Autumn is well and truly upon us, the mercury has dropped significantly in the last couple of days and it’s only a matter of time before riding muddy trails in the dark becomes the norm.
After such an outstanding summer, it can be hard to muster up the enthusiasm for thrashing about in the muck – but help is at hand if you’re still not ready to embrace the undisputed joys of winter mountain biking!
We’re running a special, discounted shop trip to Spain’s Sierra Nevada as guests of Pure Mountains MTB holidays – five days for just £490.
Qualified guides will lead you on vehicle-supported rides, tailored to meet the experience of the group.
After an exhilarating day in the wilderness, relax at the beautiful farmhouse accommodation and enjoy your hosts’ delicious, home-cooked food. Included is full board (except for two evenings eating out at very reasonably-priced local restaurants): breakfast, picnic lunch, post-ride tea and cake, a hearty dinner and unlimited beer and wine at the farmhouse.
The discounted price included Malaga airport transfers, but not flights. It’s worth checking out Skyscanner for a bargain.
Pro rider Neil Donoghue is a long-time Sierra Nevada regular. We caught up with him to get the low-down on what Pure Mountains has to offer.
Tell us a bit about the set up – what’s the accommodation like? The food? The people who run the place?
The Pure Mountains set up is great. The farmhouse, accommodation and food are brilliant. I always try and gauge people’s reactions when they are first driven up the vertical road out of Berchules and onto the dirt track – you think you are off into the middle of nowhere, which you are I suppose! But the farmhouse and the paddock – with the trails finishing right behind the house – are such a surprise to see first time. Tim and Jenny are great hosts and the dogs add a lot of character to the place. The views down over the hills and valley are amazing and on a clear day you can see the Med.
Why is the end of October a good time to be riding out there?
Spring and Autumn are both great times. October still has very warm days and the figs and tomatoes are in abundance.
What sort of riding can guests expect – tell me a bit about the trails. Is there something for everyone?
It is very much on the trail / XC side of things, but there is a bit of everything. The days always include some pedalling – my favourite trail is part of the GR7 path. You climb for about 45 minutes from the farmhouse out to a ridge overlooking Mulhacen. Then there’s a lovely loamy wood going down to a mellow, flowy open piece of trail. It seems to have the perfect gradient, so there is no pedalling or braking for about 15 minutes.
Is there a ‘must do’ trail?
The trail called “Dorris” runs in woodland with a nice wide trail in pine needles. It winds its way down to the river with some nice rocky parts, then crosses onto the other side of the valley. It has a few really rocky, technical sections that are in breathtaking scenery under huge cliffs.
What sort of bike do you think you need to get the most out of the riding there?
Something that can pedal well and still take quite a punishing on the way back down. A 150mm travel bike is somewhere near perfect.
Any top tips about the sort of kit to take?
I make sure I go a bit over board with very tough tyres. It can be very rocky in parts.
What’s the advantage of going with Pure Mountains over doing a solo trip?
Pure Mountains tends to attract all sorts of riders so there is always a good mix of people with different abilities and backgrounds. Some better on the ups, some on the downs. But the groups seem to enjoy that mix and have a lot of fun.
Contact the shop on 01497 821134 or Pure Mountains direct to book yourself a place riding in the sunshine!