MTB Ainsa! XC & Enduro Riding at "Zona Zero" in the Spanish Pyrenees.

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MTB Ainsa! XC & Enduro Riding at "Zona Zero" in the Spanish Pyrenees.
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Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 0:13 Quote
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.

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 0:14 Quote
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.

rode in my "South Africa" top for a change . . . . :-)

Posted: Oct 27, 2019 at 13:51 Quote
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.

Posted: Nov 1, 2019 at 6:41 Quote
Riding down from Guaso village church on Zona Zero Route ZZ-09.

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

Posted: Nov 16, 2019 at 11:08 Quote
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!

Posted: Nov 27, 2019 at 0:15 Quote
Zona Zero Route ZA-03 - "The Comodoto" - 22km long and climbs 1200m....

I rode this route for the first time a few weeks ago with two mates from the UK, one an old friend and the other a new friend. It was a great day out - spectacular views, steady climbing and some awesome descending. The final part of the climb is too steep to ride, so it's a case of pushing or carrying your bike - but we broke that section up with a little chocolate break half way up - just to sit and take in where we were.

If you didn't want to climb to the very top, there is a way around..... maybe I'll try that next time and report back. But for the first time, I definitely wanted to do the whole thing.

As you climb up out of the Pineta valley you have some awesome views of Monte Perdido and it's sisters - and you're looking at them from the northern side. Whereas from where we live we look at them from the southern side.

After climbing on the fire road track you round the bend into a pasture hidden behind a low outcrop of rock. Then its a bit of walking/pushing/Hike n Bike before you get to where we stopped for a mini-picnic. The sun was warm and the views were amazing.

Then it gets tough for a little while - a good opportunity to tease each other to keep your spirits up!

Finally the top - 2355m above sea level and about 1200 above where we started.

A ride along the ridge, followed by a pretty tricky section of descending, before we got down to a more recogniseable path that leads pretty much all the way back down the otherside of the mountain. Finishing off in fields above the village of Espierba before cutting through the trees on a singletrack and heading along the road back to the car.

All in all - a great day out!

Posted: Dec 8, 2019 at 0:08 Quote
November was unusually wet and cold this year, but happliy this week the weather has been amazing - so hopefully December will be a good one.

Some pics from todays spin from Boltana over to Ainsa and on through the bottom of the Badlands, which were deserted!

Autumn colours at Zona Zero . . . .

I had the Badlands to myself!

Feeling the sun on your face in Deceber in the Northern Hemisphere! Can't be bad :-)

Posted: Dec 15, 2019 at 7:40 Quote
A quick trip up to the village of Campodarbe last weekend. Not bad weather for December in the Northern Hemisphere!

The last picture shows the path back down to the small town of Boltaña, where we rent a flat.

Posted: Dec 25, 2019 at 2:22 Quote
Stage 8 of la Vuelta a España 2020 will pass through Ainsa - our hometown - on Saturday August 22nd!

Bring it on!


Posted: Jan 11, 2020 at 7:56 Quote
Mid January . . . . the sun is shning and the trails are dry....

It's not what you would call "warm" here yet, but dress properly and after the first climb you'll be fine :-)

Did a ride today up to the village of Sieste, which is just outside Boltaña and then came back down on Zona Zero route ZZ-18. It's a nice little loop with some beautiful views of the mountains to the north and of Morcat to the south.

Parts of the trail that don't get any sun at this time of year were frozen, but not dangerously so.

Was nice to get out there and stretch my legs and my lungs - I have some guiding work this week so I need to be up to scratch!

Posted: Jan 15, 2020 at 2:05 Quote
I'm guiding a guy visiting here from the Labanon. On our first ride we expored the Zona Zero Badlands.

It was a chilly start while we rode alongside the Rio Cinca but as soon as we climbed up into the hills we warmed up.

Turned out to be a beautiful day. The difference between riding in the sun and the shade is significant at this time of year - Sunny and warm versus frosty/icy and cold. Thankfully the shadey spots are few and far between!

You can see from the second photo that the Badlands are quite a vast area......

Crossing a semi-frozen stream!

Posted: Jan 18, 2020 at 5:36 Quote
We climbed up to the bench on the Partara, then came down the Partara Express. It a good few hundred meters of climbing but the descent is worth it!

Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 1:41 Quote
Sunny skies, snow topped mountains, dry trails . . . .

I love my life!

Posted: Feb 23, 2020 at 22:49 Quote
Several tough rides over the last few weeks and I'm getting back into it after the winter break. Always amazes me how quickly the human body can get itself back into fairly reasonable shape . . . but then it also amazes me how quickly the human body can get itself back out of shape again if you take a week or ten days off!

Temps this weekend were in the low 20's. No one here can believe it because it's really not normal. This time last year there was a dusting of snow on the ground.

I'm loving it, but we may pay for the lack of snow in terms of water come summer . . . .

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 at 22:59 Quote
This huge abandonded house - "La Capana" - and its outbuildings, which include a Hermitage and a small Church, are beside the trail of Zona Zero Route ZZ-014 "Camporrotuno and the Treasure of Dineretes" ......

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