Risking it in Alicante - Video

Mar 7, 2018
by Ben Gerrish  
Views: 8,841    Faves: 41    Comments: 6


Animo!

Sat in the pub, pint in hand, gradually defrosting by the open fire after an excitingly wet slip and slide on the local tracks and the conversation once again turns to the idea of the winter getaway. This is often akin to the “if I was a millionaire” line of pub chat that culminates in pump tracks and uplift buggies. All the usual locations are thrown in the mix, Finale, Malaga, the more adventurous 36-hour journey to the southern hemispheres mecca of NZ, but this time something a little different creeps into the options list.


Alicante, better know for boozy weekends in Benidorm, than a riding mecca. But after pouring over the available resources, namely online maps, the lay of the land looked promising. This idea had some legs. Further research after the pub didn't throw up a huge amount of existing trail networks or anything in the area we were looking, principally the town of Polop and the Guadalest valley, winding its way up to Abdet. The area of mountains around there is so vast, we decided it was necessary to initially focus on one specific area, that said, we had countless peaks, valleys and passes to discover in the relatively small area we had chosen.


This was happening, we were invested, we’d bought a paper map and everything. Flights booked, accommodation found, rental car/shuttle bus booked. The excitement was building, along with the niggling worry that we might strike out and nothing would be rideable.


We lucked out.

Day one, bikes built and an afternoon pedal from the door towards the nearest huge lump of rock, Ponoig, quickly revealed a pedally but fun lap in the woods followed by a twisting network of flat-out XC trails back into the village, beers on the balcony and basking in the warm glow of satisfaction.


We had hit it off on day one, and we were in our stride. The whole week of riding did not disappoint, each day packing our bags with the staples of fresh bread, cheese and chorizo added to the all-important “summit” beers that quickly became our daily celebration of topping out. There is a vast selection of hills in the area over 1000m, topping out on Aitana at 1558m, considering you’re starting from near sea level, this makes for some pretty big days out, with plenty to celebrate at the top. After discovering huge hanging valleys, knife-edge ridge lines and massive boulder fields, we unfailingly found technical descents, flowing twisty single track and endless testing switchbacks for thousands of meters back into the valleys, finishing each adventure in the warm winter sun, sat on the balcony with another fine meal and couple of local Cerveza.




We’re pretty convinced we’ve found a winter paradise retreat from harsh UK conditions. We barely scratched the surface in a week of solid riding, now we’re looking forward to another winter, so we can book some more flights.




54 Comments

  • + 21
 Nice video, Mallorca island also has similar terrain and the nearby La Fenasosa bikepark has lot to offer too. And not just Malaga folks, all South of Spain is perfect for winter riding. Andalucia and Comunidad Valenciana (Alicante belongs here) both locations have plenty of sick trails to offer for all levels. I live 1h from Malaga and I have tons of trails at my door step. Check Trailforks and you will see lot of riding opportunities. I'm actually trailforks admin for Spain and Portugal Wink Ask any questions you like and I'll try to answer.
  • + 5
 Thanks @elyari , we will most definitely be going back, so much more to discover. We will be in touch!
  • + 4
 Amunt, I missed that place a lot, I lived there 5 years, We were riding every weeks a part from summer ... too too hot. The comunidad valenciana is fantastic and well unknow
  • + 3
 Valencia is amazing.. Look me up if you make it here..
  • + 3
 @jefftrancex1xtr: there are places where you can ride in summer without issues, Granada or El Chorro for example. If you don't want to drive much, buy a decent light and try some night riding, its completely different and rewarding.
  • + 3
 @hddnmedia: yes please! \m/
  • + 2
 @denomerdano: Can you tell us more about Valencia? Not many trails on trailforks.
  • + 3
 @LlamaLlama: indeed, Valencia is a well know place for other reasons, Fallas, paella, sun, beaches... but not so for ride trips. There are a lot of trails here, this is a region with a long time hiking tradition, so you can find natural multiuse singletracks in every mountain. I uploaded a few trails to Trailforks, but this is only a sample, anyway I will keep publishing...
  • + 1
 @ElCabrero: and I´ll keep approving them, as long as they follow Trailforks basic format Wink
  • + 2
 Yep. Off to Fuengirola next weekend for a weeks riding, mostly uplifted trail riding I went the same time last year with SierraMTB and had a great time. Went to Gran Canaria in January that was great more proper DH oriented with DH Guides Canarias. Going to sneak a days riding in Madeira later this year.

It’s the rocky loose sort of riding I love the best. Crazy not to visit southern Spain or Portugal if living Europe in winter time. Only trouble is it rubs in quite how rubbish the UK is in the depths of winter.
  • + 1
 yeah but what these guys saw didn't look like many others have ridden, wicked trip you guys, just like what we love doing
  • + 2
 @elyari: you're right.
It was more than 10 years ago (my daughter is Valenciana) ... We didn't have the light technology to ride nights.
We could ride summer indeed but at 5am until 10am , ""Joe ke calo""
  • + 1
 @elyari we have a house in the Orihuela region of Spain, any places in around there to ride?
  • + 1
 @Fergiesredarmy: have some friends in the close by Murcia region but haven't got the opportunity to ride on the area. I'm certain that they have indeed lot of trails. On Trailforks you have the nearby village of Benejuzar with some trails. In Orihuela itself there is is LBS "Bicicenter". I guess you could drop by and ask for recommendations.
  • + 4
 nice bunch of riders. Nice trails too, escaping the winter is a no brainer if one can afford the time and money. thumbs up guys and keep em coming
  • + 2
 @hddnmedia, nice video dudes!

Some friends of mine has got a house in Benijofar west of Alicante. Which village/town did you ride out of the most? Or for the best riding?

I need to determine how far of a drive it would be to find great riding there.
  • + 2
 We were based in a small village just outside La Nucia and spent most of the time either there or around Guadalest. There is loads of natural riding, we studied maps and got lucky with a local who runs trail running holidays from near Abdet. The routes we found would be easy to point out on a map but we didn't strava or have a GPS running the whole time so we have no record of exactly where we were! The maps were pretty acurate and the signs for footpaths were easy to follow when you were on the gorund. I think we got lucky as every route we tried had some amzing sections and all so varied...

Looking on a map where Benijofar is all our riding locations are over an hours drive, up to 1 1/2. I hear there is loads of riding in the sierra espuna national park which looks closer. Local knowledge is definatly the way to go. If theres a local bike shop they should know where the good stuff is!
  • + 2
 @sam-armitage: Sierra Espuña is indeed the place to go on that area Wink
  • + 1
 @elyari: another place to add to the ever growing list!
  • + 2
 @elyari: 'El Valle-Carrascoy' nearby Murcia city has great trails too and fortified Hills surrounding Cartagena
  • + 2
 What a nice video!! what skills to climb those rocks at 3:46! This video lifted my mountain bike spirit, just when i thought i was going to be able to ride my bike it snow again here in New Jersey. Cant wait to ride !! Perfect ending to the video too, Tapas in a balcony with a great view Smile
  • + 2
 Great video. Some fantastic looking trails and riding in there and decent soundtrack too (enjoyed the Django Django track in there). Got me looking into doing something similar for this coming winter. Well done to all involved.
  • + 6
 I'm buzzing after watching that...looking a flights now..
  • + 1
 It was amazing! still can't believe how much good stuff we found, we got lucky and had some help from a family friend of Gez's, along with the hours spent staring at maps and google earth...
  • + 1
 Get some booked, And take us with you!
  • + 1
 @haribooutie: Yeh i'll come as well!
  • + 5
 Great positive video! Superb riding, fun trails and very nice music Smile
Thank's for good mood!
  • + 3
 Thanks @elkhan , positive vibes and good times was what we were going for.
  • + 3
 I live in denia just up the road from benidorm, amazing tracks pretty much on every mountain and great year round weather, only downside is it is a bit rocky.
  • + 1
 You're very lucky to live somewhere with such amazing terrain, we can't wait to get back and explore some more.

We're all based in the Lake District in the UK so rocky terrain is what we're used to, made it feel like a (dry and dusty) home from home!
  • + 2
 @sam-armitage: well if you or anyone else for that matter come back this way look me up for a free local guide.
  • + 2
 @sam-armitage: I live in Xabia/Javea Town next to Denia. We have some amazing rides as Gringo said. Some that take you all the way down to the coves and beaches. If you ever come to this area, Go to the Bike shop in called xabia´s bike in the port Area, They have a big MTB and Enduro team and all are happy to share routes or even join up for a ride.
  • + 1
 @gringo: Thanks, next time we're there we may just take you up on that!
  • + 1
 @lokiler88: The rides down to beaches sound especially appealing! We'll be sure to ask around a bit more before we go next time, this time was more about discovery. Now we know the potential of the area it would be rude not to get some local assistance...
  • + 5
 I hate snow
  • + 0
 I love snow, ride all summer, ski all winter
  • + 1
 My brother is in Edmonton too. He's completely of skiing and totally into fatbiking. I tried it out there two winters ago. Harder than it looks.
  • + 3
 What an awesome video! Top work.
  • + 1
 Great video, definitely made me think about doing similar this winter. Love that Django Django track too. Great work. Well done to all involved.
  • + 3
 Quality vid, defo one for the cheapish MTB winter holiday bucket list.
  • + 1
 That trials riding bit was top shelf. Inspired me to go practice on my bike.
  • + 2
 Wanting to ride now!! Goddamn collarbone! Great edit!
  • + 2
 Sick riding! Beautiful place.
  • + 2
 Some serious hard core riding abilities lads, hats off!
  • + 3
 Awesome video guys!!!
  • + 2
 "Chevy Astrovan!" lol great vid!
  • + 1
 Took my bike to Xabia, went out on some early morning rides, found nothing and the heat is unbearable come midday.
  • + 1
 So what was going on around 4:40? Spare fork?
  • + 6
 The mountain trail on Bernia links up north to south through a small cave on the mountain side, so small infact you had to take your front wheel out and portage everything through individually.
  • + 2
 Amazing video guys!
  • + 1
 great views!!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2018. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.040509
Mobile Version of Website