Jake Stangel went on an epic, scenic, no doubt grueling (but thrilling) cycling trip in the Pyrenees this summer, and now we can live it vicariously through his photographs. And through his Instagram posts, like this one:

"Girona to Banyuls-Sur-Mer on a modified Traka 360 route. 86 miles and 7k feet of sandy dry summer gravel in heat that averaged 93 but hit 104. Took it very slow n steady but even so, my phone was hot to the touch inside my frame bag. But yeah, hard day. Shout out to Charli XCX Pop 2 for being a literal masterpiece and the chilly winter Fever Ray album to emotionally counter the heat. I also have this Nivea mineral sunscreen that a.) makes me look like a ghost and b.) makes people speak to me in English anywhere I go, off the bat, BUT it does really protect my skin and keep some of the heat off. Thanks, Nivea.

I will love riding in Spain forever but between small, small towns and siestas, getting what you need for food and water can be difficult and deeply humbling if you don’t have command of the language. Or if it’s between 1 and 4pm. I spent maybe 20% of a big hot ride (i.e. way too much time) on a treasure hunt for fonts near churches for water, and the rest on surveying cafes to see if I could find a tortilla instead of a 2 hour set menu lunch. Love love love the pace of life here, but as Dan Craven taught me, 'getting Spained' (like waiting 45 minutes to pay a bill) can happen at inopportune times. Every day I learn a little more of the language, and make those leaps where words fling out of my mouth in ways that dont quite make sense but make sense enough to make the thing happen. The people of Catalonia continue to be lovely, the best version of humans; an abuela provided me with a liter of water from her home after the font in front of her house wasn’t working, and another woman lent me €20 on blind trust (must have been the sunscreen) that I would pay her back after an ATM issue (I just did). Looking forward to my last days here but also wearing sweaters in the fog of San Francisco by next week."