The Pyrenees - Road Riding, Mountain Biking & Enduro Riding…… and more!

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The "Pyrenees - Road Riding, Mountain Biking & Enduro Riding" thread is aimed at covering everything to do with Road Riding, MTB Riding, Enduro Riding, Social Riding & Local Races here where we live in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains.

I'll also try and post details of local Iconic Grand Tour Climbs, Nearby Attractions and Points of Interest....

(This will allow me to use the "Cycling B&B in the Pyrenees" thread for our house-build only)

For now, here's a picture from Sundays ride . . .

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On yesterdays ride I stopped in for a nice chat with Russel from Fox at the Fox Factory workshop support van.

They were carrying out product testing on the Zona Zero trails near my house.

Russel is from Cape Town but lives and works in Germany now. Was nice to talk about stuff we had in common :-)

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On Tuesday I had the pleasure of riding XC with Kevin from the UK and his dog Bella.

Kevin - @trailguru on Instagram - has been living in his beautifully converted van for the past two years. He works on-line, so can work from anywhere, and spends his time surfing and mountain biking. He's also the guy behind the "https://www.trailguru.co.uk/" website, which covers dozens of trails in Wales.

Our ride was based on Zona Zero route ZZ-019 - "The Route of the Arraclan" which we adapted slightly to suit us.

Starting from the village of Santa Maria de Buil we quickly got into some nice quick singletrack, which this route has lots of. Aside from the flowing singletrack, there's Jeep Tracks, Fire Roads and the route goes through several nice stretches of forest. It has a couple of quiet tough but not too long climbs and of course the amazing "Balcony of Sarrastano" section, with its views of the Pyrenees mountains. Throw in a couple of short technical descents and a quick food-stop at a Hermatige of Santa Waldesca on route and you have a perfect morning of riding.

We only saw 2 other riders all day - a couple from the south of France who said they come here every chance they get because the riding is so good!

Outside the Hermatige in my Winter kit!......

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Kev & Bella . . .

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The Hermatige . . .

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Riding towards the Balcony

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2018 is nearly over and 2019 is just around the corner.

It’s been an exciting year for us. Not without its challenges - but we’ve had some great experiences. We’ve met some nice and interesting people, we’ve helped and been helped, and we’ve had lots of fun on the way.

In 2019 we’re aiming to put the plans we’ve been making over the last few months into reality.

We will be offering a host of services aimed at people who want to visit the beautiful area we live in.

Whether it’s to ride MTB on the trails of Zona Zero, Road Ride through the valleys and over the passes on our quiet well kept roads, hike the footpaths and caminos of our hills & mountains or simply chill out and enjoy our amazing scenery with its castles & churches, rivers & lakes and its villages – inhabited or abandoned . . .

We think you will love it here as much as we do!
 
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For anyone wondering what the Winter weather is like here where we live in the Spanish Pyrenees - this was taken at lunchtime today on a ride with friends. . . .

#livin' the dream

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Climbing up the back of the Pena Montenesa on the route the Enduro World Series used back in September when they held Stage 7 of the Championship here.

We climbed just over 800m in 8km of fire road. None of it is steep, it's just a nice gradual climb.

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Over last year I've ridden with people with a variety of different abilities who have come here to visit the "Zona Zero MTB Trails" from all over the world. New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, France, Argentina, Germany, Costa Rica, Scotland, England . . . even Boulder in Colorado and of course lots from Spain.

The majority of people I've ridden with have stayed in touch and become friends. Without fail they all want to come back here to ride again.

Here in the foothills of the Pyrenees there is something for everyone. From a leisurely family ride along one of our rivers, to full-on "Enduro World Series" Stages descending the sides of mountains, and including everything in between.

There are even decent roads to ride for those of us who also like to frequent "The Dark Side".

There are around 1000 kms of official marked out routes that the Zona Zero organisation have put together. There are dozens of Long Distance "GR" (Gran Recorrido) and Short Distance "PR" (Pequeno Recorrido) routes marked out that form an extensive network of Caminos (Footpaths) traversing the countryside. There are Fire Roads up into the mountains. Ancient Footpaths and "Sheep Trails" link up our many deserted villages with their Castles and Churches and we a multitude of Hermitages and Refuges in case the weather suddenly changes. In the summer there are dry river beds to ride in and wide slow rivers to swim in.

It certainly is a pleasure Living, Riding and Guiding in this part of the world.
 
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Today we rode Zona Zero Route 47 starting and finishing in Tierrantona.

It's a 26.5km circuit that climbs a total of 964m (3162 feet), takes in the two villages of "Charo" & "El Humo de Muro", climbs to the Hermitige of San Salvador on its first climb and the Muro de Roda Castle on it's second climb, includes a kilometre of "almost dry" river bed and has some really nice technical descents!

On these rides, you can never capture the true awesomeness of the views and the mountains. I always try, but I never feel hat the pictures really reflect what's actually up there . . . anyway, here you go . . .

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Did a ride last week called the "Ruea de Piojos" - The Lice Route.

Only 34.2km long but included 1296m of climbing - the joys of living in the mountains!

The route is named after an old Inn "el Meson de Piojos" whose ruins still sit up in the mountains just off the trail. The story is that in the common bedrooms, the beds were so close together that if one traveller arrived with lice, by tomorrow morning everyone had them!

The ride starts out of Boltaña on a nicely maintained track towards the village of San Pietro with a 50minute climb that rises around 600m in 7km, so you need to pace yourself. After that the climbs are spread through the ride, so not too hectic. There are sections of very nice singletrack along the ridge, then comes some fast sweet singletrack down through the woods and then some "Black" descents down towards the village of San Vicente. Filled up my water bottles there at the natural spring and then it was up and over the last hill back to Boltaña.

A great day out!
 
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Up at the Muro de Roda Castle on route ZZ 047 "La Natiella Hacia Arriba" last week before the snow arrived. The descents are worth the climbs!

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This month saw the birth of Ainsas very own Cycling Club! The "Club Ciclista Zona Zero" was created and adopted its constitution at a meeting in mid January.

The club will cater for Men & Women Road and MTB riders of all ages and as well as organising the usual rides, it will also arrange rides specifically for Ladies, rides for Children and Social/Family rides.

We've joined the club and we're looking forward to an exciting year ahead!

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