Course Description

Wild landscapes

This is a chance to see a hidden part of the Spanish Pyrenees, ride trails that you would never find and get some skills tips to help you be a better rider. Doug from Basque MTB will be our guide and Ed Oxley will be delivering the skills side of things. This is a riding and skills focussed trip. Ed will run a dedicated skills session each day, usually for an hour or so in the morning with the rest of the day spent riding. The trip makes an ideal “what next?” for those who have done skills days with Ed in the UK.

“The skills sessions were all very good, and were perfectly timed to make the most of them in the trails that followed. I’ll be practising my bunny hops at every opportunity! You could see the buzz in the group as everyone made improvements.” Andy

You can see some photos from the 2012 trip here on Flickr.

Forest colours

The riding across the South of the Pyrenees is something very special. It is generally dry and a bit loose, however less so than the south of Spain. The trails are old walking paths linking ancient villages, long since deserted. Our tour will take in the best singletrack that local mountain bikers have been kind enough to share with us. We will delve deep into some undiscovered mountain biking locations which boast stunning scenery and unbelievable world class biking. We will ride high on the Pyrenees and deep into the gorges which are scattered across the area, riding miles and miles of technical singletrack which is a kind of cross between the best Alpine descents and the south of Spain. Put simply this is some of the best most varied mountain biking anywhere and each day is different.

Every day was top notch and every day different. The terrain both challenging and rewarding….I was able to ride new lines and complete technical sections I’d have walked previously. Really top notch and I’m still getting a rush of adrenaline thinking about it.” Andy

All Mountain riding

This trip is different from the Basque Skills Trip, which is based near the coast, in that we travel more, see a wider variety of areas and have less uplift overall.

If you want more uplift, more food and less travelling the Basque Skills Trip is the one. If you want to see more remote parts of the pre-Pyrenees, ride very different trails each day and are happy with a bit more pedalling then the Backcountry Pyrenees is for you. Of course we change the trails each time on all our trips to make it fun for people who might want to come more than once and more fun for ourselves. Our high level of repeat bookings is testament to the quality of these holidays and we’re very proud of this!

In April and October the weather should be dry and the days will be cooler than summer, perfect for mountain biking. In the summer the temperatures are too hot and later in the year there is more chance of bad weather. It goes without saying that if you live in the UK these are great times of year to leave for some Spanish weather!

Suitability (technical level)

The trails on this tour are going to be more advanced than beginner level. Don’t worry though you don’t have to be an expert! If you have been on a Great Rock ‘Flow’ or ‘Alpine Tech’ course, you should have the skills to enjoy the trip and be in a good place to progress your riding further. Please get in touch if you want to ask any questions about this.

The sort of rider who will get the most from this tour will be very comfortable on any of the trail centre trails in the UK and maybe have visited the Alps and enjoyed some of the more technical riding there. A good level of fitness is also required. The trails are not as extreme as some of the trails in the Basque Country but expect technical singletrack, rocky switchbacks and some exposure. There is a skills element on this trip, but it will be focussed more on developing skills that you already have rather than starting from scratch. The climbing will be challenging in places, although we will use plenty of van uplift to give us maximum fun time on the bikes. You should expect to be pushing your bike for some sections.

Accommodation and eating
The accommodation will be a mixture of high quality local bed and breakfasts, upmarket hostals and stunning, “rider owned” apartments, all chosen for their character and to keep us closest to the very best trails. We pride ourselves of the high quality of eating that you will experience on our holidays! We love to eat and also enjoy trying the good wines and local apperitives. We relish the chance to share the great traditional Spanish places that we have found with our guests and we can’t guarantee that you will lose weight on our trips!

Yummy

Itinerary

6 full days of riding. This includes a big 4×4 uplift day and a last day ride into San Sebastian, followed by a tour of the best pintxos (Basque tapas) bars in the famous old town.

We start and finish in the San Sebastian area. We ride in the area on the map below. Exactly where we ride and the order in which we do it is kept flexible to make the most of local trail conditions and the best weather.