Exploring the Spanish Pyrenees on two e-wheels
At Pura Aventura we are generally more accustomed to exploring the special places we share on two feet, rather than two wheels. In Northern Spain, our exclusive walking routes lead people across high pastures, up mountain trails and through deep gorges. So not necessarily optimum cycling terrain. Besides, if you have to put all your efforts on making it up a hill, it becomes a sport and not such a good way to enjoy the surroundings. Which is what we travel for after all.
There are some established biking routes in the north of the country; gentle rides along the coast of Asturias or across the northern plateau into La Rioja for example. But its only in recent years and the development of the new mountain bike with electric power support that new possibilities have opened up for exploring the hills on two wheels. I thought it was about time I checked them out. And where better to do so than the Spanish Pyrenees? So we portioned off a part of our family holiday in Ainsa last week, strapped on our helmets and set off to the Zona Zero mountain biking area in the beautiful Ordesa Valley.
The project restores the traditional pathways which link the small villages of the region. As well as giving them a new lease of life as a low-impact way for visitors to access the dramatic mountains, the initiative has brought sustainable tourism impact to a lesser-developed part of the Pyrenees, which does not have a ski centre to rely upon for income. It is a project which has been embraced by the whole community.
At Pura Aventura we have a close connection with this project through our local guides in Ainsa; Isabel and Martín. Isabel is our hiking guide and host in Ainsa. Martín is her partner, a semi-professional rider and promotor of the Zona Zero. Martín has guided some of our boldest guests along the more technical trails. But eBikes now allow him to cater for visitors of all abilities.
The eBikes work the same as normal bikes, but have a battery-powered engine that supports your pedalling. That means that you still pedal, and so you are still exercising, but you can ask your engine to give you a little help when required. The benefit of this is that you can follow itineraries through hills that you would never consider on a normal bike, or go for longer routes than you would usually do. And the best part of it is that they are completely silent, so they don´t ruin the beautiful experience of riding in nature.
I have now become an addict - eBikes allow me to cycle the beautiful routes that nowadays I could not manage on a normal bike. So on your next visit to the Pyrenees we invite you to try them and cycle to the upper edge of Añisclo Gorge or traverse the foothills from village to village - you will become as hooked as I am!
We can arrange eBiking in the Zona Zero area as part of a self-drive Pyrenees Explorer or Pyrenees Family Explorer trip. Have a browse of the itineraries and then get in touch to share your travel plans!
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