In September personnel from 6 SCOTS travelled overseas to undertake six days of mountain biking in the Marina Alta mountains of Southern Spain. The group consisted of two mountain bike leaders and riders ranging from those with very little experience through to endurance event competitors. Despite the mix of abilities, the varied natural terrain meant that there were plenty of route options to cater for all riders and the group was split several times to ensure that everyone was challenged.
Unlike the UK, where most mountain bike trails are graded, marked, and often consist of man-made elements, the riding in this region of Spain consists of almost entirely natural single-track linked by sections of fire road. It proved unlike anything that even the experienced riders in the group had ridden and, alone, justified the overseas element of the Adventure Training.
Over the week the group undertook five rides across the region, averaging around 20km per ride and climbing between 300m and400m; apart from the final day epic which involved a 1000m climb to the highest point in the region. The punishing climbs were worth the effort not only for the breath-taking views but also for the adrenaline-fueled single-track descents.
The week provided a great opportunity for personnel to challenge themselves in a way that they wouldn’t normally do and gain some valuable experience of mountain biking. The generous hospitality in the hotels added a welcome cultural element at the end of the long days.