Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mountain Biking Sierra Nevada Espana

I found myself in Sevilla Espana this past February for a work related month long stay.  Towards the end of the month the love of my life came out and we took a train to Granada.  A short cab ride later found us in the sleepy resort town of Monachil, nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We spent the next two days mountain biking an amazing variety of terrain (Mountain uphill, downhill, farmland, riverbeds, single track, technical, road) in unseasonably gorgeous weather.

At the 5,868 foot peak of the ride the first day.

Our guide, Shaun, from Ride Sierra Nevada was great.  He is a like-able, well prepared easygoing guy, good at breaking down the basics for the inexperienced (me).  The basics included attack position, body weight placement, braking, gearing, etc…  We never rode with Csilla but she is just as cool and makes the best sandwiches I have ever had.  The food I experienced this particular weekend changed my diet forever – I always keep olives, dates, and figs, and Spanish wine on hand now.  Shaun and Csilla handled all the logistics leaving me with only my clothes and my camelback to worry about.  

Snow was still present but did not greatly hinder the trip.  Not a car was to be seen or heard and the air was cool, clean, and crisp.

We rented Bionicon Edison full suspension bikes through Ride Sierra Nevada.  Climbing was made convenient by being able to lock the front fork in the down position at the push of a button while on the move.  For downhills we dropped the seat height manually.  The suspension on these bikes was incredible at smoothing the ride.  There were times I thought I would eat it but the front fork handled everything.  I can’t give the bike an honest review as it was the first full suspension bike I have ever rode.  I can say it was a pleasure compared to no suspension bikes I have taken out in less challenging terrain.

One of several rivers.

The days were physically demanding but well worth it.  Our camera failed in the middle of the second day but the pictures we took tell a better story than words can.  I continue to get in mountain biking where I can and look forward to planning another mountain biking vacation.  It also happens I am currently in the market for a mountain bike.  More research is required, one of these weekends I will need to rent a hard tail so that I have some reference point.

The elevation and speed of the first day.  Five plus hours, 19 miles, 4087 feet of climbing, and 1977 calories burned.

The elevation and speed of the second day which featured a trip to Granada.  Five plus hours, 17 miles, 2740 feet of climbing, and 1298 calories burned.  The second day went a bit slower with my new found appreciation for braking after a couple of crashes.

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