Have you ever experienced giving a go with your bike on a F1 track ? if visiting Barcelona you shouldn’t miss the experience of feeling what is like cycling in of the best F1 tracks in the world.
The circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya is located in the village of Montmeló just 26 km from Barcelona and easily accessible by car or train. Officially inaugurated in 1991 since that year the circuit has held, among others, top motorsport events such as F1 world championship and motorcycling world championship.
It is always been said that the circuit is one of the fastest tracks in the world and probably one of the reasons is due to the long main straight slightly above the 1 km figure which put in context means 20% of the total length of track, no wonder then why the F1 cars reach top speeds nearing 340 km/h.
Under the name of Bicicircuit in 2010 the circuit started its cycling activities every Tuesday and Thursday evenings, except for those days on which the track is not available due to other activities, you can ride your bike for just 5 Euros per session or you can also buy a pass for 25 Euros which will allow you to ride 8 sessions. For more information, such as calendar, timetable, how to get there, etc…you can check the circuit website: www.circuitcat.com
But how does it feel like riding your road bike on such a fast and top tracks in the world ? one of the first things that strikes you most when arriving to the circuit is the immensity of the facility, grandstands, lap control tower, media offices, parking lots, etc… the whole thing looks gigantic but also the next immediate feeling which will surely start revving your heart is that the access to the track ,once on your bike, is through the pit lane, quite an experience to roll on the same area where all the best drivers in the world make their fast pit stops in search of fame and glory !!
Once in the track, really wide, halfway down the main straight is difficult to hide the euphoria and excitement although after few seconds you start realising that there is no throttle to flat out other than with your pedals !! and that is exactly what you have to do, but make no mistakes, this track is hard !! one complete lap amounts as much as 50 meters of elevation gain which although seems not much we need to remind you that the track length is under 5 km, right after the main straight one faces a long hill of which the gradient is 7%, nothing really serious as it is short but if you tackle it on big ring mode, average fit cyclists is what they normally use ( or abuse ? ) after a number of laps your legs will start feeling the pain. The same can be said of the other hilly section which you hit after a fast descent which leads to the corner known as Campsa, also short but long enough if you fall in the temptation to challenge some of the hot blooded regulars.
As you would imagine the tarmac offers an excellent grip but yet the bike can roll fast and that feeling of speed is real, some of the corners are really exhilarating like the left hander Seat corner with its abrupt descent has be to experienced once in life but probably nothing compares to the feeling of descending fast towards the New Holland corner, the impressive, long and very fast right hander that leads you into the main straight, probably your first thoughts when going through this corner will be how should it feel driving a beast of 800 HP ¡¡¡ but as a mere mortal you will have to concentrate in pedalling through the long and never ending straight which is right in front of you with the permission of the frequent Triathletes which fly with their highly tuned Time trial bikes and again the view of the immense main grandstand, the whole pit lane, the grid painted on the tarmac, etc.. will surely cause some goosebumps.
The whole circuit is illuminated although is recommended to use bike lights as some spots, especially in wintertime can be a bit dark.
After your training you are also allowed to use the showers which are close to the paddock.
Make sure to bring your own supplies as unfortunately there aren’t vending machines or bar around to make your refueling.
If I were you I would certainly try the bicicircuit as there is no comparison with the thrill combined with the security offered riding your bike on a racing track like the circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.