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Bikepacking the "Hiru Hiriburuak" Capitals of the Basque Country

The Plan

It's Friday and I crave adventure. 

It's time to get all my gear out of storage and take a little exploratory trip to the Basque Country. The availability of time and the physical fitness of each person may be different, but the harshness of the Basque topography is constant.

Track

I have one goal: To unite the three "Hiru Hiriburuak" capitals (Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Donostia-San Sebastián) of the provinces (Bizkaia, Alaba and Guipuzkoa) of Euskadi by gravel bike, creating a route that facilitates tourism in the area and is accessible to all.

It would be a route that people could complete in one go, divide into several stages, or even spread over a number of weekends, taking advantage of the different means of public transport that connect the main cities.

Camping

Equipment

The route is 90% off road. My preferred mode of travel is gravel bike. I'm 100% self-sufficient, and my kit is quite ultralight. Bikepacking means I don't have to depend on any facilities and can travel long distances.

My chosen configuration:

  • Orbea Terra M20i bicycle - light and capable.
  • Shimano GRX DI2 2x1 groupset - delivers precision and efficiency on all terrains.
  • Fulcrum Rapis Red 900 DB wheels - robust and reliable.
  • 40mm tires - perfect for the tracks (in good condition) without penalizing the asphalt sections.

Necessary kit and material distribution:

  • Apidura 17L saddlebag
    • Spare clothes
    • Sleeping bag
    • Stove, gas cylinder, cup
  • Apidura 9L handlebar bag
    • Large tent
    • Hinged Carpet
  • Apidura 4.5L frame bag 
    • Wash kit
    • Electronic elements
    • Mini padlock

The Result

I travelled 380km in 48 hours and the route was almost finished, my body was tired but my mind was restored.

Bike on track

I leave you with this advice: Organise your time, sometimes just a weekend is enough, for an exploration trip by bike and an escape from routine. Know your environment and its history. 

Pack up and dare!

Ibai Fradejas