Four riders, fed up with the constant rain of a British Spring, make the decision to GO, to drop everything and head to the sun on a Barcelona road trip.
DIRT ISSUE 125 – JULY 2012
Words by Olly Wilkins. Photos by Grant Robinson
I’m not impulsive. This trip was more an act of desperation than a crazy ‘spur of the moment’ thing. If you back a dog into enough of a corner it will do something out of character. In this case the dog got in a van and drove 16 hours straight.
After three solid weeks of constant English grey rain I felt as though spring must be around the corner. Kind of felt I had deserved it. I’d been using all of the normal ‘weather activities’ (like normal activities except you have to pretend they are fun). Digging jumps, paddling around on broken mini–bikes, headstrong wet XC rides, track building, even watching f–king DVD box–sets. Man I was getting cabin fever, except the cabin is a country…country fever? Anyway, I checked the pony Apple weather thing on my phone. As far as its shortsighted eyes could see (a week) we were expecting more rain. This must be how people on the cusp of a nervous breakdown feel. I called Sam (Reynolds) and he talked me down from the edge of the roof, told me my life was worth living and that I had so much more to give the world. Amongst other heart–warming and inspirational things he suggested that we should go to Spain. I couldn’t argue with his logic. It’s further away from England so it WILL be hotter…he had a point. When would we leave? That very same night is when.
We left late that evening with two other grey faced individuals: Bernard ‘Bored’ Kerr and photographer ‘Grumpy’ Grant Robinson. Both were sick of it. Don’t know why we asked Grant along. He could be getting a massage, being fed grapes, on a desert island and he’d still be making a poo–poo, grumpy face. The initial surge of excitement surrounding the trip dulled as we sat in traffic outside the ferry port, after missing our boat. It gave me time to really do some maths. We were arriving at Calais just after 12 and driving to the Lacondeguy brothers’ house near Barcelona. Barcelona is approximately 13 hours away so we would be arriving at lunchtime the next day if we drive solidly all night. We would then have that half–day and one more before me and Grant flew back and Bernard and Sam stayed for a few extra days riding moto. This is why I don’t normally make impulse decisions on such a large scale. This was different to my normal ‘off the wall’ behaviour: ‘F–k it, I’ll have a chocolate bar with my fuel please sir’ is a bit less expensive. This one made no sense. We were going to be on the road more than we would be riding. The weather had driven us mad. Oh well, two things stopped me dribbling on. SUN and RIDING.
We ran shifts all night with Bernard doing the majority because of his poor passenger seat skills (it’s like driving with your mum). The sleep on offer in the van was of very poor quality and when we arrived the next day at two in the afternoon I felt like riding something easy. No such luck, we went straight in the deep end with the Lacondeguy ‘Forest’ trails.
With Andreu unable to ride with a finger injury, he kindly drove us round on our trip and we arrived at his trails at around three. The jumps were set in a horseshoe shape and were the very same ones that appeared in one of the New World Disorder videos. Behind every good rider is a spot that taught him to ride and it was good to ride Andreu’s. They were steep and deep, proper trails. You had to pull to the moon to get into some of those landings. A good few hours were spent there relaxing and riding before moving on to have a look at his compound.>>