A little while back the Kingdom Bikes boss, Chris, invited me along on a trip around most of the north of Spain. From the Basque Country, through the Asturias, a short stay in Hicksville and finishing with a whistle-stop tour of Madrid, I can safely say that I now know a lot more about the geography – the stunning mountains and green pastures, of the region.
Chris was not only in the Pais Vasco “In search of ETA”, but also to make a film about his bike, the Vendetta, and to test out his new frame. Predictably, this test quickly became more about a trail of discovery than a bike riding trip and we found ourselves immersed in local culture at a slower pace of life.
We spent most of our time in the Basque being lost, as for some reason known only to the Basque natives there are absolutely no maps available for the area around the sizeable town we briefly inhabited. Alas, with a certain amount of sweat and hiking we eventually made it to the highest peak in the area and found a sweet, flowing singletrack back to the exact spot we had parked up. All in all a perfect bike ride.
The remainder of our time was spent being lost around the Picos de Europa and a neighbouring Natural Park – one of the most incredible mountain ranges I have been to and my re-discovering of the sheer scale and diversity of Spain was certainly very humbling. Those mountains are fierce and unforgiving and I will be back, that is for sure - I have been inspired.
Look out for the film of our tour of the Lost North some time soon (...ish).
Thanks to Chris, howies, Riders Refuge, BOS/R53 and Bike Dirty for helping me out..