Road to Barcelona

A Triathlon and a very long ride to get there

1300 km ridden and 8000 meters gained, two cities, two friends, two wheels each. Five days and a race that combines 1500 meters of swimming, 40 kilometres by bike and 10 kilometres of running.

These are the numbers of a dream; the dream of Matteo and Andrea. 

The distance is the number of kilometres between Florence from Barcelona and the dream is to ride all the way to participate in the international triathlon in Barcelona. 

Of course, looking at the numbers may seem more like madness than a dream, but Matteo and Andrea are not exactly two ordinary guys. In fact, what unites them is not only the passion for cycling, but also and above all that for travel and adventure: a challenge with oneself and a fantastic way to discover new roads, meeting new friends along the way. 

Matteo and Andrea are dreamers on two wheels, Rolling Dreamers to be precise. 

The idea of leaving Florence to reach Barcelona by bicycle was born partly for fun, partly for the challenge of putting oneself to the test. Little by little, the adventure takes shape made up of uncrowded streets, heart-warming encounters, lunches and dinners with friends. Five days and five stages, supported by a physiotherapist, a chef, a nutritionist and a mechanic, a team of professionals who will soon become friends with whom to share doubts and uncertainties but also the emotion and the joy of reaching a goal driven by determination. 

It starts from Piazzale Michelangelo and even before arriving in Lucca, Matteo and Andrea can’t escape a healthy dose of rain. “Wet start, lucky start” they say. And it is precisely with this spirit that our rolling dreamers arrive on the streets of the Ligurian Riviera, in front of the immense spectacle of the Mediterranean. On their way they meet Carl and Robyn, New Zealanders who like them share a passion for adventures on two wheels. Time for a chat and then back on the saddle to pass by Camogli and then Ventimiglia until they cross the border and reach Nice and the famous Promenade des Anglais. 

The French roads put Matteo and Andrea to the test, cold and fatigue seep into their bones but they grit their teeth and do not give up. As a repayment for their tenacity, they are rewarded by the spectacular colors and scents of Provence and a chance meeting with Wolfang, 72 years of pure enthusiasm and with 32,000km of bicycle trips across Europe under his belt in the last four years. One of those gifts that warm the heart and lighten the legs, which push back on the pedals with a whole new energy. 

The pedal strokes are no longer counted but Spain is close. After Figueres – modernist and surreal like his Salvador Dalì – they arrive in Girona, the Catalan Florence, land of artists and cyclists. And finally, Barcelona, eclectic and sinuous like Gaudi’s architecture, the end of the journey but also the beginning of a new adventure. 

The 1,300 kilometres from Florence to Barcelona were indeed a rich appetiser, but the highlight for Matteo and Andrea is the Barcelona Olympic triathlon. Just enough time to breathe and enjoy some well-deserved rest and they are ready to go again. 

Preparados, listos, ¡ya! 1.5km of swimming, 40 by bike and 10 by running. A dream within a dream: a race that is no longer clear if it is a goal in itself or a mere pretext to get involved, to tackle new roads and test one’s limits. 

But for our Rolling Dreamers in the end what really matters is just finding a good excuse to cross the finish line, the motivation to give a voice to our dreams and turn them into reality.

If you have a cycling dream or challenge that you would like to turn into reality, get in touch!