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Trail > Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: New Trails for 2015

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: New Trails for 2015

We have been out exploring, searching out new trails for our Backcountry Pyrenees mountain bike holidays this year. Have a look at what we have found.

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: New Trails for 2015

At the moment we aren’t running mountain bike holidays. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t working flat out to ensure that our 2015 holidays are great! The off season is really busy, we are trying to stay in shape and take bookings but we are also out digging and exploring to make sure that the trail network keeps on expanding. Antonio has been searching for two specific days I want to include in the Backcountry Pyrenees mountain bike tours in 2015 and his searches lead us to a fantastic day out yesterday as he brought me up to speed on a new area for us. Antonio’s been busy and was really keen to show us these new trails and accommodation. Read on for more photos and a bit about the trails we have found.

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: Fantastic Singletrack Descent

The plan for incorporating today into our Backcountry Pyrenees holidays is use it as an alternative to Spanish Utah. The area has riding that is equally as good, a setting that is just as spectacular but it means that we ride into our next destination instead of having a van transfer. It also lets us do a bit more uplift for the first day of the trip. The accommodation Antonio showed me was perfect, really friendly hosts who will cook for us and who understand all about hungry mountain bikers. There is a big open fire inside the traditional stone house and the front windows offer massive views onto the rock faces we will be riding around the next day.

The day’s riding is pretty simple; two big uplifts, one before lunch and the other after. After each uplift there will be a bit of pedalling but mostly descending. We couldn’t try the first descent of the afternoon because the Pyrenees have just had a massive dump of snow and it is north facing so totally covered. We tested the morning though and it received a definite 10 out of ten from me. After a big off road uplift there is a little warm-up loop which takes in some amazingly flowy singletrack that undulates along the top of the 500m red sandstone cliffs, although never getting too close. The views are really breathtaking and we stopped a few times just to take it in. After that there is a short pedal to the next descent. This is the main descent of the morning and it’s really special for a few reasons. The first reason is the situation, we are descending between 500m red sandstone rock faces which flank the trail and the scale of the rocks, the colours and the closeness of them gives the trail a gravatas that few can match. The trail itself is fantastic too with lots of perfect switchbacks, you know those ones that you can carry a bit of speed around but with a slightly loose surface which lets the bike drift a bit. Overall it’s one of those rarely found perfect mixtures of flowing singletrack and rocky technical passes which keep you on your toes and fill your boots full of adrenaline.

The afternoon’s ride will be a bit longer and will consist of one or maybe two big 500-800m uplifts and the associated singletrack descending and will take us to the next stop on the tour. I haven’t tested the first descent, although Antonio speaks very highly of it, but the second descent I already know and it’s very good indeed.

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: Optional Exposed Section

The terrain we are mountain biking through today is pure pre-Pyrenees; big sandstone cliffs with the Pyrenees visible to the north and a massive flat plain to our south. The big sandstone cliffs which give us our mountain biking stand above an impressively big river which carries water from the Pyrenees to the plains below. The area is a mecca for climbers who come from all over the world to tackle the 500m vertical, and indeed slightly overhanging, cliff faces. The trails we are descending are what the climbers use to descend after they top out on their climbs. The area is also a geologists wet dream and people come from all over the world to study the rock formations. For us though it’s all about the biking!

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: Trails and History

We have one of the best preserved castles in the Spain on our uplift route, we won’t have time for a visit but we can stop to let you take photos. The castle is from the 11th centrury and was used in the fight agains the Moors before being turned into a Monestary where it saw peaceful service and was perfectly preserved until the present day. Recently it has been made famous in the Ridley Scott film “Kingdom of Heaven”.

Backcountry Pyrenees Mountain Bike Holiday: basqueMTB 2015

I guess the big question is whether you will ride this on your Backcountry Pyreenees trip or not. Already we have way too many trails in each area and too many areas to fit into a single trip. Our plan is to introduce this day to some selected groups in April and May of 2015 and get some feedback. If you really want to see it on your holiday then you just need to give me a shout and we can talk it through. Until then we will be out finding more trails and continuing to improve and vary our trips so that it stays interesting for everyone. I would love to hear your thoughts on today and see what you think about it as a part of our Backcountry Pyrenees mountain bike trips.

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