Spanish Pyrenees – the report

13 07 2009
Maarten Patteeuw / Rush Racing @ Pyrenees

Maarten Patteeuw @ Pyrenees

After taking on the Alps, La Palma, Lake Garda etc it was time to hit Spain so we went for a 8 days “walk in the park” inthe Pyrenees. Our GPS track was drafted by our longterm mtb friend Fili who unfortunately broke his leg 6 weeks before departure – hope to see you back on a mtb really soon!

The track was a mixture of stages in the Nocito-Boltaña-Laspuna area parts of the Pedals the Foc track and a little desert stage on the last day. First day around Nocito was really difficult, you get on your bike and from kilometer #2 you know it’s not going to be fun… Main reason was the 35C on the thermometer- coming from a mild 16C in Helsinki a bit of a shock. Untill day 3 we didn’t go higher than 1500m, each stage had 2 or 3 climbs and

Astonishing views

Astonishing views

we gathered between 1200 and 1500hm each day. Mainly jeep tracks but surprisingly enough a lot of forest roads and a daily bonus of 5 to 10 kms of genuine singletracks on walking paths. In short, a nice region suited perfectly well for (technical) mtb riding.

On day 4 we did our first long climb (over 800hm) in Laspuna and were rewarded with a nice descent, my 4th(!) flat tire of the trip, and a challenging singletrack next to the river – check the video. The day after we hit the Pedals the Foc track starting with a shortened stage due to a thunderstorm in the early morning. Only 1300hm on this day but the 3km climb to Castellar at 12-15% remains on of the most painfull moments of the trip. Day 6 was arguably the stage with the best panoramas climbing all the way up to 2300m between Les Iglesies and Espot, 60kms and over 2000hm. I skipped day 7 as the stage of stages was still to come on day 8 – and make no mistake: it was.

Between Bagergue and Vielha we had to climb all the way to 2450m and then descent back to 1000m over a walking

Strike a "drink pause"

Strike a "drink pause"

path… I wondered if our guide had mixed his biking and hiking maps as it took us 5hrs to cover 25kms… At the Refugio they seemed slightly surprised to see us coming from that direction – the fact that a mtb guide died there last year made us decide that although the views are astonishing this is maybe not the best track for biking. In Vielha we had a well deserved beer and concluded that this part of the Pyrenees, although not as popular as the French side, is worth the visit for some true mountainbiking. I’m pretty sure we will be back…


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