On Sunday 19th November, 15 of us met at the shop at 8am and loaded ourselves and our bikes onto and into various cars and vans and headed for Novelda. We arrived at 8.45am and proceeded to the nearest bar for coffee and a tostada before unloading the bikes and getting our kit ready.
It was a very cold morning with quite a sharp wind. Once we were watered and fed we prepared our bikes and left Novelda picking up the road to Monovar, where we joined the CV83 to Elda and Petrar. Navigating through Petrar was a nightmare but we made it and cycled across the Madrid motorway and headed for Castalla. We were now on a single track road with passing places and it wasn’t long before we came to our first climb followed by a very steep incline which forded a river - only about 8” deep, however the stones were covered in slime and very slippy - one of the guys miscalculated and fell off into the water and another one landed on top of him! So that was both of them soaking wet on a really cold day (not a good start).
After passing through the river it was a sharp left hand turn straight into a 24% ramp. Most of us were in the wrong gear and struggled to keep our wheels turning so a few had to get off and walk up, pushing their bikes. At the top we sorted ourselves out and carried on our route. Several of our group were climbing Xorret de Cati for the first time and found it pretty tough going, however we were all rewarded by a fantastic downhill for about 8kms - all the way into Castalla where we stopped for a well deserved coffee in the town square.
After leaving Castalla it was quite a simple ride to Ibi where we followed the road to Xixona then Sant Vicente del Raspeig where we picked up the road to Agost and then headed back to Novelda. This was a brilliant day out and a great route which took 5 hours and covered 140k with just over 2,000m of climbing, some fantastic scenery and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
This route has been part of La Vuelta (Tour de Spain) many times and this year a few of the domestics were forced to walk up due to the nature of the beast! Well worth a visit but definitely not for the faint hearted. The Route is number 40 in our second volume of bike routes and maps.
Team Cyclogical train every Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5.30pm till 8pm and on a Sunday from 8am till 12 noon. If you fancy something more challenging just give us a call on 637 487 377.
Gary and Lynn are available at Cyclogical in Quesada Monday to Friday from 9.30am - 5.30pm and Saturdays from 10am – 2pm to assist and advise you on all your cycling requirements.