Bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona just before spring🌧️

Riding from Gaillac to Girona
Riding from Gaillac to Girona

Even if the weather forecasts were not the best for this adventure, we took our bikes out anyway for 3 days of gravel and bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona, and it was a good idea!

Bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona
Damien pushing his bike on crazy climb in the Corbières

Day 1 : Gaillac to Lagrasses

After a short bus ride between Gaillac (50 km northeast of Toulouse) and Castres to skip 70km of asphalte, we crossed Castres quickly to reach the foothills of La Montagne Noire on the N112 in Caucalières. We immediately starded to climb via a nice road for a couple of kilometers and then we rode on narrow paths, quite steep in the forest. Sometimes we had the sun of the coming spring, the temperature is not very high.
Then we went on wider paths, the ones which lead to the wind generators on top of the Montagne Noire.

Bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona
Paths in the black mountain

Once we got to the crete, some nice descents took us to the valley and Trebes where we crossed the former national road N113. The last kilometers to Lagrasses to ride were on pavement. In Lagrasses, we bumped into Gaëtane who is a part of the french cyclist association “Elles font du vélo” and who also runs the local craft beer business . She offered us a nice welcome pack “Beer + Cycling cap”. Thank you Gaëtane.

Day 2 : Lagrasses to Ille-sur-Têt

The next day, the serious stuff was on the menu: big rocks, big elevation, technical descents, bike walking… We pushed the bikes and bodies to the limit and our minimalist winter prep did the job helping us go over all that! Bikes were great, well balanced with the bikepacking gear. We arrived in l’Ille-sur-Têt quite exhausted but happy.
We made a quick stop at Caminade, a french frame builder.

Bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona
Light packing to ride easily (and the baguette of course)

Day 3 Ille-sur-Têt to Girona (Catalunya)

I was by myself, Damien pulled out because of a sore knee due to the intensive previous day. I had to go 170 km and 1800m of climbing in the first 70 km to cross the Pyrenees. The rain has been my companion all day. I was glad to be a minimum fit, that the bike was fast and comfortable (the Massi Team GR grx) and that my load was not too heavy. I was pushed to the limit with rain, cold, wind and long distance. Riding with a one-by-crankset was new for me and it worked well almost everywhere, I was a bit limited going downhill with a 40×11 but when I had to climb steep rocky sections, the 40*46 was wonderful.
I unplugged my brain and just spinned!

In the end, this first 3-day-adventure was a blast, with a great route by Damien, with breathtaking sceneries, efficient bikes and some physical challenge before spring.
(Not for self: next time I am cold, tired, with pouring rain, when I ride by a train station, I have to remember this adventure and take the next train. No need to be a hero!)

Bikepacking from Gaillac to Girona
Arriving in Girona by night