I recently had the pleasure of meeting husband and wife Roger & Birgit, from Germany together with Roger´s brother Mark from UK. They were holidaying in the orange growing region of Valldigna, between the town of Alzira and the beautiful old village of Simat. Together, we had designed a bespoke couple of days that were to include long cross country rides but with a strong element of skills coaching along the way.
Day one began with a gentle ride through orange groves and olive groves, all on easy dirt trails, allowing them to become familiar with the Trek mountain bikes that they had rented from us. There then followed a section of more rocky terrain, providing a good opportunity to practice the correct techniques for safe and controlled descent. After this, there followed a relaxed ride through more orange groves to the beautiful and historical town of Xativa, birthplace to the only two Spanish popes and the first place in Europe to produce paper.
After a coffee in the old cobbled market square, we headed for some slightly more demanding trails. The pretty riverside trail provided great opportunities for practicing accurate riding along narrow tracks, how to climb rocky terrain and how to handle some longer, loose descents.
After a long session spent perfecting these techniques, we enjoyed a picnic lunch then headed back through the orange groves, albeit on different trails back to the van.
Day two began in the same place but began with a short road ride of approximately 20 minutes that took us up into the Barx valley. The trails there included a slightly steeper descent and a short steep climb on loose rocks. Both provided excellent opportunities for developing the techniques introduced on day 1. Then we tackled a long climb up onto the Sierra de Marxuquera. The effort was rewarded with some great views of the Vall de Albaida, followed by a quick descent to the farming village of Pinet.
After a coffee break, we took to some quite remote mountain trails, where we spent more time on techniques for riding on loose, rocky terrain and sand. After good rest and lunch break in the shade of a pine forest we then took on the day´s final climb before enjoying a long and sweeping trail that took us through a wooded mountain pass and back down to our finishing point.
We´d spent a great couple of days together, had a lot of fun, seen some beautiful scenery and hopefully all three will return home with a new set of skills that they´ll use for years to come.
Posted by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.