Catalonia/Pyrenees: C13 Camarasa-Cellers

This is one of the ace-est of the Ace rides – especially as it touches the Trans-Pyrenees Routes (it’s just a short detour from Tremp). The ride is fast and furious with several series of ever tightening, off camber bends, and steep hill sections. Longer hill sections have overtaking lanes and the overall build quality of the route is extremely high – especially as it leads to a remote mountain region with little traffic!  This is because the road was built from  scratch in the 1980’s, so it doesn’t follow any earlier routes – civil engineering pure and simple! Note that this road is very popular with local bikers and at weekends there is often a frenzied party atmosphere, something that doesn’t escape the notice of the local constabulary! But during the week especially in the early morning and during the long lunch-time period (between about 1.00 and 3.00) you more or less have road entirely to yourself!

A few notes:

  • The ride ‘proper’ is between two sets of twin tunnels. Many local tyros time their rides using the fifty or so metres between to set their stopwatches: to do this with the aim of racing, or, heaven forbid, encouraging riders to exceed the (90 km/h) speed limit, is entirely illegal, however!
  • For some reason the ride is easier going northwards. I think it’s because the bends tend to get tighter going south – almost all are somewhat off-camber though! The thing to do is do it one way and then go back again!
  • I’ve made two round trips to make more of a day of it. What I call the ‘Road Circuit’ is just that; most of the ride is Grade A1, with fast sweeping bends and long climbs, great for big bore beasties! The ‘Adventure Circuit’ is better for mid-sized Dual-Sports bikes. But do take heed of the notes attached to that route!
  • There are excellent hostelries at the villages at either end of the main route – Camarasa and Cellers

This rider takes a fraction under ten minutes to do most of the route – s/he doesn’t start between the tunnels at the north end – that’s some going for almost exactly 20 kms on that terrain – the whole route, 25kms, takes me 18 minutes – so I’ll have to get that BMW S1000RR after all!

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