I've started this topic as I recal reading a post on AVRider - which now I cannot find, rather typcally! – in which a member commented that riding the X-Country was terrible.
I hadn't given itmuch thought as I never intened to use the pillion - in fact I use it to take a seat pack full of waterproofs, warm gloves, forgotten camping stuff (usually the clothes line!), etc. when on tour.
But a chance conversation with a friend led to the promise of a morning's ride - bearing in mind the passenger in question is young - at least thirty years younger than me! - beautiful - in very sharp contrast to yours truly - and sufficienty litheas not to be too much of a burdern for my lovely "small, beautifully made, slim and looking like a sensible weight" bike to bear! - refusal was not an option; the things I do for science!
So, what will follow is a thorough report on my morning out. I'm going to come back with the details, point by point, in subsequent posts but for now . .
Bearing in mind that my companion was a) very lithe, and b) a very good pillion rider, the bike more than matched anything I could expect of it. OK, I’m not going to drive RTW with Mrs K, who can ride the bike perfectly well for herself, and besides, we bicker and squabble enough in the car! But, seriously, I had a great ride over a wide range of conditions, narrow ‘B’ roads with lots of hairy bends – here the braking is decidedly ponderous – wide open major roads with lots of overtaking around fast bends – OK but a bit hairy on log downhill bends – and finally a fast hill climb up an pass with virtually no traffic, overtaking lanes through and seriously off camber, ever tightening comers – here the extra weight on the rear wheel made the ride sublime, there seemed to e no angle of lean too much - my passenger loved it, but on the downhill section I was less enamoured!
Here’s the route we did if ever you want a few hours’ break from slugging it the Mediterranean coast roads – NB the Catalan Cartographic Institute’s maps are much much better than anything else you’ll get online – select ‘Image’ and then you can merge satellite and cartographic images to taste – sexy!
Narrow windy ‘B’ roads:
Torredembarra – Salomo – Santes Creus – Pont d’Armentera – Santa Coloma de Queralt (not via Pontils – stay on the C37 until it joins the B220!) – Llorac – Ciutadilla.
Fast ‘A’ roads (best at luchtime when there’s no truck traffic!):
Ciutadilla – Belltall – Montblanc
Amazing fast mountain pass , the ‘Coll de Lilla’:
Follow the N240 from Montblanc to Tarragona – the fun starts at Lilla and ends at Fontescaldes!
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