A good few years ago I discovered the fantastic Aran Valley. It was thanks to my good friend and photographer Mikel Helsing. The area captivated me deeply as soon as I arrived, with its impressive landscapes guarded by great mountains. It makes you feel privileged, a little small perhaps, especially when you appreciate that the Aneto (the highest peak of the Pyrenees at 3404m) is looking you in the eye. The Aran Valley is a favourite for winter sports enthusiasts as the famous Baqueira Beret ski resort is located in its territory. But we are not here to talk about snow, we are here to talk about mountain biking and I assure you that there is a a lot to talk about.
The first time I visited this area I enjoyed its routes and trails but since then it's evolved immensely. As you can imagine, this is thanks to the riders in the area and also to the local initiatives like the guys from Era Roda, who with enthusiasm and effort have created a magnificent network of trails that, believe me, will make you flip out. Imagine the most amazing landscapes and forests that you have seen and add to that some fantastic trails.
After this trip my list of favorite places to ride a bicycle has undergone some slight changes, placing the Valley of Aran in my Top 3. I guarantee that there are many places that are well known and do not even reach the level and quality that you can find here.
That includes Era Roda which especially compelling with its spirit and meaning. I think it is best that we speak to its architects because no one knows this fantastic valley better than them.
Silvia Monge, manager of Copos Bike, explains why Era Roda is the best option to enjoy the Aran Valley by bike for several days: "I recommend Era Roda because it is a staged route, adaptable to any type of stay, 23 days. You will find spectacular views, the routes run through forests, trails, villages, you also pass by some lakes."
If you are looking for quality enduro, Aitor Etxenausia, a guide of Copos Bike, explains what you can find, "You will find quite long descents, with slopes of between 500 to 1000m and in a very nice terrain, full of fir forests. The grip is humid because of the type of climate we have here, the routes have very fun and twisty areas, some techniques and others for all levels, no matter the level, here everyone can enjoy the terrain Era Roda. "
To explain the meaning of Era Roda Non Stop, the race that combines 3 in 1, ultra marathon, double marathon and marathon, who better than their own career director, Jose Luis Muñoz, to get rid of doubts.
"Non Stop is simply 3 tests in a single day, the 3 distances: marathon, ultramarathon and double marathon that oscillate between 2200 and 4700 meters of altitude difference. 100% in the Aran Valley, the entire route runs through these beautiful mountains. "
Finally the creator of the idea Era Roda, Francesc Comas, multi sportsman from the Youth, a true visionary and one of the most experienced people in the mountain world with which you can cross here. Francesc explains that it is Era Roda: "It is the result of 10 years of passion for BTT that results in 10 routes and 10 challenges for the most emblematic and incredible places in the Aran Valley."
Text and riding: David Cachon
Photography and video: Fernando Marmolejo