|Expecting merely to revisit the superb trails from 20015 proved an injustice both to Ciclo Montana’s renown and the treasure to be found in the Alpujarras. Relaxed yet, professional a week in this beautiful rugged region of real Spain, is far from a stroll in the park but does give you exactly what you went for; dry, lung-busting uphills of indecent length followed by DH you can only dream of in blighty.|
|Sunday’s sussing out session over to Capileira gently reacclimatized from the oft forgiving Lancashire moorland to the savage, dusty dry rock of the Sierra Nevada
Upping the ante: Spain’s highest village, Trevelez appeared via signature switchbacks; the return route GR8, honing the balance in preparation for the reputed 70 twists and turns down the camion to Lanjaron on ‘dia tres’.
|Trusting some statto type had already done the maths, concentration was duly paid to gripping the saddle with gluteas and trusting the old maxim; “speed is your friend”. After the tortuous climb back out of Lanjaron where a mule train embarrassingly overtook us not once but twice, the dusty slide down towards Canar had Jiminez recalling Danish speedway stars of old. Polka dots came more to mind though as Marco announced that the finish line involved a ‘Le Tour’ climb back to the minibus.|
|Web reviews, remarkably seen by Jurassic on his steam powered ‘pewter’, hinted at a more ‘cultural’ excursion from the cosmopolitan Sierra Nevada ski station down the old ‘Iceman’ route to Granada….. sounds OK, reasonable.
The resulting ride completely redefined the ½ day epic and encapsulated everything one bike ride could EVER include.
|The bus ride up to the ski station left a nervous disposition as to how the hell we were gonna get back down again to Granada in one piece. What transpired was a superb mishmash of technical singletrack. Phew ! made it down then. Ha ! that’s only the warm up.|
|After a dangerous, unscheduled cross-town detour to Dr Bike the clock was ticking as we ascended the hills beyond the Alhambra to complete the tricky dusk, descent down to the Moorish old town to catch the stunning sun setting behind the Alhambra.|
|Knowing we’re starving there’s even time for Marco to squeeze in a Tapas Bushtucker Trial with 3 bowls of steaming, Garlic ‘caracoles’ to be slid down the gullet.
What a ride; altitude, dangerous descents, stunning sunsets and snails for tea. And just when were winding down; as if summoned by the flamenco guitarist in the plaza, 7 or 8 Granadan free-riders skid into the square and offer an impromptu tour of the Albaicin.
|High Plains Drifter meets the Italian Job as the finale to the ½ day (midday to midnight) sees us blasting through the narrow, cobbled, old town streets at reckless speed, fuelled more than adequately with a heady mix of ‘cerveza’ and mollusc protein.|
|Bloody hell !!! What a ride – what a week. Muchos, muchos gracias to Mark, Jacky and Mark for putting the effort in to make such a wonderful thing work.|
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