Coast to Coast – Riding through the Pyrenees by Bike

More often than not you come across Spreadshirt shops where the shirts themselves aren’t exactly the goal – but rather the message they hold. Such is the case with Guido’s “Coast to Coast” shirt shop. The shirts found there are tour shirts for a very special trip: Guido is traveling alone by bike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean – coast to coast. But, that’s enough from me – I’ll let him speak for himself. He is starting his long journey today along the “Gran Recorrido 11” – a 840 km long trail with elevation changes of 38,000 meters.

Why did you choose this route? What is so special about the GR 11?

The route fascinates me. You start on one coast and end up on another. Along this route you come across single tracks which are constantly climbing or descending, as well as technically challenging mountain trails. There are two trails that run through the Pyrenees from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic – the GR 10 on the French side and the GR 11 on the Spanish side. The Spanish side should be a bit drier and less vegetation. We will start on the Mediterranean Cap de Creus and our destination is Fuenterrabia on the Atlantic coast.

Your website mentions bears and wolves – how dangerous is this journey you are undertaking?

The chances are very slim that I will come across a bear or wolf. The brown bears live in inaccessible mountain ranges. The animals are seldom seen or come into contact with humans. Nevertheless, my best friend gave me a bear bell to take along with me. 🙂

How did you convince your family to come along?

Once it was clear that I wouldn’t be able to complete the trip within two weeks and none of my friends were willing to come along, we decided to plan the tour as a family holiday trip. My wife will drive in a camper with the kids and I will meet up with them every three days or so at predestined camping spots. Our kids see this trip as a big adventure.

What was the longest trip you have done by bike?

I really don’t know exactly.
During my training I went jogging 1-2 times a week, went biking 2-3 times a week and did strength conditioning twice a week. I have been training 6 days a week for the past five months – and started my pre-training 3-4 months before that.

What is the biggest challenge on your trip?

That we will all return safely and not forget to have fun 🙂

How long did it take from the idea to the start of the trip? What were some of the critical moments in the planning?

I had the idea about 4 years ago while reading the article “Between two Seas” in the magazine Freeride (03/06). I really got into it last year. And that’s when plans started to get even more concrete. There were 9 months’ preparation for the planning: setting the stages, gathering materials (many thanks to my sponsors!), training, training, training …

How did you come up with the idea to start the “Coast to Coast” website.

That has to do with my profession. I am a freelance web designer and like to visualize my projects and hobbies. I also have a website with some of my bike guys, the Lazy Riders (which doesn’t really fit anymore).

Where did you hear about Spreadshirt?

I have always wanted to have my own t-shirt shop to sell some of my designs. When I was researching on the Internet, I came across you guys. From all of the other services, I liked your concept the best.

What has been your biggest success in life?

My wife, my four kids, 4 months traveling through Europe with my wife finding the hottest climbing spots, climbing the Watzmann East Face with my friend Heiko.

How do you manage all of it: your family, job, preparing for the trip, and on top of that setting up a website and writing a blog?

At this point I would like to thank my wife, without her none of this would have been possible. She supports me, motivates me and believes in me. In short, I love you, you’re the best woman in the world!

Thanks and enjoy your ride!!

4 comments Write a comment

  1. Just come across your story fascinating as i also wanted to do this one off journey after 1999
    I myself have done a few wonderful journey’s on my bike across Europe 5 months at a time to be precise Twice, camping and cycling good on ya you did well this is going to be my one off journey through the Pyrenees as i have done a small part of it from Cadaques to Andora into France
    but I sustained a massive cycling injury in 2000 a server Head Injury + a dislocated right shoulder and chest drain I was in a coma and Hospitalised for one month as someone knocked me of my bike cycling to work in London,
    20 years on i am almost recovered and still want to cycle with panniers tent and all
    but from this i did two cycling trips from London to Paris twice for charity
    (Headway North London) + (sweet tree)with Friends.also cycled from Chaudes-Aigues to Dieppe one month on my own, with my Injury. I’m now turning 62 this march 2020 and I still have the energy and stamina to get on my bike I’ve always loved cycling from a boy to man and still want to do more in the future see how long my body lasts. any way thanks for your story it give me hope in the coming months to relive my life again
    any Detailed maps you could send us as I am thinking of the same journey more or less.
    thanks. chris

  2. “my best friend gave me a bear bell to take along with me. ” Nooooo, bear bells are the WORST thing to use. They actually ATTRACT bears as it’s a noise they aren’t used to, it’s high pitched and they will come to investigate what it is. You’re better off shouting to let a bear know you are there. And take some bear spray with you, just in case. Although i think you’ve finished the ride now 😛

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