MTB dream Adventure Andalucía - A 5 days adventure

MTB dream Adventure Andalucía - A 5 days adventure

For the last three year we ride the rugged trails of the charming province of Andalucía.

Almost 3000 hours of sunshine, from golden sand beaches to beautiful high mountain ranges and the famous white villages, Andalusia has it all. The perfect destination to escape the long and cold Czech winter.

Easily accessible from all major Europe's airports, Málaga is our favourite winter destination. Loaded with history and radiating with vibrant energy, the city that gave world Picasso has transformed itself in a favourite destination for travellers: a new port area, art galleries, millions of Spanish restaurants serving the famous tapas washed with local wine, layers on layers of history and of course, the reason we are here, the trails.

Best bike resort in Czech Republic

I had just found out the jewel of the bike resorts in Czech Republic. Simply called: TRUTNOV TRAILS..

 

 

 Stunning view 

Stunning view 

Trutnov bike resort is located two hours away from Prague in the Čížkovy kameny and Jestřebí hory area. Because of the rocky walls the area of Čížkovy kameny is a frequent destination among locals for weekend getaways and it is very similar with one of the most famous places in Czech Republic, Adršpašsko-teplické. Here the reason why Čížkovy kameny is called also the little Adršpach.

The geographical features of the area with undulating landscape and rocky terrain have created a natural network of trails perfectly suited for biking. The single trails are suited for all levels, from green to black, every rider will find something that will push his limits.  

The GREEN trail is an easy uphill path with a few technical places, but there are also a few challenging elements. It is no too long just 3 km but I would say it's highly recommended for warm up. The key points of the "Starting trail" are the rocks similar with the one presented in the photo below. 

 Rocks on the green trail.

Rocks on the green trail.

After you finish the green trail you definitely need to continue with the BLUE trail. It is a nice and smooth trail recommended to less experienced riders. You will enjoy around 7 km split up in 2 parts. Besides the entertaining technical section you will have the opportunity to stop of one of the best places for taking unforgettable photos.

mtb trutnov

For more advanced riders...

mtb trutnov

You certainly can have a lot of fun here... :D

You have all the elements, table tops. berms, walls. Everything made to put a big smile on your face.

mtb trutnov

Always something new to try..

trutnov trail
mtb prague

This nice and memorable trail it's ending with a catchy surprise..  ;)

 Gain confidence on narrow path

Gain confidence on narrow path

 Fast line

Fast line

mtb Czech Republic
 Fun everywhere

Fun everywhere

The RED trail it's a different kind of beast. The main feature of this area is the rock garden. This medium difficult trail is suitable for bikers that enjoy technical riding. I personally advise to hit this trail if you feel like it's time to upgrade your skills. You will be surprised how challenging it is. 

mtb prague
trutnov trail
 Best view over the bike resort

Best view over the bike resort

best trails in Czech Republic

The BLACK run in Trutnov is considered one of the most difficult trails in Czech Republic. It has around 2 km of perfect balanced technical parts suitable for advanced riders.  There is a section called Whistler....and this says all about this trail ;) 

 The famous black run (Image taken from http://trutnovtrails.cz/en/ web site)

The famous black run (Image taken from http://trutnovtrails.cz/en/ web site)

 

With the great help of the local community the bike resort will open a few more interesting trails in 2017. 

Looking forward for the 2017 biking season!!! 

 

5 reasons to spend winter vacation in Southern Spain

Planning a trip to Spain and need a place to start? Thinking about spending the winter vacation in Southern Spain?

Here are our top 5 reasons to spend the winter vacation in Andalusia, the cultural and history reach area in Southern Spain.

1. Plenty of Sun and blue sky

While the rest of the Europe is under black clouds, rain and snow, the Southern Spain sky is bright blue and the Sun is shining. The weather is perfect to enjoy a nice walk in the old town of Malaga or to hike the hidden trails up in the mountains.

 Bright blue sky

Bright blue sky

2. Mediterranean sea

Nice sensation to lay down on the sea side and feel the warm breeze. The water here is turquoise and the sand is made of tiny pebbles. On a shiny day the Atlas mountains are visible. To be on the seaside during the winter is an amazing feeling, it will boost your mood, no more gray clouds and cold weather. The sound of the waves is something priceless. This time of the year not so many tourists and the beach it's all yours to enjoy

pebbles sand
 Sunset in Benalmádena 

Sunset in Benalmádena 

3. White old towns

When people think about Southern Span, they imagine small white villages under the bright blue sky. There are plenty of places like this in Andalusia, narrow streets painted in white, small coffee shops and restaurants.

 Small street in Ojen

Small street in Ojen

 No tourists this time of the year.

No tourists this time of the year.

mtb andalusia
 The city of Mijas, one of the most beautiful old cities in Southern Spain.

The city of Mijas, one of the most beautiful old cities in Southern Spain.

 Mijas is a very beautiful city, narrow streets painted in white, small coffee shops and restaurants

Mijas is a very beautiful city, narrow streets painted in white, small coffee shops and restaurants

4.  The great outdoor

Had enough of the sea side and the noisy cities? Southern Spain is not all about the sea, just 30 minutes away from the seaside there are amazing mountains, cliffs, gorges and water falls. 

 The gorge in El Chorro, a very famous place for it's stunning views and dangerous walkways

The gorge in El Chorro, a very famous place for it's stunning views and dangerous walkways

 Early morning in the mountains.

Early morning in the mountains.

5. Adventures

For the adventurous ones Southern Spain has a lot to offer.  Our favorite activity in Andalusia is  mountain biking. There are hidden trails in the mountains, natural trails with roots and crumbly stones. Very unpredictable with many turns and dead ends, steep rocky descents. It'a a paradise for biking. 

 Mtb paradise

Mtb paradise

 The trails located around the city of Alhaurín el Grande will make every rider smile

The trails located around the city of Alhaurín el Grande will make every rider smile

Canyoning is also an alternative, if you enjoy water and climbing rocks, canyoning should be on your must do list. Perfect activity for adrenaline junkies ;)

 Fun fun fun

Fun fun fun

canyoning in Malaga

Porto, off the beaten path

"You will not discover Porto, the city will reveal it self to you..."

That was the first thing that our friend Eduardo guide and owner of  mygreenwaytours told us about Porto.

Difficult to grasp first time, but after we walked the old streets of Porto and the hidden trails from the surrounding mountains we start to get Eduardo's point.

There is something more of Porto than the touristic city center and the well known wine cellars crowded by millions of tourist in their's rush of testing wine.

When we met Eduardo we told him "take us where are no tourists, we want to see something different"....

And so he did...

Just 30 minutes ride by car from Porto we discovered the authentic Portuguese life style.

A short hike in the woods lead us to hidden waterfalls and natural pools with crystal clear water.

 Hidden waterfalls.

Hidden waterfalls.

 Natural swimming pool.

Natural swimming pool.

Small villages far away from the main touristic landmarks, amazing food and the home made green wine made our trip a memorable experience. 

 Traditional village.

Traditional village.

 Green wine and home made food in a local house.

Green wine and home made food in a local house.

 The fire water will make your head spin.

The fire water will make your head spin.

The Geira roman road is the best way to discover the Geres national park.

We walked the old paving slabs left by the romans, now deeply eroded and rutted. We almost heard the sounds of old carts, horses and people walking the roads of the Roman Empire.

 Old walls

Old walls

 The road is easy to follow

The road is easy to follow

 Breathtaking views

Breathtaking views

The old Porto is an amazing place, small streets where live has it's own pace.

 A maze of streets.

A maze of streets.

 The old town and the wine cellars. 

The old town and the wine cellars. 

 The iconic metal Luis bridge.

The iconic metal Luis bridge.

We finish our tour having dinner in a local pub in Porto. Something different, 'Super bock' beer and 'francesinha', the traditional food. It's always good when you eat in the local restaurants, small and very cozy.

 Douro river view in the night.

Douro river view in the night.

 City lights.

City lights.

 ...and Porto wine

...and Porto wine

If you are looking for a different experience in Porto, mygreenwaytours is the way to go. Very friendly people, professional, everything was perfectly prepared for us. 

'Till next time, obrigado :)

I forgot my front wheel home

...this is a true story...

Sunday morning, usual day at SinglTrek Pod Smrkem. I take the bike out from the car and things go wrong.

"Me: I forgot the front wheel home :| "

"The guy from the bike center:......it happens"

"Me: Do you have a wheel that can fit into my fork?"

"The guy fro the bike center:....uhhhh, no, but I have a new Trek Fuel Ex 9.8 27-5+ bike that you can try."

And this is how I end up riding the new wheel size that every mountain biking magazine is praising about: the new  "Bontrager Chupacabra, Tubeless Ready, Inner Strength sidewalls, aramid bead, 27.5x2.80" tire.

The bike industry is presenting this new tire size like it is the best thing in the universe, you can't ride without it.

I was expecting big things from this new tire, I believed the adverts, but the reality was a very different story.

 Difficult to jump, the bike was nose diving. Even tubeless the tires are too heavy.

Difficult to jump, the bike was nose diving. Even tubeless the tires are too heavy.

mtbprague

I had to pump a lot even for a small jump.

mtbprague

More speed is required for jumping.

mtbprague

Cornering is something very random, you want right, bike is going straight ahead(again inertia)

Cons:

  • Heavy, nose diving all the time when jumping. Bike manufactures will try to make components lighter. the rims for example, just to keep things in  balance. There will be a lot of unreliable products on the market.
  •  Difficult to handle when cornering. The bike feels very numb, and  require a lot more effort to steer.
  •  In mud, the tires are floating.
  •  Big tires means a lot of traction, a lot of pedalling is needed to keep a decent speed. Slower on climbs and more sluggish to accelerate.
  •  Precise pressure adjustment is required. Tire pressure matters more with big tires. The plus size tires feel very bouncy, this affects also how the suspension is working.
  • Big tubeless tires, a lot of sealing is going in, fun to fix a flat tire. Yuck
  • Expensive.

Pro:

  • Easy to go over big rocks. For a beginner that will boost the confidence.
  • A lot of grip.
  • Heavy tires, more stable bike.

I believe this new tire is still at the beginning and more adjustments and improvements needs to be done. Maybe in a while this plus tire will be the standard, but at this moment  2.4'' tire is more than enough, unless you ride on snow or on sand. Everything bigger in size than this is too much.

Nevertheless, we had tons of fun on the trails.

Lessons learned:

  • Try not to  sleep when you put the bike in the car. Count the wheels(and the axle also) :)
  • Don't trust bike magazines reviews about new stuff, go out and try it yourself.

The Spanish affair

Travel

There is no denying that Costa Del Sol is a beautiful location, perfect for a family vacation, plenty of sun, amazing sea food and a lot of history. The best way to go here is by flying to Malaga's airport. There are direct flights to/from all major cities in Europe.

 So stunning!!! The city of Mijas, one of the most beautiful old cities in Southern Spain surrounded by many DH tracks

So stunning!!! The city of Mijas, one of the most beautiful old cities in Southern Spain surrounded by many DH tracks

 Small street in Ojen. The best all-mountain trails in the area are located around the city.

Small street in Ojen. The best all-mountain trails in the area are located around the city.

For mountain biking, Southern Spain is  a paradise that should be on every rider's bucket list.

The regions's best trails

The trails aren't an everyday sort of challenge though, they are very difficult and the area is a test of endurance, technique and strength. On top of that the heat will make things more difficult.

Trails are not marked, natural trails with roots and crumbly stones. Very unpredictable with many turns and dead ends, steep rocky descents. 

The best way to explore end enjoy the trails is to have a local guide.

In the last two years, I had the chance to ride many times with Juan, local MTB guide and the owner of  the best local outdoor company in Costa Del Sol: turiactivo.com 

Juan is a very experienced mtb rider, and very knowledgeable about the hidden trails in the area. 

With his help we have explored and rode the best all-mountain trails in the area.

Alhaurin el Grande 

The trails located around the city of Alhaurin el Grande will make every rider smile. Fast trails in the woods, technical rock gardens, steep descents, small drops, Alhaurin is a lot of fun. Beginners can also ride here, there are alternatives for the drops and the descents. Never the less, the trails are not easy, the rock garden will test your balance at the maximum. 

 Juan going fast on the trails

Juan going fast on the trails

 Fast on the trails

Fast on the trails

 Steep descents in the forest

Steep descents in the forest

 Some air...

Some air...

 Riding in the Spanish sun.

Riding in the Spanish sun.

 

The downhill trails in Pinos de Alhaurin

Not far away from the city of Pinos de Alhaurin we can ride some DH tracks. Unfortunately, some parts of the trails are not maintained and the nature took it's place. But, what is good enough for ride, is very fun, drops all over the place. fast tracks. Best place to learn new tricks and boost your confidence on DH tracks.

 Fun on the descents

Fun on the descents

 The master of the local trails, Juan,  mtb guide at turiactivo.com

The master of the local trails, Juan,  mtb guide at turiactivo.com

 Taking some air on the DH tracks

Taking some air on the DH tracks

 More rocks

More rocks

 

El Chorro

The gorge in El Chorro, a very famous place for it's stunning views and dangerous walkways it's also famous for the MTB trails. Fast descents on big rocks and technical descents on the sandy grounds will test the riders limits. The trails are for experts only, beginners should not attempt to ride the trails here. Also, most of the trails are isolated and far away from the main touristic trail. Take plenty of water with you. The trails are not marked, there are no signs from the main road.

 Sandy descent in the forest

Sandy descent in the forest

 One of the descents 

One of the descents 

 Tunnel of sand :) 

Tunnel of sand :) 

 Fresh air

Fresh air

 Nice view as a reward :)

Nice view as a reward :)

 

Mijas trails

The area is very well known among the local DH riders. There are many DH trails around the city. Most of the trails are maintained by a local community of riders. Also, in the forest there are many technical trails. The terrain is sandy with crumbling rocks. There are plenty of roots and big rocks. At the end of the ride, as a reward, Mijas is a very nice city, narrow streets painted in white, small coffee shops and restaurants. If you had enough of riding the bike, you can try to ride a donkey :)

 Rocky trails

Rocky trails

 Roots and rocks all over the place

Roots and rocks all over the place

 That face :)

That face :)

 Uhhh ohhhh

Uhhh ohhhh

 This one was close ;)

This one was close ;)

 

Benalmadena

Probably one of the most well known DH trails on the Costa del Sol is located under the cable car in Benalmadena. Easy to access with the cable car, pain if you ride the 5km of fire road uphill. There are no trees on the road, no shadow. You will taste the Spanish sun at the maximum. This is a DH trail, there are a few big drops.

There is also another trail, this is more technical, big rocks, and technical descents. The trail is a lot of fun.

The trails in Coin

Around the city of Coin there are a few XC trails. Very easy trails, suited also for beginners. Easy access to the trails from the city. There are a few descents through the forest, but most of the trails are on fire roads. This means, a lot of sun :)

Ojen trails

The last trail we did was located nearby Ojen city. There are no words to describe the trails here. We think this is the best place to ride. Everything is here: technical descents, drops, roots, rock gardens, jumps, sandy descents. The place is a paradise for MTB. You can ride this place over and over again and you can't get enough of it. We did this trail twice and we did not grasp the hole potential of the trail. The last part of the trail is starting from Hotel El Refugio del Juanar and it will finish on the main road in the city. This trail is the prime of the all-mountain trails. The trail is for experts only, full face helmet is a must and also knee pads, at least. The are also some big drops at the end of  the trail. Unfortunately, no photos because we were busy to ride. There is a video in the making, we will update the page as soon the video is done.

Top 3

No.1: Ojen

No.2: El Chorro

No.3: Alhaurin el Grande

Best time to travel to Costa del Sol

Due the heat, best time of the year to ride would be January->May and September->December

Local mtb guide

http://turiactivo.com/