Freeride Spain training camp

It’s a good sign when coming to the end of a 5 hour ride today that all I could think of was how much I was looking forward to doing it again tomorrow! Swapping the cold grey weather for a week of blue sky, hot sun and dry trails with Freeride Spain has been the perfect winter antidote.

Yesterday began with a 2 hour road climb chasing Eoin and Simon (Freeride Spain guide) at a blistering pace up the mountain, with a reward of coffee and tostadas outside on a terrace in the sun at the top. From there the fun started as we joined up with other guests and hit the local singletrack. The riding here is phenomenal, technical rocky descents on traditional shepherd’s tracks that even in January are bone dry and fast. I resurected my old Maxlight as a new freeride bike equiped with wide riser bars, 120mm forks and fat tyres, and though it took a bit of adjusting to, even after one day I wasn’t thinking twice about riding big rocky drops I would have barely considered possible before. After more climbing we descended through 3 pretty traditional white washed villages, ripping through the steep, narrow cobbled streets and down flights of steps sending locals scattering as we went, before another obligatory coffee stop in a sunny square. Every trail leaves you pumped full of adrenaline and smiling ear to ear, it seems impossible that it could get any better yet it did every time.

Eoin on the climb

looking across to Pampaneira


Bubion coffee stop

descending through Pampaneira

Eoin descending the streets

snow capped La Valeta

Today Eoin and I rode the ‘adventures of Ryan’, climbing up to 1900m (where it was still warm enough to sit in t-shirt and shorts despite it being January). There were spectacular views of the snow capped mountains one way, and down the valley towards the sea the other. We rode more steep, rocky descents through the terraced fields barely meeting another person until we passed through a tiny village to fill the bottles with chilled water from one of the many ‘fuentes’ that save you carrying loads of water around. The area is really unspoilt and traditional with very few tourists and incredibly friendly locals. The riding is so enjoyable that the training benefit becomes merely a side effect with memories of the brilliant descents at end of the day making you totally forget the hours spent climbing.

typical January weather!

rocky singletrack

trail along drainage channel

Spanish singletrack

More to come, can’t wait!

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