How to Waste a Weekend in Barcelona
So recently I was stuck in Barcelona (the one in Spain) over a long weekend. I had planned to work, but it turned out it was some made up national holiday (Sant Juan Day or something) so I was forced to entertain myself for 4 days with only the Meditteranean beaches and Pyrenees mountains to work with. :bluduh
I tried going to the beach, but there were just too many tanned and topless women there. Stupid european beach rules. Jeebus, have they no decency? Where's Johnny Trademark when you need him. Cripes, I'd post pictures, but this is a family site.
So I rented a bike to see if I could at least get some entertainment out of that. Unfortunately, I ran into some local wanna-be riders who thought I should have company. :baldy Great, turns out they were advriders Guzy and Spanish Bob (who isn't even spanish :rolleyes)
Now, when I'm in a foreign city I like to spend as much time as possible watching TV in the hotel room. Watching familiar programs in a funny language makes me feel cultured. So I was more than a little dismayed when Guzy proposed going OUT for a pre-ride planning session. And just as I'd feared, the evening turned into a bar-hopping, tapas-eating, fancy-dinner-having, "planning session". :rolleyes By the time I got back to the hotel all the good shows were over. Nothing left but porn. :bluduh
Next thing I know there's a horrific clanging right next to my head. Several moments of confused panic and considerable hotel property damage later, I find the phone.
Me: "Hello? I mean, Hola?"
Phone: "Jackhole? It's 9 in the morning, I thought we were meeting at 8:30."
Me: "Who the hell is this?"
Phone: "It's Guzy, remember? We're going riding?"
Me: "Oh, right. You were serious?"
Phone: "Yes, we've been waiting here for a while now..."
Me: "Yeah, well, why don't you just go ahead and let me know how it worked out."
Phone: "No no, we're glad to wait for you. Come when you're ready."
Me: "Sigh. Alright, but it's going to be a fucken while. Bye."
Well, luckily they were right up the street and being in europe I didn't really need to worry about personal hygiene, so just 10 minutes later I found the perpetually happy Guzy and his "friend" (wink,wink) Jordi.
That's Jordi on the left and Guzy on the right. Those sheepish faces had to do with me getting there a little quicker than they expected. I'm pretty open minded, but I was still a little queasy from the night before and could have done without seeing that (not that there's anything wrong with it):
And this is what a Jackhole looks like ten minutes after being jarred out of a drunken coma:
Hit the road
So finally we headed out, and things started looking up. We were on a nice, wide, straight piece of slab. Guzy was going a little fast for my taste, but it was still enjoyable.
I knew it couldn't last though. Sure enough, minutes later we're on the narrow, dangerously curvy roads that seem so common there. You would think that they would spend a few euros to build some safer roads. :dunno
And I must say Guzy was setting a pace well above the government posted limits, but I had to keep up or get hopelessly lost.
The only bright side was that Guzy and Jordi are both smokers with female sized bladders so we never had to ride more than a few kilometers at a time...
Stopping at a restaurant about 10 minutes after the last stop (not that there's anything wrong with that):
Back to the coast
To my great relief, we finally got down out of the mountains and those crooked roads. We were north of Barcelona on La Costa Brava (I think that means "It Costs A Lot").
And yes, there are fat Hardly Riders in Spain, too. So they've got that going for them, at least.
Imagine my dismay, though, when it turns out that the coastal roads are even worse than in the mountains. There wasn't a single straight piece of road to be found.
And they insisted on going fast on these roads too. As you can see, it was impossible to keep the bikes upright like they're supposed to be.
Predictably, we hadn't gone too far when Guzy and Jordi decided we needed another break. Now, personally I don't enjoy having cold beers with friends on a hot day. Like most people, I think alchohol is something that is best consumed alone and behind closed doors. But they seemed to enjoy it, and that's really all that's important I guess.
Speaking of hot, after a couple of beers Guzy and Jordi started exchanging knowing looks and talking about how "hot" they were. Next thing I know, they strip down and skip across the street to the beach to take a "swim" (not that there's anything wrong with that).
I was going to show you what a Jackhole looks like in his swimsuit too, but I can't find one that meets the no-pr0n rule. It seems that in every picture there are more topless women crowding up against me. :dunno
Anyway, after the swim I was really looking forward to getting back to my hotel room and seeing what was on the TV, and if the maid had replaced those tasty mixed nuts yet. Unfortunately, now Guzy and Jordi wanted to have lunch, and I knew from past experience that a spanish lunch was going to take a good 2 hours and involve a lot of food that doesn't come in nice factory sealed packages. And I was right. :bluduh
After lunch, Jordi wanted to go for another swim, but Guzy and I let him know that we didn't think it would be safe so soon after eating...
The long way home
Barcelona is a pretty big city and there are nice big highways leading to it from all directions, but naturally Guzy chose a much more difficult route home. It would be several more hours and hundreds of kilometers before I would see my TV again. I won't bore you with too many more pictures because the rest of the ride was on roads like this:
Through mountains like this:
It was pure torture, and by the time we finally got back to the city, I had begun to suspect that Guzy actually enjoys going fast around corners on a motorcycle. :dunno
We said our goodbyes and promises to meet again in the morning, and I settled in to watch an evening of M.A.S.H and Magnum P.I. re-runs dubbed in spanish. Ah, a fresh jar of nuts, a Kit-Kat bar, and foreign TV. I soon forgot all about the difficult day.
The next morning, I was determined to get an early start and slip out of town alone well before the proposed meeting time. Well, the thing about Jackholes is that we're always late, so by trying to get going early all I succeeded in doing was riding through the Plaza de Catalunya exactly on time. I spotted Guzy right away, but worse, he saw me, too. "Yo, Jackhole! Where are you going? We're over here!". "Oh, sorry. I didn't even see you guys there!" :baldy
Spanish Bob was taking Jordi's place on this ride, but it didn't seem to me that Guzy enjoyed the same sort of intimate relationship with him. Not for a lack of trying certainly, but I just don't think Spanish Bob is into it. It's probably because he's not really spanish. It's more like English Bob. I suspect the only reason he's in Spain living under an assumed name like "Spanish Bob" has to do with some sort of misunderstanding with the british goverment, probably involving unpaid taxes or parking fines. I decided not to take any pictures of him unless he gave the OK.
But I digress.
The ride started out promising enough, winding through the city on the big toll roads. And this time, when we got off the highway, the roads looked really nice and straight. A bit narrow, but straight at least.
Naturally, it wouldn't last. Guzy quickly found more of those treacherous mountain roads. I don't think Spanish Bob liked it any more than I did, and at one point he and Guzy pulled over and had some harsh words about it. Well, at least that's what I assumed was going on, but I don't understand Spanish so they could have been talking about something else. But I doubt it.
It was a little uncomfortable for me being caught between the two of them with the growing tension. At least I'm pretty sure there was growing tension.
One time they pulled over and I think Guzy tried to make up with Spanish Bob by getting a little too "friendly", but that probably only made things worse. That's what it looked like from where I was standing, anyway. :dunno
Then we hit this unbelievably long and twisty road high in the mountains. The only good thing about it was that there were a lot of places where you could pull over and enjoy the view. Naturally, all Guzy wanted to do was ride so I don't really have any pictures of those spectacular views. Or the road, but it was just all curves, anyway.
So we get the the end of the road in a town whose name I've alreay forgotten, but it means "Luck" in Catalon. As in "good luck getting here alive on a motorcycle because we're surrounded by mountains with crooked roads". I fully expected Spanish Bob to get off his bike and hit Guzy right in the pie hole for leading us on that road, but they tore their helmets off and started gushing about how it was the best road either of them had ever ridden in their lives. Huh? What happened to all the bad feelings? I don't think I was just imagining that stuff.
Anyway, we had another one of those long lunches with lots of food prepared by humans. Oh, and drank beer from boots. That part was pretty cool.
The rest of the day was as bad as the day before, with seemingly endless curvy roads. By the time we finally got back to the city, I resolved not to leave my hotel room next time I'm in Spain. Guzy and Spanish Bob were sorry to see me go, I think, but I made up some excuse involving my intestines and dodgey Spanish food, so they reluctantly waved goodbye.
There may be one or two inaccuracies, and I don't remember the towns and roads exactly, but overall I think it is a fairly accurate description of how to ruin an nice weekend in Barcelona.
Guzy or Spanish Bob may be able to fill in any missing pieces or correct any mistakes.
Somehow I think that the next time I'm Spain I may not have to worry about riding with these guys again. Well, if they see this report anyway.
:clap Great ride report! I hope the mods don't see that naked chick in the background.:evil
Squint harder! :1drink
You bastard! You're killing me. I live in the Mid-West for Christ sake. :boid :pissed
It's ok to post links you know.
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