I´ve just come to the end of a fabulous and most enjoyable week with two returning clients from Holland. The fact that they were returning clients made the week extra special.
Both very keen and experienced cyclists, they´ve done plenty of long distance touring routes over the past few years and were now keen to develop their off-road skills. They were staying in the city as they did the previous year, so the obvious choice for cross country mountain biking in Valencia was the Sierra de Calderona.
We had arranged to do three days of guided mountain biking, so we began with a route that was ideal for introducing some key skills, such as safe descent and steep, rocky climbs. The ride began on a delightful section of singletrack before taking to some rocky trails that took us up into the sierra before a long descent back to valley level. We finished on a great section of rocky trail through a pine forest that provided a couple of steeper descents before arriving back at the start point.
Day two was to be the longest of the three days, and began with a drive up to one of the region´s highest villages from where we began the ride. After a few short but steep climbs, we were treated to a long and quite demanding descent, amongst fabulous scenery of forested peaks and almond blossom. After a coffee stop at a local farming village and a short section of easy riding through the valley, we once again returned to the mountain trails. The hardest part of the day was to come, with a 6km climb over a pass, although the hard work was rewarded with some stunning views of the Sierra de Calderona bathed in evening sunlight. The ride finished with a great little descent back to the village. Having packed the bikes in the car, we enjoyed the drive back to Valencia.
The next day was a purposely designed rest day, but the following day (our final day of biking) was to be the shortest yet toughest route. Almost immediately, we had to tackle some short yet steep rocky climbs, followed by a long sustained climb that put us in the heart of the coastal region of the sierra. After a lunch stop at a superb viewing point that looks out across the peaks of the Calderona and further out to the Mediterranean coastline, we took on the final steep descents of the day. Both long, steep and rocky, they demanded attention and respect. The day ended with a flowing section of trail through a wood and a short road ride back tot eh village. We made the short journey back to Valencia where we sat in the early Spring sunshine and enjoyed a beer together.
It had been fantastic to spend some time together again. The combination of good company, great trails and early Spring sunshine had made this a great trip and one that was a pleasure to provide.
Written by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia