Exploring new routes to avoid death by routine with Arnau

Road and gravel cyclist, Arnau, describes himself as cheerful, sociable and restless, so it comes as little surprise that his life philosophy is about avoiding routine. According to him, “routine is death.” The Catalonia-based rider does everything he can to avoid riding the same routes on repeat, whether that’s finding new routes close to home or putting his bike in the back of his van to ride further afield.

Luckily for Arnau, his local area is full of great roads to explore, especially the forest trails which snake around the mountain near his home:

“I don’t have a favorite Highlight, because the world is so big and there are so many beautiful places to explore. But high forest trails ideal for gravel bikes are my constant goal. Luckily there are several to explore near my house.”

Mountains hold a particular calling for Arnau, and riding the routes near his home, like this one and this one, gives him plenty of stamina for bigger trips. Whether on his road or gravel bike, he loves peddling up and over some awesome mountain passes. In the past year, he’s completed some rides that would make just about any cyclist drool, “I completed the Route des Cols, an iconic route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, crossing the Pyrenees over some of the most famous cols.”

I also rode a significant section of the Montañas Vacías [a gravel route in eastern Spain] which I really enjoyed. It was nice because it was so varied — the route followed vias verdes, little-trafficked roads, mountain passes, awesome gravel, and even the sea… it included a bit of everything.”

Another way Arnau mixes things up is by changing the format of his rides: “Every ride or adventure has its own format. Some are best done alone, others in a group. The important thing is to know how to combine them,” but he confesses that due to circumstances most of his rides lately have been solo adventures. 

But even though he’s ridden alone lately, komoot remains a pretty good digital companion: 

“What I like best about komoot is that it fits the type of cycling I do and my riding philosophy. I don’t get obsessed with statistics and competitions. At a practical level, one of komoot’s best features is the route planner, which you can use both at home with the PC, and in the field with the app. Above all, the surface-type profiles are excellent for knowing which surfaces you’re going to encounter. This helps you to plan your routes from home, and during the trip (where it’s especially useful on multi-day adventures where you may not have access to a computer).”

When asked if he has any cycling plans coming up, he says he has plenty of ideas, “There are many, many ideas, haha! From day trips to week trips.” 
Even though he’s got nothing set in stone yet, no doubt he’s going to be getting up to some interesting riding over the next few months.

You can follow Arnau on komoot here.