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

OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Guiding this week with Grant & Carol from Wellington, New Zealand.

Yesterday we did one of my Techy XC routes, today Zona Zero Route 7. . . . Grant is on a beautiful Santa Cruz Bronson . . .

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Grant & Carol climbing to the top of the Partara. Another nice afternoon of guiding . . . .

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Guided Brandy from the US for a day last week.

Beautiful hot day when we started. Over the first hill and we heard thunder in the distance. Up on the plateau we just caught the edge of the rain and took refuge in one of the many old stone shelters we have here. Towards the end of the ride as we headed back towards the car the weather cleared again and we finished in sunshine.

The car meanwhile, despite never being more than a few km's away from us, saw no rain at all.

Such is the weather in the mountains!

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Met up with a visiting fellow Brit at the weekend and guided him around some of our Zona Zero Singletracks.

Leo lived in Cape Town for a few years as a teenager, and I visited there several times when I lived in Jo'burg - so we had lots to talk about!

We also had some interesting chats regarding ideas for advertising & promoting ourselves here in Spain and we're going to keep in touch now and help each other out a bit.

Always good to share ideas and offer help if you can. It's one of the things that makes the world go around :-)

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Had some visitors from the UK earlier this week.

Simon has been following our progress on-line pretty much since we started and wanted to catch up with us while he and some friends were riding the trails here at Zona Zero.

We did a ride XC from Ainsa up to Guaso so that they could see our "Project". Mrs Bonus met us up there and we showed them around.

It's always reassuring when people tell us how much they love our location and our plans for the place. They've promised to come back and support us when we're done . . . great stuff.

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
About 6 months ago I started helping Dale, who lives in the Philippines, to plan a visit to Ainsa to ride the Zona Zero trails.

I helped him arrange car hire & accommodation, we became friends on FB and finally last Friday, after reading and commenting on my MTB posts for months, he and his two friends Anthony & Tweed arrived and I guided them for 5 days.

The Philippines only has two seasons - a dry season and a wet season (Monsoon) and averages 90% humidity every day - so the hot and dry weather we have here was very different for them.

They are used to riding on dirt (or in mud during the wet season) so the rocks here took some getting used to, but they all handled everything here very well.

Some pics from day one - we did a warm up on the singletrack through the Badlands and then rode XC over to Guaso, via Boltana, to see our Build Project. . . .

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
On Day 1 we did Ainsa, Boltana, Margudued and Guaso.

On Day 2 Dale, Ants, Tweed & I did Ainsa, El Pueyo de Araguas, El Soto & Usana . . . .

It was another beautiful day with a picnic break up at the highest point of the ride :-)

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OP
Bonus

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Location
Ainsa, Spain
Day 3 with the guys from the Philippines and we drove out to Santa Maria de Buil to ride a variation of Zona Zero route 19. I start the route, which is circular, at the halfway point - so I do the second half first and then the first half last..... I think it rides better that way around!

The first part of the ride is mostly nice flowy singletrack, then there's some climbing - fire road and technical singletrack. Stop for a quick sandwich at the Ermita de Santa Barbara and then through the trees and out onto "The Balcony" from where you get to see some amazing views of the Pyrenees.....

It was a great day out, as always. . . . .

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OP
Bonus

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Location
Ainsa, Spain
Day 4 was e-bike day!

A couple of the guys wanted to try out e-bikes while they were here. Dale and Ant were going to hire e-bikes while Tweed and I rode normal bikes . . . but then they talked Tweed into giving it a go, so they hired an e-bike each and one for me too! How cool is that!?

My first time on an e-bike and also my first time on an Enduro style bike. I ride a Specialized Epic 29'er - which is more of a Cross Country Racing Mountain Bike - it handles pretty much everything I want to ride here, but I was interested to give the Enduro frame a go.

We went out for 4 hrs and rode every steep technical climb I could find.... and we had a blast. All the climbs we did I've done before on my own bike - the two differences I found with the e-bike were that you climb much faster, naturally, but also - with it being an Enduro bike rather than a Cross Country bike, you don't have to watch where you're going. When I climb on my bike I have to "pick my line", on the Enduro bike you just hit every rock, step or root head-on and you can get over it.

On the downside, the e-bike only helps you up to a certain speed - on these bikes the sweet spot was 26.4km/h. So on the flat I rode more slowly than I normally would. Anything above 26.4km/h and the motor stops helping you - then it gets real hard real quick!

One of us ran out of battery towards the end, but thankfully within a couple of km's from the end of the ride. Again, with a dead battery the bike becomes a really heavy piece of kit to keep moving....

Overall it was a great experience and I can see why people like them and if you want to, you can still get a good workout!

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Day 5 was the last day for me to guide my visitors from the Philippines.

We split the day up into two rides. An hour and a half on a circuit around the abandoned village of Janovas - which has the Eastern Hemisphere/Western Hemisphere "Greenwich Mean Line" going through it, followed by a couple of hours between Boltana and Ainsa - finishing with us coming down a technical descent that we first did on Day 1.

The challenge was for them to "do it better" this time around - and they all did :-)

The weeks riding with them had been a pleasure and their trip here was rounded off with them inviting Mrs Bonus and I out to dinner at one of the best local restaurants, where they spoiled us.

:-)

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Had a visitor from Switzerland last week. Martin is doing a tour of Spain & Portugal in a VW Camper van.

He parked behind our flat and we got talking. Gave him some advice on where to ride and where to camp, and the next day we ended up riding together. Now I have another new friend . . . that's how we roll! (as Mrs Bonus' teenage son used to say!)

The weather was perfect and the views were beautiful, as always.
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I rode in my "South Africa" top for a change . . . . :-)

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

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Location
Ainsa, Spain
Last weekend I had the pleasure of MTB Guiding Jason & Lilly from Seattle in Washington State - they were here on their honeymoon.

It was a really nice day out - we rode in "The Badlands", did some climbing, rode some very nice descents and did some site seeing - a bit of everything. They even got to see our Project up in Guaso. Jason is a builder - so he was interested to see how it had originally been built.

From here they headed down to ride in the Sierra Nevada mountains before heading back to the States.

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
Riding down from Guaso village church on Zona Zero Route ZZ-09.

Some days are quicker than others, but it's always fun!

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OP
Bonus

Bonus

Über Member
Location
Ainsa, Spain
There are 6 categories of Routes here at "Zona Zero" in Ainsa - totalling over 1000km of trails......

ZZ Routes - The standard Zona Zero routes that form the basis for the Trail Network here. New routes are being added all the time.

ZL Routes - The "Light" Routes. There are 6 of them and they tend to be easier than the ZZ Routes. That's not always the case though - some of them are pretty "interesting" in places!

ZE Routes - These are the "Special" Routes. Enduro riding, including the sections that made up the Enduro Series Stages that were held here in Ainsa-Sobrabe in 2015 and 2018.

ZA Routes - These are the "Alpine" Routes. Up in the Alto Pyrenees, these routes offer some spectacular views and some great descents.

ZR Routes - A set of 13 "Road" Routes here and across the border in France.

EZ Routes - Coming soon! Routes prticularly suited to e-Bikes.


Plenty to enjoy!
 
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