professional, and he would embark on it two or three times per week. Time after time, week after week, he took in the same views, savoured the same smooth roads, carved the same sweeping bends and flew down the same flowing descents.
“The route, every time, is still equally spectacular. I don’t really ever get bored of going out there.”
The Coastal Loop is about passion and practicality, about head as well as heart. During the short days and long shadows of winter, when the fickle frosts descend on the mountains of Catalonia, the smart money heads out to the sea. There, the soft breezes and the bright sunshine bathe the honeyed rocks in a sweet warmth. The scene of pine, rosemary and salt swells from the hidden coves and everywhere is the infinite metallic sheen of the sea.
You just get a feeling from being there; riding hard, feeling the road and the air and the speed, and finding the flow. There’s nobody and nothing to interrupt you, nothing but the sound of the wind and the waves.
“I just rode that all the time. I loved it. Today is no different, I have the same feelings. I ride it just as hard. It is where I find my flow.”
We all have them. Among the thousands of different permutations of roads, directions and destinations, we all have our go-to ride.
The profile at the heart of The Service Course is an homage to that ride: something we all have in common, no matter who you are, what you ride, or wherever you go.