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Sierra Nevada National Park to the coast, Spain, 2006



Sunday: The legendary 65km Pradollano descent

65 km descent from Pradollano, a ski resort high in the mountains somewhere near the summit of Veleta. Got lift in Jeeps up there so should be easy...very naive. Went on the 1996 Mountain Bike World Cup course for the morning, good fun, one or two punctures and a snapped chain (James's new extra light chain, 80 Euro's worth down the pan!). Went past a high altitude training camp in Pradollano, clearly for people who know what they're doing - it looked like a concentration camp but with good facilities and a running track. Pradollano looks nice, lots of hotels and ski-ing shops, cafe's etc - made mental note to come back and go snowboarding here - Granada, 60km's below us must look amazing at night...not to mention the other towns\cities spread out in front of us on the vast plain below which stretches out for about another 60km's past Granada to other mountains.


Me, Leslie and Aaron about ten minutes into the holiday and already loving it, what could possibly go wrong on such a beautiful day?



Puncture, first of many. This would lead to everyone switching to using Kevlar in their tyres. I've since gone onto use tubeless (Stan's No Tubes) and haven't looked back.


Stunning views everywhere making it hard to focus on the tracks on the descent...sometimes with comical results, James and Mark both going over the bars and face planting into thorn bushes before lunch...Aaron follows me as I seem to be having a charmed life....I cross a muddy patch of grass and sink a couple of inches at max...he loses his front wheel to about six inches of mud and goes over the bars at about four miles an hour...very graceful and performed incredibly slowly which looked impossible to achieve but he did it.


Not killed myself to death yet...cause for a celebration.



Aaron re-enacting the moment he took a swig from his water bottle and got a face full, this went down well, unlike the water.



Not sure exactly where we were at this point, I think it was around the point Mark face planted into the thorn bush and Aaron went over the bars. We had basically been riding for a long long time and as you can see we were still a long way up the mountain.


After crossing to the opposite hill from Pradollano spent four hours descending and then climbing ravines before a steady two hours descent through forests...cosntant switchbacks back and forth down the mountain side ....got too confident and piled straight on at a bend into a load of rocks and dead trees - no damage, but a barrage of mocking as everyone passes me whilst I curse the thorn bushes - my legs are looking like chorizo already. Acorns everywhere the size of small footballs.


James and Aaron, Leslie arriving in the background...ravine bashing, we did plenty of this!



The terrain turned to a moonscape type of feel and then we started to drop, fast, for a very long time...for between one and two hours...the most amazing trail I've ever ridden.


Arrived back in Granada in the middle of a huge carnival (Don't worry everyone, we made it back in one piece - let the carnival commence!), checked tyres when I got back as they both went flat in the last few hundred metres to the hotel...had five punctures in front and seven in the back - nice


Arrived back in Granada, well pleased with the days riding would be an underestimate, ready for a few beers...oh and 12 punctures in my tyres, yeah, 12.



Ride with us and you always earn yourself one of these!


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