Christmas mountain bike ride
What better way to prepare for your Christmas dinner than to burn some calories beforehand?! Join us for this year´s Christmas Mountain bike ride in Moraira. The Christmas MTB ride is a special ride to discover the natural beauty just off the coast.
The route is a little over 30 kilometres and takes around three hours. We start just outside Moraira in Benitachell and drop down via small roads and some trails to the dry Rio Gorgos riverbed. We follow the river passing through the orange groves to the picturesque village of Gata de Gorgos. Here we will have a short break and enjoy a typical winter treat. After this continue the trails and head back to Benitachell.
Information for participants
We look forward to meeting you on this festive ride!!
Of course, a new year requires new goals. And we love to challenge ourselves using Strava! This year we invite our guests to ride an especially created segment and push themselves to get as high on the Snakebite Strava Challenge leaderboard as possible.
The Snakebite Strava Challenge is ridden on a challenging track of total 1.5 km. The segment starts with a short flat section, followed by a 0.4 km single trail that drops -8%. After another flat section the segment finishes with a 0.4 km uphill gravel road (6%) that will make your legs burn. A short video below should give you an impression of the segment.
The segment is near the Gorgos riverbed, between Gata de Gorgos and Javea.
This is the current leaderboard on Strava:
Good news for every cyclist out there who is in need of a new chain but fears he or she is too clumsy to change it themselves. The good news is I managed to do it and believe me, that says enough!
Changing your chain regularly is advised in order to prolong the life span of your cassette and chainset. It will save you a lot of money and will also prevent your chain from malfunctioning. How often you change the chain depends mainly on local conditions, e.g. surface / soil you ride, weather type etc. There are tools that will let you know when it is time to change your chain.
Changing the chain is a simple three step process.* You begin by removing the old chain [photo 1]. It helps if the chain is connected by a so called 'missing link' or 'power link' (the chain link with a hole in it). Simply unhook the missing link and the chain will come off. TOP TIP: do not throw the missing link away. Keep it in your saddle bag as it may come in handy when you are unfortunate enough to break your chain in a remote place [photo 2]! Now that your chain is off you can take advantage of the free space to properly clean your chainset and derailleurs [photo 3].
Having cleaned the chainset and cassette, it's time to prepare you new chain. Always buy a new chain based on your cassette (i.e. 10 speed, 11 speed etc.). Your new chain should have the same number of links as the old one. Shorten the new chain using a special tool. You can buy this pretty cheap in your bike store [photo 4 & 5].
Slide your new chain over the chainset and cassette. To connect both ends it would be easy to have an extra pair of hands or, failing those, use a strong paperclip or any other kind of wire to tie both ends temporarily together. Now insert both parts of the missing link in the ends of the chain and connect them. Push firmly on the pedals and after you hear a 'click' your new chain is good to go!
*Special thanks to Juanjo of Cicles Xaló.
January is typically the month were we decide to make changes to our behaviour and way of life. Each year a top ranking promise is to engage in sporting activities, in order to lose weight and live a healthier life. Most manage to take the first steps towards a more active lifestyle but as the year progresses the majority tends to lose sight of the promises, having abandoned sports altogether come December. So how to follow through on your resolution to be more sportive in 2016? Here are some tricks I found to be helpful.
1. Make your goal specific
Vague goals are not going to do it for you. You need to define what you mean by "do more". For me, as a cyclist, it has been crucial to determine the number of kilometres I want to ride in a given year. This helps me to monitor during the year how I am doing. Monitoring your rides is easy with free apps like Strava. But watch out: these can be really addictive! Furtermore, I also specify which cyclosportives (long distance cycling events) I want to participate in. The dates of these events motivate me further to make sure I am ready for those challenges.
2. Deal with stumbling blocks
Get to know the barriers that keep you from realising the goal you set yourself on New Year's eve. For me personally when I lived in the Netherlands wintertime kept me away from the bike. I simply did not feel like going out when it was five degrees and the wind was howling. Once Spring arrived, I was behind on my planned kilometres and I was in no shape to ride any cyclosportive which was very demotivating, leading to more loss of appetite for a bike ride. This changed when I realised I had to find alternatives to help me through the winter months: joining a spinning class, ice skating or go out for a short but intensive ride on a mountain bike.
3. A means to an end and vice versa
When I first started cycling I had just turned forty and was overweight. I knew I needed to get back in shape and bought a bicycle. At first, cycling was simply a means to lose weight, nothing more. As I progressed I started to enjoy the bike rides and took trips in the Netherlands and even abroad. To be able to ride with others and to ride uphill it became clear that more weight loss was essential. Cycling no longer was a means to lose weight, I wanted to lose weight to enjoy cycling better. The more I progressed, the more it became clear that an adapted life style was not a sacrifice but a contribution to more joy and happiness. From that moment on losing weight was much easier.
As with New Year's resolutions, it is easy to make a long list of tips, but these were most helpful to me. Yes, sporting should be fun and to some this may seem like an instrumental approach. But remember, most sports are more fun when you are fitter. After a while you reach a point where you simply cannot do without and you don't need to remind yourself on December, 31 that you should "do more sports".
So good luck and follow through!
Jalón valley almond blossom bike tour
The Jalón valley, also known as the Vall de Pop, is about half an hour's drive from Altea and Dénia. With its vineyards and olive, orange and almond trees, the area is a paradise for nature lovers. Because a large part of the valley is more or less flat, exploring the Jalón valley by bike is relatively easy.
In the Jalón valley every season has its own charm, but a visit in January and February is highly recommended due to the exuberant flowering almond blossom. At present, quite a few trees are already in bloom and until mid or late February this will only increase.
A trip by bike is a great way to see this natural wonder up close. Especially for this season, we are organizing a tour that runs from Benissa, Senija, Lliber, Jalón and Parcent and back. The tour almost entirely uses quiet little farm roads. You cycle during the journey on a sports bike equipped with 27 gears that will even help relatively inexperienced cyclists to complete the journey.
Our offer: almond blossom bike ride
For this tour we recommend solid (sports) shoes. We also recommend that you wear appropriate clothing for spring and perhaps carry a backpack to bring a raincoat or windbreaker and a snack.
To reserve this tour or for questions please use our contact form or call +34 654 852 209. We look forward to your response!
Ps. Did you know that the Costa Blanca takes its name from the white almond blossom?
Slow and steady wins the race
A perfect introduction ride for anyone who is new to the area and wants to have some fun on the bike
No one wants to ruin their cycling holiday by overdoing it in the first two or three days. And yet, we've seen it on more than one occasion: once the mountains are in sight, bikers stamp on their pedals, overexcited to ride to the summit. Although tempting, it is far better to slowly build up your cycling week.
This ride is a perfect warm up, giving an impression of the area and all the nice rides in stock later in the week. We leave Moraira to Teulada which will require some climbing followed by an easy flat section, combining smaller roads and off road sections to Benissa. From Benissa we take a nice downhill route again followed by a flat off road trail towards Calpe. In Calpe we can choose to return to Moraira along the coastal road. Alternatively we'll cycle off road along the foothills of the Bernia mountain range, back to Benissa and Moraira.
This route requires low technical skills and moderate fitness levels. The length of the ride ranges between 43 and 50 kilometres. The elevation gain ranges between 700 and 1000 metres.
Prices for this 'slow and steady wins the race' tour start at EU 29,50 p.p. including rental bike and personal guide.
To get an impression of the tour click on the video below.
Cape Epic Training Camp Costa Blanca
With just a little over three months to go, 2016 Cape Epic riders are into building power and endurance. This is the phase of increasing the intensity as well as the duration of their rides. One way to achieve this is to plan longer back-to-back weekend rides. Ideally, a Cape Epic training camp includes at least one major training ride of around 100km. Needless to say, such a weekend should take place in a mountainous area making sure riders get sufficient climbing practice.
In Europe, the Costa Blanca is the region with the best climate within a two to three hour flight from the North of Europe. Day temperatures from November to February usually range between 16 - 18 degrees with small chances of rain. MTB rides typically take place on small gravel paths or concrete farm roads. MTB riding through the Costa Blanca vineyards may even resemble some of the Cape Epic experience. Though the Costa Blanca mountains are not very high, rides provide sufficient elevation.
Cape Epic training package
Snakebite MTB Adventures has a special Cape Epic training package on offer between November 2015 and February 2016. The programme is as follows:
Day 1 - Arrival at Alicante or Valencia airport; transport to accommodation
Day 2 - Easy ride through the Jalon Valley (around 55km)
Day 3 - Trip to Javea via the Puig Llorença (around 75km)
Day 4 - Trip to Guadelest (around 100km)
Day 5 - Transfer to airport and return home
We offer this five day package for EU 275,- for two persons. This includes:
For this training camp we suggest staying in Refugio Marnes. This B&B is ideally located for MTB riders. Contact us for more information.
Will you spend your next holiday at the beach, or will you go into the mountains to enjoy MTB rides? Why choose? A major advantage of the Costa Blanca is that choosing is unnecessary. Whenever you're at the beach, mountains are near. So it's easy to spend your morning out on the bike and enjoy fun and sun at the beach in the afternoon.
Moraira is a typical place where you are always close to the beach and all the advantages that go with it, such as good restaurants and lively bars. To enjoy all that as much as possible we recommend hotel La Sort. La Sort is a boutique hotel on the seafront in Moraira with 22 rooms.
Snakebite MTB Adventures is based in Moraira. Within 15 minutes we take you to the mountainous region of the Jalon valley where you'll find interesting single tracks, rocky descents and beautiful gravel paths through olive and wine vineyards.
Want to know more about combining beach and bike on your next holiday? Contact us for more information.
Pareltje voor mountainbikers
Het toerismebureau van de regio Valencia heeft in de Vall de Pop (meestal de Jalon vallei genoemd) negen bewegwijzerde MTB tracks uitgezet. Route 7 loopt van Benissa naar Parcent en doorkruist zo de Sierra de Bernia. Het MTB centrum beschouwt deze route als de 'ster' van hun negen routes en zegt zelfs dat wie deze route niet heeft gereden, geen echte kennismaking heeft gehad met de Vall de Pop en de omringende bergen.
Lovende woorden, die wat ons betreft zeker op zijn plaats zijn voor het eerste deel van de route, het deel van Benissa naar Marnes. Om hier te komen moet over ongeveer 7,5 km 450 meter worden geklommen (gemiddeld 6%). Dit stuk is niet heel technisch, maar door het losse gravel en de uitschieters naar 13% is het een pittig begin. Gelukkig ligt de beloning op de top. Hier ligt een technisch plateau van nog eens ongeveer zeven kilometer waar het echt mooi wordt. Op een route die nauwelijks wordt gebruikt door motorverkeer wisselen gravel, rock gardens en zandpaden elkaar af.
Hoewel het na zo´n klim en intensief tussenstuk altijd weer heerlijk afdalen is, doet het ons ook altijd een beetje pijn om Marnes achter te laten. De stilte, het uitzicht op de omringende bergen en het spel van licht en wolken op het plateau gaan simpelweg niet vervelen.
Hoe blij waren we dan ook toen we onlangs kennis maakten met Willem en Richard van Refugio Marnes. Refugio Marnes, een luxe Bed and Breakfast, is namelijk gelegen op een steenworp afstand van route 7.
Refugio Marnes: agroturismo op niveau
Refugio Marnes is een zogeheten casa rural. Dat wil zeggen dat de Bed and Breakfast landelijk is gelegen en dat gasten er met veel respect voor de omgeving en natuur verblijven. Typisch voor de casas rurales is ook de maximale rust en privacy. De panden die deel uitmaken van de Refugio zijn weliswaar gerestaureerd maar hebben hun typische kenmerken van de landelijke Spaanse bouwstijl behouden. Refugio Marnes is overigens in veel opzichten geen doorsnee agroturismo. Richard en Willem ontvangen hun gasten in een sfeer waar 'eco' en 'chic' worden gecombineerd tot een heel eigen concept. Luxe en duurzaamheid gaan hand in hand, zonder dat het overdreven wordt.
Refugio Marnes: waar fietsen en landelijk toerisme samen komen
Door zijn luxe, het duurzame karakter en door zijn ligging is deze casa rural voor ons echt een pareltje voor mountainbikers aan de Costa Blanca. Het is letterlijk een kwestie van voor de deur pedalen inklikken en rijden. En bij terugkomst wacht het in stijl nagenieten van de tocht te midden van natuurpracht.
Ook fan van logeren in casas rurales en wil je kennismaken tijdens je volgende MTB vakantie met Refugio Marnes? Neem dan contact met ons op.