The Path Least Traveled

High Penedes

We started our ride in the High Penedes Region of Spain and wound our way down to the town of Mediona. Kim and I were volunteering to try out a new route to a vineyard in the Middle Penedes that would take us along the valley floor instead of the mountain passes and steep climbs. We were told that it would be an easy ride and that our job would be to document the journey so that a company could use our trip as a product for future wine and bike tours.

As soon as we left the security of the paved road Kim and I could see that the intensity level of this path that laid in front of us might be a little bit higher than we expected. The mountain bikes that were loaned to us squeaked and moaned as we steered them over the large smooth rocks of a former river bed. The route took us down into the depths of the valley where limestone cliffs sprung up around us and menacing native flora covered everything but the road that we traversed. We followed the winding Riera de Laverno as it slowly flowed back and forth across the rocky dirt road.

The scenery was amazing. We passed water falls that spilled into deep limestone lined pools, ominous caves on the cliff faces and a 10th century Castle of Mediona that sat perched on white rock walls half way up the mountains above. But we did work very hard to get to see all of these wonderful sights. The path was difficult but we took it slowly and deliberately, enjoying it immensely. Kim discovered a new love of the dirt roads as opposed to the paved ones that we are so used to.

It was definitely a crash course in mountain biking the terrain of Spain, figuratively and sometimes literally. But we wouldn’t change the experience at all. After all was said and done the owner of the bike touring company decided that the route would be to advanced for his clients and figured that people who would be willing to take such an extreme road through the valley would be able to seek it out for themselves.

The sketchy descents, wet river crossings and intense rock hopping made the trip amazing and we are so happy that we had the opportunity to be the first to try it out.

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