Recently, pro trials rider Pol Tarrés and friends took to the trails around Val d’Aran in Catalonia for three days of great riding. Enjoy their amazing e-bike adventure below.
Val d’Aran is in the north-western part of Catalonia, Spain, in the heart of the Pyrenees where 30% of the territory is over 2,000 metres high. The mountains that surround Val d’Aran form a natural barrier, which has played a very important factor in the history, culture and climate of the area—not to mention, they provide riders with a true mountain biker’s paradise.
DAY 1: ENDUROMIES
The first descent we rode was Pruedo. It is more than an hour and a half to the peak by lift, but it is totally worth it because of the valley views from the top. The first part of the descent consists of old trails adapted for bikes. At some points, because of the rocky terrain, the route gets very technical. The trail goes through a couple of tunnels that, if they were just a few meters longer, lights would be needed. At the beginning of the downhill section, the trail is a bit broken up with many loose rocks, but then it gets easier and faster until you reach the bottom.
There are three original trails: Pruedo, Eth Sanglier and Eth Taro. However, the Aran Bike Park guys open new trails often. We were lucky, and the conditions were spectacular with great terrain and a lot of grip. We rode on the northern face of the mountain, and the air was humid which boosted the ride quality. You can find both fast and technical sections as well as flowy riding in this area.
DAY 2: VAL D’ARAN BIKE PARK
On the second day, we went to Val d’Aran Bike Park, located in the Baricauba Forest, about five minutes by car from Vielha. On these trails, you’ll find wide-open, straight sections where you can go very fast, slower parts with rocks and slippery roots, very tight turns and quite technical, steep areas.
Even though it rained a lot throughout the day, the forest is very dense, making it a good place to ride if you get caught by bad weather. What we really appreciated was the lift, which is done by road and takes about 20 minutes by e-bike.
DAY 3: RUTA ENTENCADA + SAUT DETH PISH
For the third day, we wanted to do something different; we wanted a route that would take us through the mountains of Val d’Aran, and the locals recommended the Entecada route. It’s about 40km with 1800m of climbing. We started from Bossòst and rode uphill for about one and a half hours until we reached the Coth de Baretja, where we couldn’t see anything since dense fog covered everything.
From there, we continued on downhill singletrack that was quite technical because of the slippery rocks and mud from the previous day’s rain. At the end of the singletrack, it was time to climb again, but Ernest’s bike had run out of battery. Luckily, Andreu had over 25% of his battery left, so we fashioned a rope from a couple of spare inner tubes. Andreu towed Ernest for about 20 minutes before reaching the top. The last part is the hardest with the steepest climbs of the entire route.
The beginning of the descent is steep singletrack with some quite technical sections where you can’t make any mistakes because it would be very dangerous to crash. Even so, the views of the mountains ahead were worth it. Beyond the technical singletrack, you suddenly enter the dark, humid forest where the trail changes completely. It becomes very flowy, with no stones or tight turns and consists instead of straight lines where you can go flat out. It is one of the best trails we rode on our entire trip, despite being completely covered in mud, meaning we had to be careful on the fastest sections.
In the afternoon, we were pretty tired and wanted to rest, so we went see the Saut deth Pish waterfall. There aren’t that many trails in the area for riding, so instead, we enjoyed capturing some impressive pictures and videos to mark the ending of a great trip.