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Trail > Spring in Spain and the Guiding Season Starts

We have been booked pretty solid for most of April, hence my lack of recent posts. We have had visitors from Denmark, England, Ireland and a few local Spanish riders too. It has been a hectic month but it has been great to get some big bike miles in with new people and get some bikes on our trails, both new and old. We have also had a visit from the most famous biking beard, Mr Ed Oxley, and his family, as a precursor to the skills week we are running in June. I have enjoyed riding with everyone and, if you are reading, thanks for the visit. Having people out  has also given me the chance to take a step away from the narcisism that is the self shot photo!

First up this month was a visit from a group of 23 Spanish guys and girls. I organised this with the help of a local friend and collaborator, Carlos. These are people from all over Spain who enjoy getting together and riding together occasionally and, having seen the photos and videos coming from the Basque Country, were keen to visit. We rode some of our coastal trails, taking in a new option for a tough singletrack climb which means the route is largely singletrack up and down! The final descent was a riot with some very good riders, high speeds, snapped bikes, spills and thrills; I think we might even have broken our record of 23 minutes for the descent! I hope you enjoy the photos.
We also had a very pleasant visit from a group of bikers from Denmark, keen to escape Copenhagen’s ice bound trails and do some riding. These guys are training for Alpencross and race regularly so it was a great trip to kick start my season’s fitness. We had a few ELS failures and spend some time fixing bikes, but we got round every route in one piece which is the most important part. We also had a few misty days and one day we rode up into the clouds which was absolutely beautiful, if a little damp! We rode a mixture of trails but the guys preferred wider trails and faster descents so we tested out some new trails I have been working out. The highest point in Denmark is apparently on a couple of hundred meters, so these guys were very keen to do some prolonged climbs and were very excited at the prospect of 1000m mountains!
We also had a visit from a retired jet pilot from America for a day’s riding. He has ridden all round the world and wanted tough and technical. Which is what he got 🙂  And Gary a chef from San Sebastian joined us for a very enjoyable, and hot, ride on the coast.
Next to test out the Basque trails was a great group of Irish guys, visiting for a combination of biking and drinking cider. Thankfully they didn’t over indulge in the cider and we were able to get some nice riding in. The first day was tough for them, long and slightly technical, so for their second day I offered them a 750m uplift with minimal climbing through the day. Lets just say they were keen! I left them drinking beer at the end of the day and climbed up to retrieve the van.
The day the Irish guys left us we picked Ed Oxley, from Great Rock, and his family up from San Sebastian for our last week’s visit in April. Ed and I are running a skills week in June and this visit was to plan the trip and recce some of the trails. We looked at a lot of trails, riding most days, and managed to fit in a lot of riding whilst still leaving Ed time with his family, to play on the beach and go swimming in the sea. Ed and Nial both agreed that All Along the Watchtowers was the best trail of the year for them which was a great compliment! You can see the videos of our trip on the News and Views section, or you can enjoy some of the photos below.
Last, but certainly not least, we had Barbara and Tony, a hard core couple from Calderdale who wanted to ride the tough stuff! Big days, big mountains, tough ups and tougher downs were the order of the week. You can see some of the photos from this week on the New Route post, but below are some of the other photos I took that week.We are now in May and there are lots more people lined up for the coming weeks. I will put up some photos and let you know what we all get up to!

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