The concept of electric bicycle is changing, until now it was associated with lazy people or people with little physical shape, but our Ambassador Pol Tarrés shows us a totally different concept. After three days of riding through the Pyrenees on an electric bike, he defines it as a tool that helps him enjoy mountain biking more. And by more they mean the ease of climbing steeper slopes and enjoying other stretches.
Through the following chronicle narrated by Pol himself, he shows us his experience this summer in the Benasque Valley, and with which he will change the idea of an electric bicycle only for quiet routes:
Even this is changing, usually e-bikes are associated with lazy people or less fit people but this is not how we see them. We see them as a tool that helps us to ride more. And by more we mean more steep climbs or simply repeat the same easy one more times.
That is why we always try to find more alpine locations when we ride with the e-bike. Because we can ride a lot more than with the bikes without motors.
The initial idea was to go to “Picos de Europa”, a 20km mountain range in northern Spain, and do three rides around the three major massifs. But we changed plans because when we wanted to book a place to sleep it was impossible, everything was booked. So we had to change plans and decided to go to a new place Ernest and I had never been, we checked a couple of places
but it the weather forecast was not on our side, so we ended up going to Benasque Valley. It’s 4hours drive from our home and we had heard really good things.
The idea was to get the most out of our batteries and do a couple of rides per day. One in the morning, then eat something and rest while the batteries recharge and another one in the afternoon.
The first day we went for an easy one, 25km and +1100m. Starting from Villanova, the town we were sleeping in, and going all the way up to Sahún mountain pass. The route ends before the top but since we were riding with the e-bikes we wanted to go to the top. We were super excited for the first downhill trail of the trip but we found the trail a bit abandoned with a lot of rocks in
the middle of it.
We rested, ate, and charged the batteries and went for the second ride of the day in the afternoon. The plan was to follow a track to the top of Punta Cogulla (2.384m) and since Ernest had a smaller battery (525kw) we brought a spare one for him. After 17km climbing, Ernest ran out of battery and when he was about to change it, he saw he didn’t have the key. So it was 2km to the summit, pushing the 24kg bike. After that, we only had downhill to the town we were
sleeping, so it was fine. We arrived after the sunset but the lights left made an impressive landscape below us. We did half of the downhill when it was already dark but it was one of the best downhills ever. Super long and it had everything. Steep and technical parts, rocky ones, flowy and fast ones, open wide areas and forest with singletrack parts.
After the 12km long downhill we realised Ernest needed a new pads, so we headed Castejón de Sos to find a new ones, we forgot the spare ones at home. We were late and we start pedalling at 11:00, so we knew it would be a hot ride. Still, half of the ride uphill and half downhill. We followed a red track to the top, quite steep with lots of U turns, also with amazing views of the whole valley.
At the top, we turned right and start riding through a pretty steep singletrack until we reached the forest where things got interesting. The trail was so broken I had to pull all my trials skills to get through the rock gardens, not what we expected but we got through so far. After that we arrived a completely different area, red sand everywhere. and we stopped to shoot some pictures.
We kept going down and entered a forest, some rocky and technical parts and we ended up where we started, Castejón de Sos. So tired and heated we decided to have a late lunch and rest that afternoon to wake up super early to repeat the first days ride, see the sunrise from the top and do the downhill in the daylight.
Alarm rang at 5:30am, we drove the van up to Cerler and by 7:00am we were already riding.
Reached the top in 25minutes and saw the sunrise from there, took some pictures and start the downhill. The plan was working until Ernest cut his tyre and we had to go back to the van to change it. While there, we met a couple of riders and told us to go to La Mina, a short 16km ride with crazy views climbing and a nice singletrack downhill with some steep and dangerous parts.
We ate something at Cerler and went for it! It didn’t deceive us. The first part was very steep with some technical parts and crazy views of the valley. Then a flat area with a cliff on the left side, a bit dangerous if you are not focused on riding. And finally enter the forest for a fast and S turns. A bit sketchy but super fun to ride.
When driving back home, we were talking with Ernest about this adventure and for us and while riding on a normal bike we focus a lot on the riding, with the e-bike, it goes to a second place and we take it more like an adventure activity where we discover new places and also ride. And that is why we think each kind of bike is a different kind of adventure, it’s not “just riding”
Adventure of Pol Tarrés (@pol.tarres) and Ernest Adalid (@ernestadalid)
Photos by apperstudio.com