Brian Chorski: Tour D’España & Francia

Brian Chorski: Tour D’España & Francia

Remember when your first car as a teenager felt like the ultimate freedom vessel? I’m telling you, getting into cycling as an adult is the new gateway drug to a life of finer adventure.

Death to the rental car! Hop on two wheels and feel the breeze hit your face as you descend into a layer of cloud inversion. Pull up to the only restaurant in town looking like starved pack rats put through a washing machine. Bring your wet laundry to dry out at a local swimming hole and have a beer/swim about it. Feel something! There are many traditional comforts out there that might sound appealing when it comes to travel - but there’s beauty in finding comfort in the uncomfortable.

guy diving in water at beach

I mean, take a look at me: I started the trip without having rode longer than a 50 miles in a single day, didn’t know how to fix my own flat, and had to have a tubeless setup explained to me before packing my bike into a cardboard box and flying to Spain. Thankfully, I had four watchful eyes and two experienced cyclists looking after me for the two-week journey: Nate Dog and Dan-O.

guy drinking waterFor any interested parties out there, here’s what I ultimately packed for the Tour D’España/Francia:

  • 1 BlackHeart Aluminum Frame Bike
  • 3 bags (handlebar, seat, frame)
  • 2 cycling jerseys
  • 2 bibs
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 crop top
  • 1 linen shirt
  • 1 pair gym shorts
  • 2 pairs of undies
  • 1 rain jacket
  • Tools (flat kit, lube, multi-tool)
  • Phone + chargers
  • GPS
  • Toiletries
  • Sandals
  • Helmet
  • Velos
  • Fuji GA645
  • Olympus Stylus

    bike against a rail


    Now that we’ve got the the logistics handled — let’s dive into the visual journey that ensued. Here’s a quick map of the route for some frame of reference:

    map of route

    We budged a close-to even split between thigh-torching climbs (and hard-earned descents) through the Pyrenees and coastline cruises through Catalonia’s Costa Brava — and off we went. Not without a hitch, though! Just about missed our first and only bus of the trip, and proceeded to listen to our bikes get rattled around below the bus for the three hour drive north. No damage, phew.

    bikes at bus stop

    Didn’t make it a full 24 hours into the trip before puncturing our first tire. Culprit guess? Yours truly, guilty on account of running over an exposed sewer grate while fishing for my point and shoot in my frame bag. Sick! Pictured is Nate fixing my helpless ass out:

    guy with broken bike

    The first week was spent climbing and descending through the Pyrenees — have a look why don’t ya:


    All the sudden a week was gone in flash — and the boys crash landed at the playas of Catalonia in search of claras (50% lemon Fanta, 50% Estrella Damm), shellfish, and swimming nooks:



    Final trip stats include the following, but are not limited to:

  • 600 miles
  • 55,000 feet climbed
  • 80 espressos
  • 55 claras
  • 60 croissants
  • 7 lodging issues
  • 2 flats
  • 25 prosciutto sammies
  • 5 laundry loads
  • 13 rolls of film
  •  bikers on a road

    Pretty remarkable where two wheels will take you. Thanks for tuning in. 

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