Video: Crossing the Island of Thorns - Corsica

Feb 24, 2015
by Filme von Draussen  
Okay, take this as a lesson against arrogance, teaching us about what happens when we overestimate our abilities. Over the past couple of years, we have done quite a few trips in the Swiss Alps which I’d call “challenging”. Even though we are aware that we are no superheros, we wanted to step up the game in terms of adventurous spirit.

Views: 12,851    Faves: 78    Comments: 5


We'd heard mixed stories about Corsica. The enticing bits were about the pristine nature and a deserted inland, which is a rare thing in Central Europe. But we also read forum posts and articles, warnings about rough and unrideable trails. And, yes, I guess it was a mix of arrogance and carelessness to tackle the Mare-­a-­Mare, despite all that. Probably those guys just didn’t bring enough suspension or they lacked skills ,or stamina. So we led ourselves to believe.

One of our favourite parts of the trip The descent towards Callacuccia.

In May 2014, we set out from Moriani Plage on the East Coast of Corsica, carrying tents, sleeping bags, and food for the four days we had calculated it would take us to cross the island. We were prepared to push and carry the bikes a lot, but what we actually encountered was, well, disappointing.

Natural berms on the upper section of the descent into the gorge of Spelunca. After that things got quite rowdy.

I wasn’t aware of how well those hiking trails at home in Switzerland are constructed and maintained. The trails in Corsica are a constant, energy­-sapping series of small ups and downs, frequently destroyed by armies of wild boars and littered with billions of tight rocks, lurking to rip off derailleurs.

At least we kept the abrasion of the tires at a minimum on this trip.

We hauled our trail bikes up hill after hill, always hoping for a longer, rideable bit of trail. It became a lesson in patience. To put it in a nutshell: If you are searching for long, epic downhills, look somewhere else.

One of the more friendly parts of the trail leading down from Col de Vergio.


But I’ll stop whining now. Because there are many aspects, that were absolutely stunning about that trip. There is something really special about starting a ride on a beach, entering an area of snow covered mountains and finding yourself on another beach again, all that within only four days.

Finally at the sea Cruising the coastal trails around Porto.

The Corsican nature is really beautiful, especially in May, when the shrubland is in bloom and the whole island smells of wild thyme and other herbs. And if you are used to the densely populated nature of Central Europe, it is quite an unusual experience to ride for so many hours without meeting a single soul.

A gem of a camp High-up above the valley of Callacuccia we put up our tents. .

About the Trip:
Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and it belongs to France. It is very mountainous with 21 peaks reaching higher than 2000m. The inland is, when you take into account that it's located in Western Europe, quite deserted and pristine. For this trip, we followed the long­ distance hiking trail "Mare­-a­-Mare North" from Moriani Plage on the East Coast to Porto on the West coast.

It s rare that we are happy to find some double-track. But on Corsica it means finally making some good progress.

We did this in four days, which was quite an effort. Except from the city of Corte, it is kind of difficult to find accomodation and food supplies along the way, at least, if you tackle the route in May, which is what we did. This is why we decided to go self-supported, carrying tents, stove and food with us. Check out this guy's GPX track of the Mare-a-Mare North.

And a sunset to add some kitsch for the final.


Posted In:
Videos



41 Comments

  • 29 0
 Thanks for the honesty in trail description. It's a refreshing departure from the standard marketing spiel and appreciated.
  • 5 0
 Corsica is wonderful! i bet you already been there Leelau!
  • 1 0
 Not yet audric. It's known for road biking but knew nothing about the mtb there
  • 12 1
 Very nice short movie, liked the filming and story. Make me want to move away from everyday problems and plunge into the world of adventure. Thank's
  • 5 0
 Really enjoyed this little film, for the disapointment you mention you certianly made it look awesome! Refreshing honesty and lack of hype..
  • 3 0
 Great story, nice video. They mentioned at the beginning of the video that the guy at the hotel said it would take 12 days to walk, 6 days to ride. These guys did it in 4, including the time it must have taken to set up shots. They must have been hauling. This is one of those adventures you take and are happy you did it afterward, but during the whole thing, it must have been a pain.
  • 5 1
 Very cool. I'll be sure to leave the bike home for that trip and make a hike of it.
  • 1 0
 Thanks guys! Really enjoyed watching your journey.The gorges de spelunca really kicked my ass in 2011 on my completely unsuitable CC bike Big Grin
Would love to visit this amazing island again but either for hiking or with better information where to find rideable trails
  • 4 0
 Majestic, true nature of Mountain bike
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of some of the rarely ridden trails near where I live. Definitely better for hiking but mountain biking can be a great challenge from time to time.
  • 1 0
 Whoa, that looked painful at times! To film along the way and complete that beast...hat's off boys. Always love your films Tom, thanks for taking the time to create amazing shots of your adventures. Cheers!
  • 2 0
 Gorgeus movie.. A great movie alongside with that Yeti boys journeys. Wish to see something like this more often. Props to your greatwork guys.
  • 2 0
 Probably the best video I have seen in a long time. Real mountain biking - mates, bikes and natural adventure trails - thanks for sharing guysSmile
  • 2 0
 That was really cool. Makes me want to pack my bike up and fly to France and Italy (Sardinia next door).
  • 2 0
 have been there last year! iit's a marvellous island. "perla di mare".
props for the filming
  • 2 0
 Very cool trip, been to Corsica and considered this myself. Good to get first hand report. Great film.
  • 3 1
 Pretty sure that was a dh bike in the POV crash scene. Very cool video and looks like an awesome trip!
  • 1 0
 I noticed that too. Nevermind they may have just not gotten it on camera and had to put something in as a substitute.
  • 3 0
 I really enjoyed this short film, I wish it was longer Smile
  • 1 0
 Mare a mare sud is a far more rideable trip.
Especially from l'Ospedale to Olmeto.
fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mare_a_mare
  • 3 0
 "island of thorns".... make sure to carry a spare tube
  • 3 0
 The island's real motto is actually "L'ile de beaute", or "Isle of Beauty". Bring a spare tube, and a camera! Truly stunning place, with some serious characters (some of which contribute to a serious homegrown terrorism problem). It's a place to be enjoyed but very much respected.
  • 1 0
 Really nice movie about a true adventure. Congrats for making it till the end despite finding out Corsica was not what you expected. This is MOUNTAIN biking.
  • 1 0
 i visited Corsica during a Med cruise,very beautiful area. Sardinia is very,very cool too
  • 2 0
 this is how proper documentary film is done! splendid
  • 2 0
 thanks for the movie, i really inspired...
  • 1 0
 Nice video. Impressive to carry all your equipment, even a drone. Always enjoy your movies. Make me want to go outside!
  • 1 0
 Great film! Well made and interesting. Mountain bike trekking with your buddies seems like a good way to spend a week.
  • 1 0
 Awesome video , sitting here in the security office it gets me away from it all , very honest also , well done
  • 2 0
 EPIC!!
  • 2 0
 PRICELESS!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations to your beautiful trip !
  • 1 0
 What is happening at 1:48? Why is she taking it out of her mouth?
  • 1 0
 Very nice and refreshingly honest
  • 1 0
 perfect place to ride an Enduro bike... to much talk in the video
  • 1 0
 cool video,thanks for sharing to us!!
  • 1 0
 Absolutely brilliant film! Looks like a proper adventure that does
  • 1 0
 Gutes Ding
  • 1 0
 Very cool story/video.
  • 1 0
 great guys!
  • 3 5
 wtf....I will stick to bike parks!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.026044
Mobile Version of Website