Mountain Bike Trail Reports

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Sunday 06 October 2019– Quillan, France

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This was an impressive Mountain Bike Event on the mountains on the edge of the French Pyrenees with 380 mountain cyclists, impressive landscapes, extraordinary views (when it was safe sufficient to look) and a great environment. The occasion organizers did an exceptional task naturally preparation and there were areas naturally for all interests from lung busting climbs to technical descents and quick plateau and forest routes.

It wasn’t a race, however some riders plainly raced versus their club friends when the course permitted. Handing down a few of the singletracks was just not an alternative the majority of the time.

3 courses to pick from

… all pitched at difficult and technical. Everyone followed the very same path with one add-on for riders on the 35km blue path and 3 add-ons for riders on the red, 50km path.

  • 50km/ 1600m Climb & & Descent *
  • 35km/ 800m *
  • 18km/ 400m *

Aside from the outstanding path functions, among the important things I liked quite was the option. Everyone began on the 18km green path and after that it referred choice to stick to red, blue or a mix of the 2. I didn’t when recognize that I was among 380 other riders which was most likely due to the fact that of the staggered start times for the path individuals picked to begin with.

The surface in this part of the Pyrenees covers 3 types:

  • Loose shale
  • Clay
  • Rock

So, I selected a tire pressure that was minimally softer than optimum on cross nation (XC) tires and just acknowledged loss of traction when en route up a really loose climb. That was rider mistake, not the tires ????

Calm Start

The path began ‘in harmony’ with simply a number of hundred meters of get on company gravel tracks. It was a little stressing to see some folks having problem with this and specifically since I understood that things would not remain rather so easy.

Go into the very first technical area and a high climb over a kilometer on a surface area that may be finest referred to as iced, melted chocolate. Most likely more properly referred to as damp clay thanks to the drain from the greater slopes. This took a lot of effort and a great deal of concentration on method to keep traction. A lot so that when an abrupt sharp left turn onto a singletrack descent through the trees appeared, a great deal of riders passed it and needed to reverse.

Check out The Trail

Apart from some beautiful narrow tree gates the very first 300 meters were simply a little technical thanks to the extremely narrow stream bed we followed with its collection of roots and rocks. Checking out the path was important, as was listening to what was going on ahead. A great deal of shrieking brakes and the why of that emerged when the stream vanished to the right and the path ended up being a slick muddy mess. Scrubbing my speed was an obstacle and my best arm captured an electrical fence prior to the hill leveled out as the path passed a mountain meadow. I will not print what I stated here, censored. The fence appeared like a path marker tape, that’s my reason.

Still recuperating from that little shock, I flew around the next bend to be met a high rocky climb and some having a hard time riders ahead. Brain into overdrive, I required an equipment that would allow me to keep traction however not so quick that I would capture the riders ahead since there was no place to pass. I captured them too quickly and they were moving really gradually so, when I struck an especially high area and not able to use additional power, could not unclip from the pedals, I did a slow-motion fall to my left and lay for an instantaneous searching for at the trees. Now I had no choice however to get up and run, the path was too high to remount.


I forgot all that in an immediate when I reached a rolling plateau with sensational views and a double path best for passing and recuperating from the last couple of minutes. A great deal of riders benefited from the image chances at the perspective, I chose to take my own benefit and pointed my bike to the next downhill area. The course organizers had actually kindly alerted of “Technical Trail Features” (TTF). They had not done this up until now; enjoyable ahead (First red just area, leading left of map).

It appeared like it had actually been drizzling rocks and there were more drop-offs than I keep in mind as the really narrow path twisted and came down towards the valley a long method listed below. The TTF indication stopped working to discuss the 3 searching canines that had actually lost their method and chose to share the path. No quantity of whistling and friendly persuasion moved them however the surface of the green 18km path was just a number of kilometers away.

Mtb France

Let’s talk for a minute about path color coding. In France, mountain bicycle (VTT) paths are divided into 4 classifications:

  • Green– Very Easy
  • Blue– Easy
  • Red– Difficult
  • Black– Very Difficult

As all classes followed the very same path for the very first 18km, there was no chance this was a green which appeared by the quantity of problem some riders were experiencing and I think a few of the 18km riders registered based upon their experience and constraints. Naturally, I presumed that my picked red path was going to be difficult as a green rider might be forgiven for believing that they would have the ability to deal with the path.

I have actually discovered this prior to on Aude Pyrenees Blue Routes 22 and 23 and approximately me I would mark them as red paths although some areas were easily blue.

Take A Break

Back at the start, or surface of the 18km path, riders (including me) were lured with coffee and healthy treats. A best 5-minute break prior to setting out on phase 2 and a progressive climb from a smooth lane into a forest on the exterior of Quillan town. Easy sufficient up until the red left the blue path onto a lung busting, I feel ill, climb.

Riders might quickly be forgiven for believing they were on the incorrect path due to the fact that of the absence of tire tracks. As it ended up, the majority of us had no choice however to stroll, consisting of electrical bike riders. As soon as up however, the journey around the mountain was exceptional and the descent worth every bead of sweat.

I’m not going to state the remainder of the path, apart from exceptional views when it was safe to look, this was a difficult path for all, waymarked wonderfully and well organised. While it might well have actually been off-putting to some, this was mtb paradise.

In future posts, I will take a look at the bikes, abilities and physical fitness levels essential for handling a trip like this.

If you have any remarks or concerns

… please leave them listed below and I guarantee a timely reaction.

Trip Hard, Ride Fair, Nobody Hurt

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