Last week I enjoyed a couple of great XC rides with a client from Canada. Helen was in Valencia on business but had added a couple of days to the beginning of her trip and had arranged a couple of days of guided mountain biking with me.
For those who want to be based in either the city or the beaches of Valencia, mountain biking in the Sierra de Calderona is a great option owing to its close proximity. This mountainous Natural Park is less than 40 minutes drive from Valencia city centre.
On our first day, we made the short journey from Valencia to the north side of the Sierra de Calderona, where we began our day with a coffee in a village square, whilst we prepared the bikes and discussed the day´s route. We started out along a pleasant trail between olive groves, followed by a section of rocky trails with a few short steep descents and climbs before making a sustained climb into the mountains.
Our rewards for such effort was not just the far reaching views but a break in one of the region´s remote farming villages where we refilled the water bottles and rested in the shade of the village square.
After one more stiff climb, we then enjoyed a long, rocky descent amongst great scenery.
On the second day, Helen had a little less time available owing to work commitments, so we opted for a shorter but slightly more technically demanding ride. This time, we travelled to the South East side of the Sierra, where, after the obligatory morning coffee, we set out on the trail.
Once we left the village we had to begin a series of quite sustained, often rocky climbs. This was quite tough as it was a relatively hot day, but we soon had the hard work behind us, so we stopped for lunch looking out across the mountains, the coast and in particular the gulf of Valencia.
After lunch, we enjoyed a series of long, sweeping rocky descents before a relaxed trail through woodland took us back to the village where we enjoyed a cool drink to celebrate a great couple of days of XC riding.
It had been a pleasure to guide Helen, she was good company and indeed an experienced and skilled rider.
Written by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.