As Rob says, Escape the Bubble of Commercial Tourism and get yourself into the heart of Catalunya.
19 August 2019
One of Salou’s most popular and unmissable trips is the Downhill Bike Glide. A fantastic family run excursion that will take you out into the stunning countryside, through the Vineyards and a chance to see some spectacular views from 2000 feet up.
Ok, let’s get over the first question. I haven’t ridden a bike in years!!! Not a problem, as the old adage goes, It’s like riding a bike, you never forget. Rob, the owner and probably the most knowledgable and hilarious tour guide I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, will instantly make you feel like you never got off your bike.
The trips starts by taking everyone to a Practise area just on the outskirts of Salou. Here you get the chance to meet the rest of the group and the other guides. The team from minute one really have you in stitches. They match you up with a bike and helmet and you have the chance to do a few practise laps. It’s worth going just to see the spiel these guys do. While safety is always their number one concern, you are treated to one of the funniest demonstrations I have ever come across. There was an age range of between 2 year old to 60+. Everyone was made to feel special in their own right. The team were great with the kids and put their parents instantly at ease.
Once everyone is happy with their equipment, you all jump back into you “9 seater chauffeur driven air conditioned limousines” and head off in convoy up to the top of the mountains. We had Ian as our driver. Instantly it was clear that he was extremely knowledgable about the area. The 20 min drive up there took us quickly out of Salou and into a very different surroundings. One word, Stunning, and thankfully a lot cooler than down by the coast. Ian told us loads about the local history, wildlife and the areas we were passing through.
Once reunited with your bike, Rob quickly explained the first stage of the route. A quick 5 or 6 km glide downhill through a local village, past a vineyard and down to a small train station. This was a great section for everyone to get accustomed to their bikes. One of the vans goes up front to help manage the speed and another follows from behind. So impossible to get lost.
The glide down is simple. I had not been on a bike for a number of years so was understandably slightly nervous. However a few min in and that had all gone. A quick dab on the brakes and you comfortably glide past some of the most incredible scenery.
As it says it’s a downhill trip. At the first stop, while you chill in some shade and enjoy some provided ice cold water, the guys load all the bikes back onto the trailers ready to take you up to the next stage. 2000 feet up. Wow, incredible views. From here you do the next stage of about 14km. You go through so many different types of scenery. The route down is simple. Same as before just follow the van in front. At the bottom you have a quick water stop before the last stage which takes you down to the little village of Mont Roig.
At the bottom look back up the mountain and see where you have just come from. That sense of achievement was amazing. All through the trip, the guys took some fantastic pics of us coming down. They knew the best spots and even did a flyby shot on the last stage. We then could purchase a small memory stick with them all on as well as some of the pics they had taken of the best beauty spots. Actually totally worth it.
The end result was that everyone in the group came away from this smiling. The guys that run it are seriously good. The whole thing from start to finish was slick. Without a doubt this has to have been the highlight of our trip to Salou and something I would recommend to anyone.
Witten by Sam Lupson. Hangout on Holiday Rep.