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Christmas Wishes from Girona

Many of you have called and emailed to wish us Merry Christmas. The sincerity of these missives has been wonderful, and we’d like to reciprocate here by telling everyone out there in bike-land to have a safe, peaceful, exciting-as-you-please Christmas from Competitive Cyclist.

GironaAnd, resist as we might’ve tried, we feel compelled to share with you the very best Xmas note we received. It’s from our pal Michael Barry, of Team Columbia fame. Even though he’s Canadian and his wife is American, they now live in Girona, Spain year-round. And for those of you who eat, sleep, and live road bikes, there are few places more special place than Girona. While other European cities are home to the races we love, Girona is the town where countless heroes of the pro peloton train for those races. For that reason, it’s a city no less monumental than Bourg d’Oisans, Oudenaarde, or San Remo.

Michael’s note is excerpted below. Liam, BTW, is his young son --

‘…All is well here and we are in full Catalan Christmas mode. Liam’s Caga Tio sleeps beside his bed and is well fed with the hope that he will take a big poo of presents on Christmas eve. The kids sing a song, beat him with a stick and then go to their bedroom to pray he poos presents. When they return he has pooed them, so they hit him some more. This goes on until there are no more presents at which point he poos out raw potatoes (or coal).

Another wonderfully odd Catalan icon is the Caganer who is a man that was at the birth of Jesus but missed the event as he was taking a dump behind the manger. Every Catalan nativity scene has a Caganer and the shops all sell them. It is odd on so many levels especially considering Opus Dei more or less runs Girona.

Will you make it over here this year? Happy Holidays. Take good care,

Michael