Challenging the limits of human performance
1000 km | 100 hours | infinite amount of perseverance
Juan Dual and Juan Patiño relive their experiences of riding from Madrid to Cap de Creus – self supported.
Words by Juan Dual | Pictures by Gorka Martinez
Stage 1: 260 km | 2400 hm view route
Stage 2: 140 km | 1700 hm view route
Stage 3: 169 km | 1800 hm view route
Stage 4: 216 km | 2400 hm view route
Stage 5: 30 km | 800 hm view route
Preparing an adventure with the characteristics of Kilometro Cero with an intense, complex, fast route and in which the different areas through which we rode with our gravel bikes is quite a challenge.
The biggest challenge is when it is a self-sufficient adventure in which we carry our luggage and on top of that one of the team members is literally empty, as is my case. Yes. Without a colon, stomach or gallbladder, I dare to launch myself into these precious challenges with two missions: to feel alive after touching death up close and to be able to motivate people who are having a hard time. Seeing myself out there pedaling or running encourages and sends a very nice message of strength that I love to share.
In this adventure we pedaled the 920 kilometers that connect Madrid with Cap de Creus, in the North of Catalonia. Practically 1,000 kilometers in just 100 hours in which it would be necessary to pedal quickly but also comfortably. At the end of the day we are not professionals in this and adventures, in addition to suffering them with a minimum, are also to be enjoyed so they leave a good print in our memories.
Deciding the equipment with which we would travel through areas with a great thermal variation was not an easy task. Luckily Juan Patiño has controlled the characteristics of Q36.5 in detail and I was able to let him fully advise me on this occasion. As in practically everything that refers to cycling issues and technical equipment for it.
Calculating the approximate passage times and knowing that in a good number of hours we would have to pedal either at dawn or directly at night in cold areas, we were able to enjoy the fantastic technical characteristics of the jerseys chosen for the moment with which, in addition to riding warm , we effectively protected ourselves from excess sweat when the sun appeared or we directly climbed with the corresponding rise in temperature due to the effort.
To say that it is not easy to make a suitable combination for adventures of these characteristics in which bikepacking is the way to transport all our equipment. So the weight must be taken into account when loading the bags and not go with excess ballast. Which is greatly appreciated since the material that Q36.5 offers, in addition to being breathable and comfortable, is deliciously light, so carrying it is not difficult.
Even more complex is being able to pedal for 12 or 14 hours straight when you have certain physical limitations related to the sum of the surgeries I have undergone throughout my 37 years.
These surgeries have led to the point where it is practically impossible for me to gain weight and therefore it is hard to be able to pedal comfortably for such long days if I don’t have shorts that offer me guarantees of not suffering serious injuries or chafing. Because this can make the adventure turn into torture and that is something that nobody wants, clearly.
I have to give infinite thanks to the Gregarius model that, in addition to allowing me to ride with the comfort of a fantastic fit, made things much easier for me with the characteristics of a pad that is now inseparable from me in each of my cycling activities. I don’t think I’ve ridden with such comfort on a bike in years. And I’ve traveled Latin America on a bicycle so I know what I’m talking about.
A perfectly dialed gear makes it easier for a tough and complicated adventure to be enjoyed at a fantastic level. Training is a fundamental piece, the mind and the company another. Clearly the bike is basic but without a detailed choice of what you are going to wear to ride almost non-stop for practically 100 hours makes the difference.
And if you don’t believe me, try to do it and you will see it.
“A perfectly dialed gear makes it easier for a tough and complicated adventure to be enjoyed at a fantastic level.” – Juan Dual