Toe Clip Rally 2017

Or, to give it its proper name ‘La Pedals de Clip’. This is a rally held in Spain to celebrate classic road-racing bicycles, which I have written about before here. This year it took place over the weekend of 20th-21st May, with the ride out taking place on the 21st. As mentioned in my previous post, my husband and daughter had taken part last year and, having decided to do it again this year we bought me a vintage road-racing bicycle so that I could take part too; a French-made Motobecane, circa 1980, which I christened ‘Captain Beaky’. Bikes have to be pre-1987 and have no modern fixtures or fittings. My husband and daughter were riding much older English-made bikes from the 1950’s.

The event is hosted by the small town of Sant Marti Sarroca in the hills towards Barcelona and imagine our surprise on driving into the town to register on 20th May when we saw a banner stretched across the road to advertise the event featuring two cyclists from last years event – my husband and daughter! After the event we managed to beg the banner from the organisers and my daughter now has it in her possession.

Pedals de Clip Banner

We had opted to ride the shorter of the two routes at 47 km rather than the longer 72 km route. The weather was ideal, fine and quite warm without being too hot (unlike subsequent days during our stay in Spain!) and the route was quite challenging enough for me – plenty of hills to cope with, not least being the 1 km finishing climb to the castle on the summit of the hill on the edge of town, much of which I have to admit I walked up, though I did ride through the finish. The ride had started at the sports hall below the hill and began with a parade lap through the town with many encouraging spectators aligning the route.

We completed the ride in just under 3 hours, not including the two refreshment stops available on the route (which included local wine for those who wanted it). All participants received a medal and a ‘goodie bag’ which included an event cycling jersey and cap and a pair of sunglasses amongst other things, as well as a bottle of local wine. Here I am on the final few yards to the finish:

Coming to the finish

In all some 500+ people took part in the ride. It was a wonderful experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even the bits over rough tracks where a mountain bike might have been better suited. Several people received punctures along the way and all were advised to carry spare tubular tyres or inner tubes. Fortunately we didn’t need ours!

Would I do it again? Oh yes, in fact it would be great to get my two sons involved as well, if not next year than perhaps the year after and make a family team before hubby and I are too old. Finding matching team kit may be a problem though – I think this particular jersey is no longer available so we might need new team kit!

I’ll leave you with this picture of my husband and daughter at the finish of this year’s event – it tells it all!




3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renee Espriu
    Jun 26, 2017 @ 22:41:21

    What a wonderful story! Part of my father’s family is originally from Northern Spain in Catalonia. I loved riding bikes as a girl but haven’t for many years now. Due to my open heart surgery two years ago and retiring I now have more time to write and pursue my art. I so enjoy your site here and all that you share. So nice you could all participate.


    • Libby
      Jun 27, 2017 @ 15:36:27

      Sorry to hear of your surgery. I’m retired also and cycling fits in nicely between the writing and other things. I have always had a bike but only in the last couple of years have I taken it a bit more seriously – as all the rest of the family cycle I really had no option but to join in! but I have found it a wonderful way to keep fit. Catalonia is a lovely part of the world – though it can be a bit too hot for me!


      • Renee Espriu
        Jun 27, 2017 @ 16:18:12

        The surgery gave me back my life just as it was slipping away. When you are never sick and really do get sick it can be a learning curve for sure. I am always happy to hear of those who visit Catalonia. My sister was able to some years ago now but I am not really a traveler so I do enjoy it when others go. Yes, I would imagine it is very hot there so visiting is a good thing. Then you can go home! Glad you are enjoying cycling once more. Think of me when you ride. 🙂

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