Mountain Biking in Spain MTB http://mountainbikingvalencia.com MTB Valencia Sat, 30 May 2015 15:10:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Mountain biking in Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/05/30/mountain-biking-in-valencia-5/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/05/30/mountain-biking-in-valencia-5/#comments Sat, 30 May 2015 15:09:20 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2688

I´ve just completed three days of guided mountain biking in Valencia with clients from across the globe, and all looking for something unique.  The first day was with a very experienced mountain biker and athlete from UK.  He wanted to explore the mountains around his holiday home and to have a day of hard riding [read more]

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I´ve just completed three days of guided mountain biking in Valencia with clients from across the globe, and all looking for something unique.  The first day was with a very experienced mountain biker and athlete from UK.  He wanted to explore the mountains around his holiday home and to have a day of hard riding in preparation for his next race.

Mountain Biking Valencia

 

The second day was with a couple from USA, both keen outdoor enthusiasts who were on holiday in Valencia and wanted to enjoy the mountain biking here whilst at the same time learning some new riding skills.

Sierra de Calderona

Sierra de Calderona

The third day was with a couple from Australia, who were travelling throughout Europe, and wanted to combine a guided mountain bike route with some cultural interest.

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Xativa

 

These three days have involved very different clients from different countries and back grounds, all with their own unique aims.  As well as enjoying very interesting company, I´ve ridden with them on trails in the Sierra de Calderona, very close to Valencia, in the hills of the Albaida Valley and in the beautiful countryside that surrounds the historical town of Xativa.

All were very different people, with different aims and riding abilties, but all were a pleasure to be with, and what´s more enjoyed the superb mountain biking that Valencia has to offer.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide and Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

 

 

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Mountain Biking in Alicante http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/09/mountain-biking-in-alicante-3/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/09/mountain-biking-in-alicante-3/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 21:44:41 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2669

I have spent the past few days in the Sierra de Mariola in the province of Alicante.  As well as operating from the city of Valencia, we have an operating base in the village of Banyeres de Mariola, which despite its wonderful rural location, is only 45 minutes drive from Alicante airport. We had previously [read more]

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I have spent the past few days in the Sierra de Mariola in the province of Alicante.  As well as operating from the city of Valencia, we have an operating base in the village of Banyeres de Mariola, which despite its wonderful rural location, is only 45 minutes drive from Alicante airport.

Mountain biking in Alicante

We had previously helped our clients Nicki and Mark to design a bespoke holiday in which they wanted to combine some walking with a couple of visits to the coast, and 3 days of mountain biking in Alicante.  As they wanted self-catering accommodation, we recommended the apartments in the beautifully restored Valencian farmhouse Alqueria del Pilar which are within easy walking distance of the village of Banyeres de Mariola.

One of the beautiful apartments at Alqueria del Pilar

One of the apartments at Alqueria del Pilar

The Sierra de Mariola offers some superb cross country mountain biking.  The whole area is relatively high, and it´s mountain peaks rise to 1,400 metres above sea level.  I had a few specific routes in mind that would give Nicki and Mark a good insight into the area and would also visit one of the summits.

Mountain biking Sierra de Mariola

Our first task was to make all the necessary adjustments to the bikes to ensure maximum comfort and safety.  Once done, we headed for the trails.  We were fortunate to enjoy good weather, with a slight breeze but with plenty of sunshine and clear skies.  We enjoyed some great routes, took on some big climbs, some great descents, and tackled some short tricky sections of trail.

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Our longest day took us to the summit of one of the regions highest peaks, at almost 1,300 metres, where we had lunch in the early Spring sunshine and enjoyed the far reaching views.  We were treated to an extra special moment when a pair of vultures glided through the valley beneath us.

It was a pleasure to help Nicki and Mark design their holiday, and to provide the guided mountain biking which I hope will provide many happy memories.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

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Mountain Biking and the Road to Recovery http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/08/mountain-biking-and-the-road-to-recovery/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/08/mountain-biking-and-the-road-to-recovery/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 12:54:33 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2666

A guest post written by Anne Mountain… Mountain Biking and the Road to Recovery If you have just been through the challenging process of recovery from an addiction, chances are, one of the first things on your agenda is to get fit and active. Mountain biking, like a select number of outdoor sports, is ideal [read more]

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A guest post written by Anne Mountain…

Mountain Biking and the Road to Recovery

If you have just been through the challenging process of recovery from an addiction, chances are, one of the first things on your agenda is to get fit and active. Mountain biking, like a select number of outdoor sports, is ideal for this purpose, since it can be adapted to different fitness levels, and is gentle on the joints. Moreover, it offers us the chance to immerse ourselves in the greatest healer of all: Mother Nature. As you ride scenic routes peppered with verdant valleys, ancient forests and glistening coastal features, you may notice that the stress and worry that surround you during this delicate time, evaporate into thin air. Mountain biking wields a host of health benefits, many of which you may never have imagined. These include:

Mountain Trails in Valencia

A dramatic drop in cortisol: When a person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs first kicks the habit, they are forced to face high levels of stress, owing to many factors, including physical withdrawal, worry about the future and guilt about any hurt caused to loved ones. When the body feels overburdened, the ‘fight or flight’ response is invoked and it can be very difficult to think clearly, remain positive or keep the mind ‘in the here and now’. Stress isn’t harmful to just our mental and spiritual wellbeing, however; when present chronically at high levels, it is linked to heart disease, Type II diabetes, inflammation and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise is particularly useful at causing levels of stress hormone, cortisol, to plummet. Simply spending time in Nature is linked to a lower risk of poor mental health, leading numerous researchers to recommend physical activities such as mountain biking and outdoor yoga, as a highly efficient and cost-effective preventive health measure.

Muscle toning: Those who have been in the throes of addiction for a long time will usually suffer from poor muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness challenges. Mountain biking is an excellent way to build up your strength and resistance, and to get your heart racing at a pace you can manage. Regular riders can expect to find big improvements in the muscles in the thighs, buttocks and calves. You will also find that you have stronger hips and joints, areas which are important to work on following addiction, since alcohol and drug use pose a greater risk for osteoporosis in one’s older years. Many recovering addicts do not wish to head straight into a tough strength routine involving weights; cycling is a very natural way to build up muscular strength, with different terrains offering challenges of varying intensities and strengthening different muscles during just one day out.

Improved stamina and coordination: Mountain biking helps with stamina and coordination, building the confidence you need to add new sports which involve coordination, to your exercise routine (e.g. dance, yoga, mountain climbing, etc.). It has been estimated that mountain biking for just three hours a week can increase your lung capacity by up to 20%, which is great news particularly after your body has been subject to smoke and other harmful substances for a sustained period. In this sense, exercise can provide inspiration for those trying to get sober, especially those who were keen athletes in the past and who wish to achieve or even surpass past records of strength and speed.

Weight loss: Once you have completed rehabilitation therapy and you begin to eat regular meals, you may find that you begin to pack on the pounds. Drugs like cocaine hamper the body’s ability to store fat, while other drugs can actually contribute to weight gain. Alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, tend to be highly calorific, making it easy for the body to manufacture and store unwanted fat. Mountain biking is one of the best outdoor workouts there is; you can expect to burn hundreds of calories and unlike gym workouts, you never feel like you are ‘getting nowhere’ or repeating the same old exercises. Indeed, the words ‘routine’ and ‘mountain biking’ are mutually exclusive, since you never really know what you’re going to face on a given day. Weather conditions, the people you are with and the path you choose to take vary and so do the benefits you obtain on a given day. Regardless of where you end up, however, you can be sure that you will burn more calories than you can probably consume in a day and soon, you will be sporting a leaner and more attractive physique.

Mountain Bike Trail in Valencia

 

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Mountain Biking in Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/03/mountain-biking-in-valencia-4/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/03/03/mountain-biking-in-valencia-4/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:22:12 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2636

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 [read more]

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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.

 

The Sierra de Calderona offers great XC mountain biking and yet is only 30 minutes from Valencia

The Sierra de Calderona offers great XC mountain biking and yet is only 30 minutes from Valencia

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

David Warrington

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia

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Mountain Biking Holiday in Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/02/10/mountain-biking-holiday-in-valencia-2/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2015/02/10/mountain-biking-holiday-in-valencia-2/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 12:51:46 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2573

I´ve just come to the end of an absolutely fantastic week with a client from Ireland.  We had communicated by email over the past couple of months and together had designed a tailor-made break for him. As John was travelling alone and wanted a mountain biking holiday in Valencia, he had opted to stay in the [read more]

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I´ve just come to the end of an absolutely fantastic week with a client from Ireland.  We had communicated by email over the past couple of months and together had designed a tailor-made break for him.

As John was travelling alone and wanted a mountain biking holiday in Valencia, he had opted to stay in the heart of the historic quarter of the city, choosing one of the many self-catering apartments that are available there.

The plan for the holiday was to begin with a 2-day skills course that also included a session on bike set-up and emergency repairs.  This was to be followed by a day of guided cross country mountain biking, then a rest day.  Following the rest day, we then had a further 3 days of guided cross country mountain biking.  Our philosophy of never mixing groups meant that the entire week was solely for John, with a instructor : client ratio of 1:1 throughout.

Day 1 – Skills Course

In order to provide a holiday in which John could also see different areas of the Valencian region, we made the short journey to the beautiful old town of Xativa on our first day.

JohnMonday3

The first day of the course is always about going back to basics, and focussing on best practice before moving onto specific skills.  Mental approach, confidence building, safety and concentration always feature heavily too.  We spent the rest of the day on a superb trail that includes great sections for developing many of the key skills of XC-mountain biking.

JohnMonday2

Day 2 – Bike set-up and emergency repairs

For the second day we travelled to the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park where it was possible to combine the course with an element of local history and culture, particularly the rice growing agriculture of Valencia.

The rice fields of Albufera with the mountains of Valencia in the background

The rice fields of Albufera with the mountains of Valencia in the background

The session began with bike set-up, focussing on comfortable and efficient riding positions and placement of saddle and gear and brake levers etc.  We then spent time covering routine maintenance before focussing on what one should carry when out cross-country mountain biking, and how to make emergency repairs whilst out on the trail.

Day 3 – Guided XC Mountain Biking

For our first full day of guided XC mountain biking, we made the short trip to the south west corner of the Sierra de Calderona Natural Park, an area of mountains and Mediterranean forest just 35 minutes from Valencia.

JohnWed1

Valencia and indeed Spain in general was in a cold-spell the likes of which hadn´t been seen for years!  However, our area was forecast to be dry although with very low temperatures for the next few days.  With this in mind, we dressed accordingly and set out into the sierra.

CaldBike5

The route included a short section of wooded singletrack with some rocky steps before taking to some of the area´s higher trails.  The far reaching views were as always fabulous, and despite the cold it felt great to be up so high, overlooking the mountains and further towards the coast.  After a long and sustained rocky climb we enjoyed a super flowing descent into a small village where we enjoyed a coffee in the square.

Day 4 – Rest Day

This was purposely built-in to the week to allow for some rest and recovery.  John spent the day exploring the beautiful city of Valencia.  It´s a very easy city to visit as most of the key sights are within easy walking distance.  The historic quarter is enchanting, but Valencia also boasts a beautiful park that was once the course of the river Turia.

The Turia Gardens and City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

The Turia Gardens and City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

 

After a devastating flood in 1957, the river was re-routed away from the city.  The space that was left was subsequently converted into what is now wonderful parkland that snakes through the city, and can be followed almost right to the golden sands of Valencia´s beach and waterfront.

Day 5 – Guided XC Mountain Biking

After a day of rest, day 5 was designed to include a longer, tougher route towards the northern side of the Sierra de Calderona.  The day dawned bright and sunny but temperatures were still very low, so we once again dressed in winter gear before heading up high into the mountains where we began our route.

This route is one of my favourites in this area due to its variation.  It begins with a short climb before a wonderful steep, long descent through fabulous scenery.  At the half-way point is a small village where we re-filled water bottles and enjoyed lunch.

The route then took us back into the mountains before we had to tackle the sting-in-the-tail : a climb of 5 kms that took us back to our start point.  With clear skies and high pressure, the hard work was rewarded with some excellent views across the surrounding mountains.

JohnFri1

Day 6 –  Guided XC Mountain Biking

After yesterday´s tough ride, we opted for a shorter route for day 6, especially bearing in mind that tomorrow was to be the last day and was to include a much more demanding route.  Again, to take in a different area we travelled south west from Valencia to the Sierra de Agulles.  After a morning coffee, we headed up through orange groves to the trail-head before putting in some effort to climb into a hidden and little known hanging valley between mountain ridges.

JohnSat2

We followed the trail through the entire length of the valley before enjoying a long and very steep descent to the ancient village of Simat de Valldigna where we stopped for lunch.

JohnSat1

The return route was gentle and relaxed and took us through some of the area´s famous orange groves back to our starting point.

Day 7 – Guided XC Mountain Biking

Our final day saw us back in the Sierra de Calderona.  Today´s route was a tough one and was a fabulous ride to end the holiday on.  After a superb start on a rocky climb through a very pretty wood, we emerged onto a rocky trail that took us up higher into the sierra.

JohnSunday1

A narrower trail then took us into some of the more remote valleys of the area before a steep and quite technical descent followed by a steep although short climb put us up high, and gave superb views of the coastline.  A lunch stop in a small mountain village was followed by the day´s last climb.

JohnSunday2

After a brief rest, we prepared ourselves for the long and quite demanding descent that took us back to valley level.  A flowing section of trail through a wood took us to the end of our ride, and the end of a wonderful week.

John had performed superbly well throughout the week, and had increased in fitness and ability day after day.  He´d given 100% to all that we did, and it had been an absolute pleasure for me to spend the week with him.

We finished the trip with a cold beer before packing the bikes and gear into the van and returning to Valencia.

DJW MTB

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide and Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

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City break and mountain biking in Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/11/27/city-break-mountain-biking-valencia/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/11/27/city-break-mountain-biking-valencia/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:24:06 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2561

I recently had the pleasure of providing a couple of days of guided mountain biking for a couple from Cumbria, UK.  They were on holiday in Spain and had previously arranged with me to combine a city break and mountain biking in Valencia.  The close proximity to some stunning mountains makes Valencia an ideal destination [read more]

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I recently had the pleasure of providing a couple of days of guided mountain biking for a couple from Cumbria, UK.  They were on holiday in Spain and had previously arranged with me to combine a city break and mountain biking in Valencia.  The close proximity to some stunning mountains makes Valencia an ideal destination for those wanting to combine a visit to this enchanting city with some cross country mountain biking.

Looking north across the Sierra de Calderona.  Our trail is clearly shown.

Looking north across the Sierra de Calderona. Our trail is clearly shown.

We met on our first morning on the outskirts of the city and made the short drive up into the hills, starting our ride at a mountain village high in the Sierra de Calderona.

Our route began with a short climb up and over a ridge-line before a long and fabulous descent on rocky trails that took us through some remote hill country to the northern edge of the Sierra.  We dropped into a valley where we then enjoyed a short easy section along a disused railway line before we turned off and headed back into the mountains.

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Looking back at the long sustained climb towards the end of day 1

After another short climb up through olive groves, we stopped for lunch at a beautiful spot overlooking a lagoon.

Following a rest in the warm autumn sunshine, we took to the trail again.  First of all a great little track that provided some fun descents and some short steep climbs, all amongst fabulous scenery before taking on the “sting in the tail”…a 5km climb that took us back over the Sierra de Calderona.  The hard work was rewarded with some great views and a fast descent back to the village.

The mountain village of Gatova

The mountain village of Gatova

Once the bikes were packed into the van, we made the short journey back to Valencia where my clients enjoyed a night out in the historical quarter of this beautiful city.

The next day we opted for another route in the Sierra de Calderona, this time with a starting point on the south side of the Natural Park, just 30 minutes drive from the city centre.  The first section was along a great little section of single track that provided the ideal warm-up.  It then took to a rocky trail that climbed gently up into the forested mountains that overlook the Valencian coastline.

Autumn sunshine in the Sierra de Calderona

Autumn sunshine in the Sierra de Calderona

This route includes quite a long and sustained climb, but with rewards are worth the effort.  The views out across the Sierra de Calderona and further across the Valencian coastal plain coupled with a long and flowing descent make for a great end to the day.

Mountain Biking Valencia

It had been a pleasure to spend these two days with such enthusiastic couple and to show them the delights of mountain biking in Valencia.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

 

 

 

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Cycling for families in Spain http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/11/19/cycling-for-families-in-spain-2/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/11/19/cycling-for-families-in-spain-2/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:13:42 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2528

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Annabel, Mark and their son James.  They had travelled from Poland to spend a week in Valencia as a surprise celebration of Mark´s birthday.  I had previously communicated at length with Annabel, and together we´d designed a trip for them that was essentially a twin-centre holiday as [read more]

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Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Annabel, Mark and their son James.  They had travelled from Poland to spend a week in Valencia as a surprise celebration of Mark´s birthday.  I had previously communicated at length with Annabel, and together we´d designed a trip for them that was essentially a twin-centre holiday as a way of enjoying the diversity of the Valencian Community.  I really enjoyed working with them as one of my key priorities is to help my clients to make the absolute best of their time, to discover virtually unknown corners of Spain and to provide something bespoke.

Self catering apartments at L´Alqueria del Pilar

Self catering apartments at L´Alqueria del Pilar

They spent their first few days in the beautiful Alqueria del Pilar in the village of Banyeres de Mariola, before making the easy drive to the city of Valencia where they spent the weekend.  That way, they had the opportunity to enjoy a stunning rural location followed by a visit to this fascinating and enchanting city.  This diversity coupled with our mild climate makes the Valencian Community an ideal destination in which to enjoy cycling for families in Spain.

The historical quarter of the city of Valencia

The historical quarter of the city of Valencia

They had requested two very distinct biking trips during their stay in the Sierra de Mariola.  On day 1, they were looking for a trip for all the family, including 3 year old James who had brought along his own bike trailer!  One day 2, they wanted a tougher mountain bike ride for Mark, but had requested a route that could also include some good opportunities for photography, particularly wildlife.

 

Day 1

Our first day together dawned bright yet cool, so having ensured that we were all sufficiently prepared for the ride, we attached James´trailer to one of our bikes.  I explained the plan for the day, which included a number of possibilities and alternative return routes, then we set out directly from L´Alqueria del Pilar, past the village of Banyeres de Mariola then along a disused railway line that´s now a great recreational trail.

Cycling along a trail near Banyeres de Mariola with James in his trailer....at 3 years old, my youngest ever client!

Cycling along a trail near Banyeres de Mariola with James in his trailer….at 3 years old, my youngest ever client!

After almost an hour´s cycling we made a stop at a playground beside the trail so that James could stretch his legs and we could rest ours!  We then passed through another ancient village, Beneixama before taking to a quiet country lane that lead us to the historic fortified village of Biar.

Biking towards Biar

Biking through almond and olive groves to the village of Biar

Having enjoyed lunch in the village square, we ended the trip with a pleasant ride along another quiet country lane back to Banyeres de Mariola.

 

Biar Castle

Biar and its castle

 

Day 2

Day 2 was a little warmer with clear blue skies and very little wind.  We made a slightly earlier start as we had quite a long route in mind.  We had a number of key objectives to cover – to ride some great mountain biking trails, to see as much of the surroundings as possible, to have quite a physically challenging ride and the photograph some of the local wildlife.

The Sierra de Mariola offers some superb XC mountain biking

The Sierra de Mariola offers some superb XC mountain biking

Therefore, we began on one of the areas best cross country forested trails.  It has a little of everything, descents, climbs, rocks, single track, and great views.  After a couple of hours riding we stopped for lunch in a clearing and enjoyed the warm autumn sun.  We then took to a stretch of country lanes that took us over into the next valley and gave us views over the town of Alcoy.

Looking down to the city of Alcoy

Looking down to the town of Alcoy

After a little more pedalling we entered a spectacular rocky gorge where we rested and waited, scanning the skies and high cliffs.

Waiting and watching for vultures

After just 5 minutes our patience and hopes were rewarded with some great views of Griffon Vultures.  These magnificent creatures breed in this dramatic gorge and are always an absolute pleasure to see.

The magnificent Griffon Vulture breeds here in rural Alicante

After a fascinating half hour watching and photographing these superb birds, we began the climb back up onto the Sierra de Mariola and headed for home.  There´s something very beautiful about the afternoon autumn sunlight in the Sierra de Mariola, and this made our final few kilometres very memorable.

Heading across the wooded foothills of the Sierra de Mariola

Heading across the wooded foothills of the Sierra de Mariola

We arrived back at Alqueria del Pilar as the shadows were growing longer, having enjoyed a great day out in this very special area.

The end of a great day on the trails

The end of a great day on the trails

Annabel, Mark and James spent another day discovering some of the ancient villages of the area before making the short journey to the city of Valencia where they had a great weekend.  They particularly enjoyed the historic quarter, the vibrant central market (one of the largest indoor markets in Europe), the River Turia Gardens and the beachfront.

 

The Turia Gardens and City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

The Turia Gardens and City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

It had been a pleasure to have met them.  Hopefully they had discovered what makes this corner of Spain so very special.  It´s a privilige to share it with my clients and friends and to call it home.

DJW MTB

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide and Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

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Mountain biking and walking in Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/10/13/mountain-biking-walking-valencia/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/10/13/mountain-biking-walking-valencia/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:16:08 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2501

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with Monika, a client from New Zealand who was spending some time exploring Southern Europe.  She had arranged to spend a few days in Valencia and wanted to combine the delights of this very special city with a couple of days of guided [read more]

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Last week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with Monika, a client from New Zealand who was spending some time exploring Southern Europe.  She had arranged to spend a few days in Valencia and wanted to combine the delights of this very special city with a couple of days of guided activity in the local mountains.  Having discussed her wishes, we designed a couple of days that would include mountain biking and walking in Valencia.  Both days would be spent in the Sierra de Calderona, a wonderful mountainous Natural Park that´s less than 30 minutes by car from the city centre.

Valencia´s Historical Quarter

Valencia´s Historical Quarter

On day one, I collected Monika from her hotel in the city centre and we made the short journey into the mountains.  Before the walk, we stopped for a coffee and discussed the plans for our two days together, covering health and safety issues, and making any specific modifications to the routes to provide maximum enjoyment and a bespoke experience.

Scrambling up the Canal del Garbi

Scrambling up the Canal del Garbi

 

 

Our plan for today was to walk up to the summit of El Garbi, a rocky peak that looks out across the Valencian Mediterranean coastline.  Rather than just walk up a footpath, we opted to scramble up the gully of “Canal de El Garbi”.  Always interesting, and with some great views, this route climbs a rocky gully that has some fixed chains in the steepest sections.  The scramble was great fun, and we soon found ourselves at the top of the gully, just a five minute walk away from the summit.  The weather was superb, with hardly any wind and clear 360 degree views, so we sat on the summit and enjoyed lunch there.

Views from the summit of El Garbi

Views from the summit of El Garbi

After lunch we began our descent by a different route, this time via a scree run which was followed by a forested section of mountain trail.  Once back in the village, we retraced our steps to the van before making the short journey back to Valencia.

On day two, I met Monika at her hotel before making another brief journey to the Sierra de Calderona, this time to an area a little further west.  Having prepared the mountain bikes, we set off along a very pretty country lane that took us to the beginning of our trail.  The route began on some simple forest trails before beginning to climb higher up into the sierra.  After a short break in the shade of a stand of pines, we tackled the main climb of the day.  The effort was worthwhile as the views from our high point were fabulous.  After another break and lunch-stop we began our long descent that was both exhilarating and rewarding, with a combination of great trail riding and stunning views.

Mountain biking in the Sierra de Calderona, Valencia

Mountain biking in the Sierra de Calderona, Valencia

We eventually arrived at a small mountain village where we enjoyed a cold beer in the shade of the village square before making the short trip back to the van.

Within less than 30 thirty minutes later we were back in the city of Valencia.

It had been a pleasure to design a bespoke trip for Monika and to spend a couple of days with her in the mountains.  She´s had a couple of superb mountain days whilst combining her adventures with a break in the wonderfully vibrant city of Valencia.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia

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Autumn 2014 Bulletin http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/09/27/mountain-biking-in-spain/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/09/27/mountain-biking-in-spain/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 12:11:17 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2493

I´d like as usual to open this Autumn 2014 bulletin by thanking my clients for another great Spring and Summer season. It´s been a busy period and one during which I´ve met some wonderful people as well as having the pleasure of welcoming back some returning clients which is always very special for me.   [read more]

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I´d like as usual to open this Autumn 2014 bulletin by thanking my clients for another great Spring and Summer season. It´s been a busy period and one during which I´ve met some wonderful people as well as having the pleasure of welcoming back some returning clients which is always very special for me.

 

Relocation to Valencia

This year has also been exciting as we relocated to the city of Valencia , a move that has added an extra dimension for our clients who wish to combine a break in this amazing city with some mountain biking in the surrounding sierras. Many of our clients have seized upon this and have enjoyed the “best of both Worlds”. The superb cross country trails of the Sierra de Calderona are (incredibly!) little more than 30 minutes drive from the heart of the city.

 

The Sierra de Calderona is just a half  hour drive from the city of Valencia

The Sierra de Calderona is just a half
hour drive from the city of Valencia

A New Rural Base

For those who are looking for either a twin-centre holiday or perhaps a more rural location, we have also recently developed a second operating area in the beautiful Sierra de Mariola Natural Park. Having a base in this stunning area has allowed us to offer this little known corner of Spain as a mountain biking destination.

Whilst been a “World away” from the popular coastal resorts of the Costa Blanca, the Sierra de Mariola lies less than an hour´s drive from Alicante airport. It´s an ideal destination for those looking to combine mountain biking with the rich history, culture, gastronomy and amazing natural spaces that this area has to offer.

Montcabrer (1400m) in the Sierra de Mariola This area offers some excellent cross country  mountain biking amongst stunning scenery

Montcabrer (1400m) in the Sierra de Mariola. This area offers some excellent cross country mountain biking amongst stunning scenery

 

Accommodation

Many of our clients take the opportunity to design bespoke trips with us that often include a few days of mountain biking plus free days during which they can relax or explore the area in which they´re staying. For those opting to stay in Valencia, this city has a huge variety of accommodation to suit all budgets and tastes.

El Masqi

El Masqi

For those wishing to stay in the Sierra de Mariola, we have pleasure in recommending some very special places that are owned and run by friends and colleagues of ours. These include the rural hotel El Masqi, ideal for those looking for a peaceful rural location and organic fine cuisine. Visit www.masqi.es

One of the beautiful apartments at Alqueria del Pilar

One of the beautiful apartments at Alqueria del Pilar

For those who wish to be closer to a village centre whilst having the added flexibility of self-catering, we can recommend the beautiful Alqueria del Pilar. These self contained apartments are situated within a lovingly restored Valencian manor farmhouse.  Visit www.alqueriadelpilar.com

 

Guided Mountain Biking & Skills Training

Our philosophy of not mixing groups and aiming to provide absolute best levels of personal service helps us to offer bespoke trips for our clients.  Something that has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years is a combination of guided cross country mountain biking with a strong element of off-road skills training.

Many of our clients have opted for this blend that often provides some lasting memories of biking through stunning scenery on great trails whilst providing skills and techniques that increase safety, confidence and enjoyment.

Mountain biking in Xativa

ROTA

 

Trip Advisor

Finally, a word of thanks to all those who have kindly posted reviews on Trip Advisor. Thanks to your positive reviews, Mountain Biking Valencia has greatly improved its ranking and is now officially “Recommended”. This is a big help and one that I genuinely appreciate. Many thanks for your support.
Now that we have a base in both Valencia and the Sierra de Mariola, we´re well positioned to welcome those arriving at either Valencia or Alicante airport. Please feel free to contact us with your enquiries. I hope to see you soon and to enjoy some great mountain biking in Spain with you.

 

David Warrington

Written by

David Warrington.

Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia

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Mountain Biking from Valencia http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/09/19/mountain-biking-from-valencia/ http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/2014/09/19/mountain-biking-from-valencia/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:58:45 +0000 http://mountainbikingvalencia.com/?p=2480

I´ve just returned from 3 great days of mountain biking from Valencia with a client from UK.  Damian spent a day with me last year when he booked a beginners skills course and combined this with a city break in Valencia.  He enjoyed his time in Valencia so much that he decided to make a [read more]

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I´ve just returned from 3 great days of mountain biking from Valencia with a client from UK.  Damian spent a day with me last year when he booked a beginners skills course and combined this with a city break in Valencia.  He enjoyed his time in Valencia so much that he decided to make a return visit and combine his visit with 3 days of bespoke guided mountain biking.  His specific requirements were essentially 3 full days of guided mountain biking that included a strong element of off-road riding skills training.  Our philosophy of never mixing groups allows us to provide bespoke trips for our clients and it was a pleasure to discuss with Damian exactly what he wanted from his time with us.

City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

City of Arts & Sciences, Valencia

Day 1

However, the best planning is always subject to weather conditions and in late summer in Valencia, it´s something that we have to be very much aware of.  Even by our standards, there was a heatwave forecast for our first day!  The temperatures in the mountains that we had planned to visit were to peak at 36 degrees C that day, so after a brief discussion we opted for a low level, non-technical acclimatisation ride.  We decided upon a flat route of some 35kms through the wetlands and rice growing area of the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park.  Although a little different from “Plan A” we also incorporated an element of natural history and culture into the ride as Damian has an interest in local Valencian traditions and history.

Flamingoes at Albufera de Valencia

Flamingoes at Albufera de Valencia

Our route took us along a trail that ran beside the beach, through a native Mediterrenean pine forest then onto the lanes that wind their way through Valencia´s rice fields.  We also visited a small nature reserve and the historical village of El Palmar, the birthplace of Spain´s most famous dish, paella.

The rice fields of Albufera with the mountains of Valencia in the background

The rice fields of Albufera with the mountains of Valencia in the background

Although the route was not what was originally planned, it served well as a means of accclimatising to riding in the heat prior to our second and third days which were going to be tougher.

Day 2 

After a couple of rest days over the weekend, the weather had thankfully become a little cooler, returning to “normal” September temperatures.  On Monday morning we made the short trip to the Sierra de Calderona Natural Park.  These mountains hold some great cross country trails, big climbs, long descents, all surrounded by great scenery.  After a coffee in one of the local villages, we set out along a short section of singletrack, focussing on line selection, smooth and efficient braking and safe riding through sand and gravel.

Sierra de Calderona

Sierra de Calderona

Our route then took to a wider rocky trail that climbed, gradually at first before becoming much steeper and rockier.  This provided some great opportunities to practice climbing techniques on mixed terrain.  After some hard work and a brief lunch stop, we arrived at our high point of the day with extensive views across the Valencian mountains and down towards the Mediterranean coast.

The Sierra de Calderona has some great cross country mountain biking trails and lies within 30 minutes of Valencia city centre

The Sierra de Calderona has some great cross country mountain biking trails and lies within 30 minutes of Valencia city centre

There followed a long descent, mainly on a relatively loose trail.  We did this in sections, using the time to practice the correct descent posture, safe braking and steering.  Once at the bottom of the trail, wrists and hands a little sore we dropped straight into a small village where we took a rest and a well earned café con leche.  A gentle cruise back to the van brought the day to a close.

 

Day 3

Our final day of the trip was used to perfect some of the skills that Damian had learnt.  I suggested that we combine the day with a brief visit to the beautiful old town of Xativa.  It has some great trails leading directly out from the town that provide great training grounds for off-road riding.

Mountain biking in Xativa

Our first section provided a session on safe descending, this time on shorter but much steeper ground.  We spent some time on this, focussing on the component techniques.  It was great to see the progress being made.

We then took to a narrow rocky trail that runs along a riverside.  It provided great opportunities for developing the mountain biker´s 6th sense of trail reading and line selection.  After a brief lunch stop we continued along some more beautiful trails before recapping on the day´s key points.  The return route was used to put all of these into practice.  The day was brought to a close with a short ride around the antique quarter of Xativa and a coffee in the old town before making the short drive back to Valencia.

Medieval Quarter of Valencia

Medieval Quarter of Valencia

It´s always a pleasure to welcome back returning clients, to design something bespoke and to see such progress.

David Warrington

 

Written by David Warrington.

Mountain Bike Guide and Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia.

 

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