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Trail > Local Guide for Endless Singletrack

Phew! What a few days mountain biking. I’ve been tearing it up on the coast but other than that it’s been all about the big mountain ridges for me. I don’t know what it is that’s so cool about biking along (or preferably down) a great ridge line but for me it’s one of the great pleasures to be had on a bike, especially when they’re blessed with the views of the sea on one side and the mountains on the other.

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Up in the north of Scotland there’s a great ridge which the locals call the refrigerator but I’ve always called the ridge of doom. It’s really short but technical and has big fall potential to the river on both sides. It’s one of my favourite sections of trail up there. Back in Spain we have one of my all time favourites, Jaizkibel. The trail follows the ridge line with great views to the sea, then twists and turns all the way down. It’s a lovely climb, all on singletrack, but quite techy in places but the descent is something else. It’s quite easy I think, maybe about a blue / red level, but if you want to ride it fast it’s very complicated and you can’t do it without pumping like the captain of the titanic and being very comfortable moving the bike about in the air. At speed it becomes a full blown downhill course and is very technical.  We rode it at speed on Tuesday night! The fastest ever maybe, that’s what Carlos thought anyway. It was unbelievable, the bike was skipping and sliding everywhere and for a couple of corners I was totally moto, foot out and sliding all the way. Of course, then the inevitable happened and I crashed. TWICE! The first was mellow, just a gentle over the bars. The second was quite a bit faster…
The next day it was really hot, with the mercury sweating it’s way up to 30 degrees C. Even the lizards were sweating away in the shade. I was determined to get some vertical and search out some cooler trails. One of the local guys passed me a GPS route that looked interesting, it was a trail that starts at sea level just below a range of mountains which form a big C shape all joined by a ridge at about 800-900m. The trail follows a river before climbing up the side of the range to reach the ridge. The climb starts on concrete roads and then there is a lovely long section of singletrack before joining a forestry road just before the ridge. For all you fit bikers this will be a definite trail for your holiday!
Once on the ridge the singletrack is very defined and rutted in places but with nice rocky sections which offer lots of natural jumps and drops. We follow the ridge line for about 5kms, rising and falling all the way before a very short push and the final descent. I was pretty excited by this time; in my own MTB nirvana.  I’d been told that the descent was ‘quite good but nothing special’ so I reckoned that I’d seen the best bit of this ride. WRONG!!! The guys were teasing me and the descent is amazing, it’s all singletrack but nothing too hard, probably like a blue at any trail centre. Again though, to ride it fast is hard with lots of tight, loose corners that are easy slowly but hard at speed. It starts off on very narrow contour singletrack and ends up on sort of foot wide singletrack snaking all the way back down to the start point below.
It was so hot after the ride that I drove straight to the beach and jumped into the sea in my MTB shorts!
See the photos below. Some of them are courtesy of “Tonifane” who’s a pretty handy local rider and a great photographer. You could do a lot worse than spend an hour or so looking through his photos!

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