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Basque Coast Mountain Biking

Tim and Rod´s mountain bike holiday on the Basque Coast of Spain.

The Start of the Basque Coast Mountain Bike Holiday Season!

We have been running our Backcountry Pyrenees mountain bike holidays in March and April and, with the exception of a few days here and there, we haven´t started our Basque Coast bike holidays. This week we were joined by Tim and Roddie for the first full week´s holiday on the Basque Coast. Tim and Rod were both traveling separately so read on to find out how they got on…

Biking Along the Spanish Coast into San Sebastian on Day 1

The first day the sun was shining and we decided to ride along the Basque coast, into San Sebastian. We started with an uplift and rode a small loop along the coast followed by a bit of a climb to the 525m summit of “Along the Watchtowers”. We are always careful when we mix small groups, i.e. put two groups of mountain bikers together with one guide, we ask lots of questions and make sure that the levels are going to match. If it turns out that they are at different levels we will put on a second guide but we prefer to ride together, so it´s always a bit of a test on the first day to see how it will work. Today it was quickly obvious that all the questions had paid off and Tim and Rod biked at very similar levels and were going to have fun riding together for the rest of the week. If that hadn´t been the case we would have pulled in another of our guides rather than compromise the holiday. Tim, “Hardest, most improving, most fun riding I’ve ever done, with the best food and wine to go with it”

Mountain Biking in Navarra due to rain on the Basque coast.

Today it rained on the Basque coast, it happens and is one of the reasons we have such a beautful, green place to ride in. A little rain doesn´t have to spoil your mountain bike holiday though, if you come with basqueMTB we know lots of areas which have different climates. So it was today, and we jumped in the van to ride in a little area where it was going to be sunny. The trails today are called “Nacho Hecho”; Nacho is a friend of basqueMTB and he made them, Hecho means made in Spanish so “Nacho Hecho!” The trails don´t have much elevation, maybe a hundred and fifty meters, but they are so flowy it should be illegal. Tim´s Cotic Soul came into it´s own today, loving the twisty, turny trails and he was flying. Rod wasn´t far behind either and was definitely king of the hills, conquering some really steep little climbs. For my part I was happy to guide from the back and enjoy watching the guys riding so well.

A Big Pedal for Etch-a-Sketch

Today I gave the guys a choice, either a tough trail with a big uplift or a big pedally day with a big climb and descent. They opted for the big climb and so we set off to do one of my favourites, “Etch-a-Sketch”. I love this trail, with it´s big ridgeline and ancient forest. We all suffered some bike problems today and were quite late setting off, it all worked out perfectly though as we enjoyed the big descent in the afternoon sun! Rod, “The holiday was fantastic .. Perfect biking in a variety of trails. And the area is fabulous very upmarket with excellent affordalble food. Plus the Spa in San Sebation is the perfect way to spend some time on the rest day” The next day was our rest day, no mountain biking today. I organised a visit to a salt water spa in San Sebastian and a massage for the guys followed by some recommendations for some pintxos to eat. They seemed to have an ace time, although I accidentally forwarded the massage details to Rod´s wife which caused him some problems 🙂 Sorry!

A Big Mountain Day, Tough Biking Despite a Big Uplift.

Today we were stepping up our trail difficulty with what we call “Nutcracker”, “Roman Road” and “Carlos´s Ridge”. It´s a big day, with 1000m of climbing and 1500m of descending and pretty much everything is technical! Tim had never done anything this technical before but you would never have guessed it as he nailed all the hard sections and flowed over the rocks on his hardtail. Rod was flying too and I was having fun watching them owning the trails. We rode all day and when we eventually reached the van, at the bottom of the hill, spirits were high. I´d definitely taken it to the next level trail wise and the guys had stepped up, taken it in their stride and loved it! Happy days!

Uplifted Biking on the Basque Coast and Nearby Spanish Mountains

For the last day of the guy´s mountain bike holiday we decided to do some uplifted biking. We often do this because people are tired from a week of biking and it´s a nice way to get a few thousand meters of descending to finish on a high! We rode “All Along the Watchtowers”, with it´s variations, three times in the morning and it was fantastic to see how much quicker the guys were after a week of Basque Biking! When we rode this trail on the first day they rode it well, not struggling, but this time they were so much faster and were both carrying lots of speed through the harder sections. We would have got another descent in but Tim had 3 punctures, something we eventually traced back to a tiny little rip in his Nobby Nick tyres. After a big, three course lunch we managed to get a couple of descents on “The Blue Pill” and “Reverse all the Way Home”, taking our descending total up to around 3000m. “Reverse all the Way Home” has some stupidly steep sections at the end and it was great to watch the guys owning it, after a bit of coaching, and looking fast and in control on the loose, steep stuff. Rod and Tim, thanks a lot for making it such a fun week, it was a great start for our Basque Coast season. You both rode great when you got here but I saw a real improvement through the week and I hope you notice it when you get back on your home trails. I hope that you get your Heckler sorted Rod and that the Basque creaks and groans it left with are just temporary. Hopefully we will see you both again soon! New for this week is our feedback form. It´s to try and get more formal comments from our guests so we can try and improve what we offer and we will also use it to put comments up on the website. So, if my database-linking Kung Fu is strong, here are the commments from Rod and Tim… [cfdb-table form=”Holiday Feedback Form” show=”your-name,comments” filter=”your-name=Tim Wild||your-name=Rod Henderson”]

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