Three videos shot in the Spanish Basque country from Spring, Summer and Autumn.
Over the past few months I have been shooting some videos, with the idea of showing people a bit about what the riding is like in this relatively unknown corner of Spain, where the Pyrenees reach down to the wild Atlantic Ocean. One of the things that I love about the Basque Country is the seasons, and hopefully these videos show the variety of riding here and the changes the seasons bring.
Spring: Returning to the Summits
What can you say about Spring. There's that special feeling in the air; the combination of the knowledge of sunny days to come and the sexual tension of the animal kingdom. The snow has gone from the higher mountains and those trail are fair game once more. This mountain is a personal favourite of mine, the top is rocky, technical and a test of nerves, but the bottom is faster and more flowing. The crosses at the summit mark a pilgrimage route and the stones have been polished by generations of feet meaning that grip is a bit scarce in places which just adds to the excitement. This video covers the first couple of kilometers of this 10km descent.
Summer is all about long, warm days riding by the coast. We're lucky that ancient tectonic plate movement kicked up lots of ridge-like mountains which fence the Atlantic ocean here, giving loads of coastal trails with a decent amount of vertical to play with. The day I shot this video I left the van by the sea and rode the whole day, capturing video as I went. I got caught out by the sunset a few hundred meters above the van, as you can see, and had to limp my way down the last descent in the pitch dark. Epic Summer days from morning until dusk are what it's all about. Am I wrong?
We live in one of the greenest areas of Spain, with big sections of ancient deciduous forest so, of course, Autumn and Winter bring in a big change. First the forests turn a crazy range of colors, from shining gold through burnt orange to deep red, and then the first of the Winter storms roll in knocking all the leaves from the trees. All the trails in the forests are covered in a deep blanket of leaves. If you know where the tracks are you can have a blast surfing the leaves down the trails. It's a bit like skiing powder, you just point it downhill and let the bike slide about under you. If it all goes wrong and you have to bail it's a fairly soft landing anyway!