Tips for mountain bikers in spain - in the open
As any keen mountain biker will know, there are some chief rules to be a consequence and bike conduct skills to master already subjecting manually and your bike to the thrills and spills of off-road riding. Although most of us ride surrounded by our capabilities most of the time, riding on assorted trails in hot coarsen circumstances can at hand a new set of challenges requiring some new biking skills and knowledge.
Here in Southern Spain, I spend most of my time riding in warm and dry conditions, on shale/gravel trails in fairly apart areas, at channel to high height (1000 - 4000 ft). I say comparatively remote, in that I seldom meet other bikers, hikers or other like-minded individuals. In other words, you must be arranged to patch manually up and get manually off the mountainside in the event of an accident.
Here are some points to believe already embarking on your Spanish MTB adventure.
Map it out - When arrangement routes for physically and other bikers to ride, get hold of a map first. I use the 1:25,000 topographical maps available by the Centro Nacional De Informacion Geografica (CNIG). They show most off-road vehicle tracks, forestry admittance roads and some definite track/footpaths.
Note: I am not sure how often they are updated. Some trails discernible on these maps can all of a sudden disappear. On the other hand, I have ridden trails, which are not indicated, on the maps.
Terrain and time of year -Taking into checking account the distance, terrain, altitude, gradients and foliage you can plan a appropriate route for the time of year.
Mid-summer (early crack of dawn and nightfall riding advisable) look for in the shade trails, low gradients with less elevation gain and think about spaces to stock up water bottles.
Mid-winter This time of year it can be lovely and warm (15-20 deg C ) at sea level and cute cool (0-5) at 1000+ metres. When ascending you are generating a lot of heat, appearance down the other side at 40Kph + you are subjecting your body to a wind chill aspect which can drop temperatures a added 10 degrees. - carry extra layers of clothing.
Rider - You of course, must be fit for the ride and this cannot be achieved the night before. ?? even though it can be enhanced by laying off the San Miguel. Eat a adequate breakfast, above all carbohydrates, Cereal, toast and fruit for example. Stretch ahead of you leave and spin in a low gear for about 1 km when you first set off (especially in winter). Know some first-aid that you can administer to by hand as well as to others. E. g industry with Hemorrhage and acute grazes.
Bike & bits - Bike set-up and Maintenance is much the same all over so I won't bore you with information of what you by now know, but pay awareness to the following.
-Check for any play in wheel, steering and bed collection bearings. With a lot of fast descents and rocky argument it is worth a quick adjustment beforehand any loose bits get worse.
-Chain needs consistent interest in these dry, dusty environment (every 2-3 rides). Run it all through a cleaner, apply fine oil and then cut off any extra lubricant, which only acts as a enticement to any dirt. Clean shocks and apply thin film of silicone-based lubricant
-Tyres, nice 'n' knobbly if you're intending to be off-road 90 % of the time. With a lot of climbing on loose surfaces and descents on rocky stuff I get more grip and comfort with wider tyres at a lower pressure.
-2 spare tubes ( at least) - There are some vicious plants in the campo, exceptionally prominent in the summer months, with thorns like you wouldn't believe. Check classified appear of tyre absolutely beforehand apt new tube - where there is one thorn there could be many.
- Helmet and gloves - This must go exclusive of saying.
Water - I by and large allow for 1L of water per hour of riding. In the coldness on a laid-back low level ride you may drink less than this, at some stage in the summer months it can be double. When the coarsen is hot, I carry 2 bottles on the bike and 2 in my rucksack. Most villages and towns have a artless bounce or clean water obtainable somewhere, on longer routes it is worth conscious where the adjacent habitations are.
Food - Dissimilar thirst, crave pangs will pass. On a short ride in warm environment you may not even feel like drinking - the wet stuff is far more important. But it is not advisable to exhaust energy coffers so all the time have some driedfruit/muesli bar with you - Newsagents are not a conventional appear of Spanish villages and café/bars may not be open all day.
First-aid kit - This doesn't need to be bulky. A small well-packed container, counting the following; Bandage, gauze pads, security pins, plasters, anodyne cream.
Clothing - for comfort and defense from exposure to the sun and cold.
-2 or more thin layers chiefly on upper body for develop heat regulation, augmented lagging ( more air layers) and fortification anti grazing if you fall off.
- Bandanas one folded and tied about the brow keeps sweat out of your eyes.
Another folded crosswise and tied loosely to keep sun off back of neck. - Sunglasses - High defense sun-cream on any exposed skin.
Safety on the trail:
Hazards such as loose surfaces, ditches, craggy gullies and the like will all the time be acquaint with - it's a little that appeals to us MTBers. Accidents occur when we are unfamiliar with these conditions, over assured in our capacity or meet with a little unexpected in our path. Good bike behavior skills can check or help get you out of a sticky moment, nevertheless when attractive on steep descents and tricky expert sections be all set for the unexpected.
Dogs - Some associates are put off from biking and on foot in Spain for the reason that of the dogs they may encounter. More often than not this will be when casual by/through a farmyard. In my experiences (which doesn't bring in any nasty ones yet - touch wood) Spanish mutts come under the next categories;
1. Bark and run away
2. Bark and chase
3. Total indifference in your presence.
In most cases it isn't continually clear whether the dog is of type 1 or 2 until you have committed physically to inflowing its territory. If you are initial a long decline when they give chase, you can give a two-finger address and go for it. If but you are grinding mounting in 1st gear and the blighter is loping at your side with a load in coldness it can be a bit nerve-racking - and you maybe won't care much for my categorising.
When death farm buildings, I continually fake that dogs are present. If they do arrive on the scene but linger at a detach and bark, I stand on my gearshift to make for my part taller and ride gradually but self-assuredly past. If a dog/dogs begins to develop I shout "FUERA" the term often used to send a dog out or away. This will customarily work and also bring your attendance to the awareness of the household. You can develop and do again this formula if the bodily is averse to give way. Stooping as if to pick up a rock can also bully Spanish dogs.
If you feel at this stage that it is still too risky then trust your instinct and departure to find an different route.
In my experience, dogs will not argue with if you draw back in a calm but assured approach - DON' T RUN.
Plan your ride
Don't ride alone on unfamiliar trails
Carry spares and ample water
Protect your body from falls and excessive come through conditions.
Then get out there and enjoy yourself!
Steve Murray lives in Spain and runs an Adventure Sports Company Abdal Adventures.
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