RIDE INTO SPACE
In this episode of “Places to ride” one of our #TeamFFWD members Catalina from Spain is sharing an exceptional training ride with us. Near Madrid, hometown of Catalina, there’s are great choice of mountain rides, but also routes with less steep climbs. Especially for you Catalina has described her "ride into space" route around the NASA complex. For those who get excited and would like to experience the route themselves, Catalina has made a GPX file available that you can download for free.
Catalina has only been cycling for 2,5 years, therefore we can name her as a newcomer. The reason for starting cycling is not that unknown, an injury from running inspired her to get on the bike and it didn't take really long before she felt the addiction. The experiences on her first bike made the decision to upgrade the material quite quickly.
“My rides became longer outdoors, and I realised that a better bike would be an excellent investment!”
After joining a local cycling group, Catalina experienced the first rides were extremely hard keeping up with the strong men and women who have already years of bike training in their legs.
“My first ride with the cycling club was an immense but great challenge. All the cyclists were faster than me. Very well-trained men and powerful ladies were in the club making me realise that if I wanted to ride with them, I would need to improve my performance.”
Now after 2,5 years of riding her bike, the cycling virus got all over her and Catalina even decided starting to race in competition! For those who also been caught by the same cycling virus, this should be familiar :-)
Ride into space with Catalina
Madrid is surrounded by mountains so in the area you will find so many cool places for a ride. The most mythical climbs are the ‘Morcuera’, ‘Navacerrada’ including ‘La Bola Del Mundo’ and the ‘Canencia’. But beside those uphill challenges, for me the most exciting are those strange routes that take you to new and unknown places. So if you come to ride to Madrid for a ride, be sure not to miss the road to INTA/NASA and ‘Robledo de Chavela’.
The road doesn’t have big or steep climbs, but it definitely is full of ups and downs that won’t allow your legs to rest a second. Excactly this road will take you to the NASA complex in ‘Colmenar del Arroyo’. It’s funny because I never thought there could be a NASA complex only 70km away from my home. Funny thing is that on weekends some groups of car drivers go there with their classic cars, what feels like riding in the 60´s.
After leaving NASA behind, you will find the start of the non-steep ‘Almenara’ climb, which will lead to ‘Robledo de Chavela’ where you can stop for a typical Spanish snack: ‘Tortilla de Patatas’ or ‘Tostada con Tomate’. This break is absolute recommended, the tasty treat is something that really belongs to this ride. When you continue the ride again you will have the opportunity to ride along a long straight road with fields on each side. You will see many cows resting in the fields and if you are lucky and you will even spot an ostrich.
Would you like to come to Madrid one day to admire the beautiful surroundings on the bike? I can absolutely recommend it to you! You can download the route I have described for you in GPX format here.