January 17, 2011

European Motorcycle Trip - Barcelona

Earlier this year, aid has decided to take our bikes and travel from England, down through France and over the Pyrenees into Northern Spain, to Barcelona. My chosen machine was a Triumph Rocket Three. I am 50-year-old male and wanted a machine that had a big engine for effortless cruising, and various accessories for comfort and convenience. These accessories included heated grips, leather panniers, riders back pad, fog lamps and a few other bits and pieces.

I mention the above accessories specifically for various reasons, the leather panniers remaining waterproof despite a day of torrential rain in France, the heated grips helping to dry my hands out afterwards, the fog lamps being useful in cloud over the Pyrenees, and the riders back at absolutely superb the hard acceleration, preventing the need to hang onto the handgrips for dear life and feeling like a sledgehammer in the back!

The biggest problem had been the handling in the mountains. The Rocket Three has to be manhandled around bends on mountain roads, which results in quite severe pain to once triceps by the end of the day!

We were approaching Barcelona from Andorra where we had spent the previous night. I have decided to take the dual carriageway direct from Andorra to Barcelona rather than spend the day riding on yet more mountain roads which meant that I was travelling alone.

Unfortunately, the one accessory that I did not have on the Triumph was satellite navigation. All I had on me was the name and address of the hotel we were staying in for the night in Barcelona, but of course Barcelona is a big place!

I arrived very tired at about three o'clock in the afternoon and rush-hour traffic seems to be building. Having come down from the mountains it was also considerably warmer at around 30°C.

I am an absolute stickler for wearing protective clothing on a motorcycle, no matter how hot it is, but found myself travelling with my jacket undone and was grateful for my system helmet which allows you to flip up the front part of the lead, effectively converting it into an open face helmet.

Despite being incredibly hot and very tired and somewhat irritable, I couldn't help but be impressed by Barcelona's beauty. I found myself surrounded by extremely elegant buildings and tree-lined pavements often to be found in small parts of cities like Paris or London, but I had never seen such beauty in such a large area.

Fortunately for us, we had a day's rest in Barcelona and were able to explore the town. Barcelona has an exceptional "old town" with narrow pedestrian streets and interesting shops and cafes.

I must admit, I didn't do much of the "tourist bit" as I was too tired and decided that I would revisit the city with my wife over the next few months.

However, the great thing about Barcelona is that there is a lot to see and one doesn't have to physically move very far to see a great deal.

There is the famous Ramblas, a wide street to see and be seen. Essentially, the traffic travels into small lanes each side while the main part down the middle of the street is pedestrianised and has many small cafes and market traders. It is a fantastic place to drink sangria and watch the world go by.

Just off Ramblas is the market. To tell the truth, I don't remember a lot about it, but the one thing I do remember is the absolutely incredible food on sale. We arrived there shortly after breakfast, but I still regret not tucking into one of the seafood platters on sale at one of the fish stalls!

One word of warning however, pay close attention to any loose luggage you may have and your pockets, as pick pocketing is rife. Also avoid eating in any of the large restaurants on the seafront, we did and thought the food was vastly overpriced.

Barcelona are also has a fantastic metro system which makes getting around on foot really easy.

I can't wait to go back!

Zac understands how important it is to store one's motorcycles properly and uses Harley Davidson motorcycle covers. Visit for more information and great deals.

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Anonymous said...

great man great ideas i like it for my car and love it like a fan so your work is appreciate able and in the last i would like to thank you dear for sharing it with us so nicely hid lights bulbs

Pedro said...