Last week I spent a couple of great days on the trail with a client from UK who was in Valencia for a technology conference. He´s an accomplished and experienced cyclist, and had arranged to add a couple of days to the end of his stay to allow him to combine a business trip with mountain biking in Valencia.
On day one we headed for the south side of the Sierra de Calderona where we enjoyed a coffee in the autumn sunshine whilst making all the necessary preparations for the ride. An initial stretch of flowy singletrack lead us onto a wider rocky trail that took us up into the forested mountains.
After a fairly stiff climb, we took a rest in a small wooded area that overlooked the “La Ribera” valley, home to the famous Valencia orange groves. After a little more effort, we were at the high point of the route, so all that remained was to enjoy the long rocky descent trail that dropped us into a pretty little farming village.
To add a little more off-road riding, we adapted the route to take in a great little trail that drops through a forest before leading us back to the car.
It had been a great day of XC mountain biking amongst some fabulous scenery. Within just 40 minutes, we were back in the heart of Valencia.
For our second day we had opted for a longer ride in more remote mountains towards the north of the Sierra de Calderona Natural Park. After a drive of around 45 minutes we once again began the day with a coffee. this time in a village square. The route initially took in an easy trail between olive groves before we began a gradual climb along double track trails into the mountains. After a couple of steep little descents and climbs we stopped for a lunch break prior to tackling the day´s longest climb.
Six kms later we were at around 760m above sea level and looking down on a pretty white washed mountain village. Ten minutes later we were sitting in the square with a cold drink, watching an old lady washing her paella pan in the public wash-house – a truly authentic Valencian scene!
We had a little more hard work to do, so once rested we set out again to climb up to a col that provides superb views towards the Sierra de Espadan, another of Valencia´s 22 Natural Parks.
There then followed a long, steep often rocky descent that provided a great end to the day.
Once back at the start point, we celebrated a couple of great mountain biking days with a cold beer.
It had been a pleasure for me to share these days with such a great client.
Written by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.