WW Easter Trip 2023 to Santa Susanna, Spain

The 2023 Willow Wheelers trip to Santa Susanna, Spain takes place from Sunday 2 to Saturday 8 April.

This web post covers: bike/luggage loading, the hotel, flight details, safety, planning your trip, preparing your bicycle and gear, and some route suggestions (see route info. further down this post).  We will update this web post as information becomes available, so suggest you check back in from time to time.


Congratulations everyone on an outstandingly successful trip!


UPDATE 31 March 2023 – WW Spain – Flight to Barcelona online check-in

We are aware that some of you are having difficulties with flight online check-in.  You cannot check-in a second member of your family with the same surname online.  I have spoken with the Aer Lingus Groups Bookings Team and this is a technical issue that they are unable to remedy.  You will be able to check in at Dublin Airport on Sunday.  However, Aer Lingus advise that you will need to be there at least 2.5 hours ahead of departure as there may be long queues due to the busy pre-Easter travel pattern.  The advance party saw very very long queues on Friday, so you should consider adding additional time if you require check-in at the airport.


UPDATE 30 March 2023 – WW Spain 2023 Update – Flight details & Important information

Flight details and boarding passes for everyone going on the WW Spain trip are included in the document posted to the WhatsApp year-groups, but not posted to the website.  Find your name and the booking reference will be on top of that specific page.  On Sunday 2 April, Aer Lingus flight EI564 leaves Dublin (Terminal 2) at 18:50pm.  It is recommended that you arrive at the airport at least 2.5 hours ahead of departure.

Please note the following:

1) As this is a group booking, you cannot check in via the Aer Lingus Mobile app.  However, you can check in online using the Aer Lingus website after 6:50pm on Friday . You will then need to print out your boarding pass and bring it with you.

2) As we have an early return departure (6:30am) on Sat 8 April and we will have to load the truck on Friday evening, it is suggested that you avail of the free check-in 10kg bag to pack any final items you need to bring home.  You can drop this off at the Bag Drop area.

3) A Security deposit of €10 per person must be paid to the hotel on arrival.  This will be refunded when leaving subject to there being no damages to the property, excessive cleaning, or complaints from other guests.

4) A tourist tax of €1.32 per night for persons aged 17 and over will also be payable locally in cash on arrival.

5) Please ensure you have paid for both your WW & Cycling Ireland membership in advance of the trip.

6) Please confirm with your Year-Group Leader once you have passed through security in Dublin Airport.

Please carefully read all additional information below.


Loading the bikes: Your bikes and luggage (soft luggage bags only) will be loaded in Willow Park School grounds on Tuesday 28 March from 4:30pm.  Details will be confirmed communicated closer to the loading date. Colour coded labels will be provided prior to loading, which must be attached to your bike and luggage prior to being loaded onto the truck. When packing, we encourage you to err on the side of cycling gear rather than other gear.


The Hotel: We are staying at the Hotel Florida Park, Av. del Mar, 17 – 08398 Santa Susanna. The hotel is approximately one hour from Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport by bus.

Please note that room allocations will be completed before departure and will be advised on arrival. In order to comply with hotel health, safety and fire regulations, no members can change rooms without clearing the change in advance with a member of the WW Committee.


Outbound Flight Details:  Departing Dublin Airport on Sunday 2 April. Everyone departs Dublin on Aer Lingus flight EI 564 at 6:50pm and arrives Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport at 10:30pm.

You will need to be at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of departure (please monitor Dublin Airport website updates in case of airport congestion).  Members will receive details of your flight times and booking reference numbers in due course.  This flight is booked for hand luggage only.

Coach transfers from and to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport and the hotel have been arranged.

Return Flight Details:  Departing Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport on Saturday 8 April on Aer Lingus flight EI 563 at 11:05am and arriving into Dublin at 12:55pm.  This flight is booked for hand luggage with a 10kg check-in allowance for one bag only.

All bikes and luggage must be loaded after our spin on Friday, 7 April in order for the truck to depart for Ireland. Bikes/bags are expected to return back to Willow Park School early the week following Easter on a date to be confirmed. All bikes and luggage must be either collected by the owners or arranged to be collected by someone else. The Club does not have the facility to store any bikes/bags.


Planning your trip and safety:

  • Firstly, your safety and the safety of all our boys is the overriding priority for our Club.  If you see any unsafe acts, please intervene or call an adult Club member to assist.
  • Everyone going on the WW trip must be a paid-up member of the Club and Cycling Ireland. You can join or renew membership on the Cycling Ireland website. Further details of Club membership can be found HERE.
  • Members should ensure that they carry a valid passport and a copy of your European Health Insurance Card (previously called E111) on the trip.
  • A copy of the Willow Wheelers Bike Details Form should be completed and printed before the bikes are loaded and a copy handed to WW Committee member prior to loading of bikes to truck.  The form is available HERE.
  • As we are traveling with minors as a group, all adults must complete Garda Vetting. Further details are set out HERE.
  • A Safety and Etiquette Cycling note has been prepared by Mike Hannigan, one of our WW members.  We recommend that you all take the time to read it: HERE.
  • Each boy must have an adult responsible for him.  Unaccompanied minors must be approved by a WW Committee member ahead of travel. Each unaccompanied minor must have an Unaccompanied Minor Consent Form and an Aer Lingus Indemnity form completed and a copy provided to Christy McDaid prior to departure.  These forms are available on the Documents page on the Club website HERE.
  • As the boys will have access to the hotel pool and may be swimming in the sea from time to time, adult supervision should be present at all times when they boys are in water.
  • Weather in April in Santa Susanna typically ranges from a minimum of 6 deg. C at night to a maximum of 19 deg. C by day; it rains about 7 days in the month and the sun shines for 6.5 hours per day.

Preparing your bicycle and equipment:

It is important that all bikes are serviceable and in good working order before being loaded. Check your brake pads and tyres for wear and if worn replace before you travel. We strongly recommend, if not done already, everyone should have their bike properly serviced well ahead of the trip.

Having the right equipment and gear for cycling for the trip is important. Remember we are cycling for up to 5 days and out for several hours each day.

To aid communication, we suggest each year-group establish a WhatsApp group and ensure that everyone on the trip has the contact details of the group leaders.

Mandatory Gear for your Bike:

  • Minimum 2 spare tubes
  • Bottle cage(s) fitted to bike
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Saddle bag or frame bag for holding gear
  • Pump (strongly recommended)

Mandatory Cycling Gear:

  • Cycling helmet (make sure it fits you properly)
  • Cycling gloves
  • Cycling shoes or suitable runners
  • Light rain jacket (just in case)
  • Light base layers x 2-3
  • Cycling jerseys x 2-3
  • Padded cycling shorts x 2-3 (Proper padded cycling shorts escential)
  • Cycling/sports socks x5
  • Sunblock
  • Money (for lunch stops and snacks)

Optional Gear:

  • Sunglasses (preferably cycling glasses)
  • Energy bars
  • Cycling jersey(s) long sleeve
  • Arm warmers (handy for wet/cold mornings)
  • Mobile phone and charger

Also note that you will need plug adaptors for 2-pin Spanish sockets.


Routes:

Common sense applies when following routes.  Cycle on the right-hand side of the road in Spain.  Always obey the traffic laws and ensure that our younger cyclists are properly supervised.  Feel free to contact a member of the committee with suggested routes and files (e.g. .gpx route files for Garmin) for mobile devices.

Some route suggestions and intersting information in the Santa Susanna area that we have discovered as follows:

  • As a starter for a few locally recommended road routes by #CyclingSantaSusanna, click HERE.
  • Kamoot (thanks Siobhán B.) offer 11 beautiful routes from Santa Susanna, click HERE.
  • Cycling Heartlands provide a promotional video giving a flavour of Girona: click HERE.
  • Girona Bike Ride Video: Coastal Loop, click HERE.  More from the creator of this route and cycles around Girona (which is about 50km from Santa Susanna) HERE.
  • A 2-page set of cycling route suggestions with map and toporaphy (thanks to Gen H.) is Mapa-de-ciclisme-carretera

See below for further routes, which you can adapt and perhaps mix & match or do part of, and from which you can down load the relevent .gpx files.  Note that some of the elevations seem to be overstated.

A PDF document of some of these routes is available here: WW Spain Routes PDF 010423


23 SP Sant Celoni Hostalric

Garmin link: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/151898252

Note: Route from cyclingsantasusanna.com


SP01 JC Tossa de Mar Llagostera Coastal Loop

Garmin link: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/147898547

Strava link: https://www.strava.com/routes/3066483968522170516

Thanks to John Crowley for this one!


23 SP: Sant Grau – Llagostera loop

Garmin Link: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/149138866

Note: Route from cyclingsantasusanna.com and #CyclingSantaSusanna reckons this is only 1,287m cumulative elevation climbing


23 SP Girona

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/149153193


23 SP Sant Feliu de Guixols

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/149371908


23 SP: Hostlaric, Sant Celoni, Le Crueta loop

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/147898547


23 SP: Santa Susanna – Mataró – Sant Celoni

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/151717671

Note: Route from cyclingsantasusanna.com


23 SP Lloret-de-mar Vidreres Sant-hilari-saca

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/151909411


Thanks to Ryan Kavanagh for the following route suggestions for the more ambitious cyclists:

https://www.strava.com/routes/3073519055629648592 (possible Legends spin):

https://www.strava.com/routes/3076098876284898108

https://www.strava.com/routes/3076100883552365944

https://www.strava.com/routes/3076103232097404280

https://www.strava.com/routes/3076104667422815802

https://www.strava.com/routes/3076532397962762044


More route suggestions welcome…..

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