Cross Country XC Mountain Biking in Spain
Today’s cross country XC mountain biking route,…
We started the route in a high valley in the mountains behind my home,.. a 10 minute drive by car. The first couple of kilometres were a gentle pedal and this was followed by the first major ascent of the day, a 4km gruelling climb up to the next plateau. The past couple of month this specific climb has become a bit of a personal demon for me,… a number of factors (new bike, trail running, lack of training, early mornings) have contributed to my struggle against the mountain, but not today! For the first time in months I conquered the climb in one go, and still felt good once I got to the top. A very good omen for the remainder of the day, given that there was some 70km, still to go. The next 6km of the route was a beautiful high mountain riding, undulating tracks through pine forests and orchards, and this brought us to the first village & coffee stop for the day.
Refreshed and re-hydrated, we set off to cross the Valle de Albaida, 20km of good pedalling on off-road tracks, interspersed with some good technical riding sections. We descended down to the floor of the valley and started a gentle but constant climb to the next refuelling station, another small village just before the next major climb for the day. Here we spend a leisurely hour re-hydrating and then we were ready for the next assault,… Mount Benicadell.
The climb up to the provincial border between Valencia & Alicante, is all off-road and steep and steady climbing through pine forests with spectacular views that await you around every corner. With some 40km done and all the climbing behind us we stopped for lunch, with views back across the valley we could distantly see the peak of the mountain where we had started for the day.
What followed was 10km of high speed downhill free-wheeling on a mixture of paved and unpaved tracks, that plunged us back down to the floor on the next valley. Hairpin bends and vertical slabs of concrete all means to ascend safely into the valley to connect with the next trail that would lead us along a old and disused railway track.
This section of the route follows a narrow gorge and river along the route of the old railway line and through some ancient tunnels and delivered us 10km along in the next village. Time to replenish our water supplies and start the final leg of our route back home. This final section took us through rolling citrus orchards, with the sea off to the one side and the mountain to the other. We found our way back to the Marchuquera valley via an ancient monastery, an by 19:15 with the sun just set, we arrived back at home.
Totals for the day :
Max Speed 36.6kmph, Ave Speed 14.64kmph
A fantastic day XC Mountain Biking in Spain, with great company, in the winter sunshine.