We follow trackMTB.com Guide, Journalist and professional photographer Álvaro Hernández as he enjoys a great riding experience in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range close to Madrid. With great trails, plenty of singletrack; nice Spanish food and culture, he finds dream’s in the backyard:
“To roam is to search for something new, on local trails in your home town, or half way around the world in a place you have never been. On a mountain bike you can cover a great distance in a short period of time or a short distance in a great period of time. They say that the journey can be more important than the destination. In mountain biking there is no destination just a bike, a rider, and a place to ride…” Quote from the movie ROAM from The Collective.
Living and working in a city like Madrid – a sprawling metropolis can be a very frustrating experience, especially if you are an avid biker. A smog filled capital, covered by asphalt, densely populated by cars, motorbikes, a cacophony of noise, it can sometimes feels like the walls are closing in on you. The pollution fills your lungs and the urge to escape the city and find a serene spot to venture in tranquility forced us to search the Internet and in the hope of finding some solace nearby.
We found many photos and intriguing videos of amazing places that awakened passions. We discovered epic trails, new and challenging terrain that was uncharted by many bikers in Madrid area. If you take the time to research your local area properly, you will no doubt find many amazing places less than one hours drive away.
The beauty of mountain biking is that it is a sport that thrives due to its sense of camaraderie. We are all explorers and as a community this outdoor activity thrives from the sharing of information, new trials and the pursuit of challenging ourselves against one another. Like many bikers from Madrid we found the ultimate challenge at the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, dividing Madrid and Segovia. A vast expanse of 1500 square kilometers, the rugged and challenging terrain has a maximum height of 2428 meters and is a well-known reference point for local hikers, skiers, bikers (road and MTB).
There is a wide range of amenities nearby including hotels, fincas and restaurants offering fantastic Spanish specialties and local dishes. After years of riding we are glad to have finally found our Nirvana, this place has it all. As you climb higher you will discover Alpine trails and rocky exposed trails that will challenge even the most experienced of riders.
There are literally miles of dusty single-track as you weave through the pine forests; intersections of root and rock keep you on your toes as the ever-changing terrain ensures that you are tested every step of the way.
Once you have started there is no turning back. The long and short climbs vary, but start from as little as 200 meters but can reach a staggering 2400 meters. It’s challenging for sure, a real test of endurance. There is an endless downhill trail, as long as 24km which encompasses a 1500m downhill! It’s exhilarating and surreal at the same time. Obviously we were transfixed trying to concentrate on not crashing and picking up another war wound, but it was only when we finished our descent that we noticed we had not seen another soul. You really are at one with nature; this surely is one of the top European riding spots for Mountain Biking holidays.
During our journey, searching for a dream trail, Mountain Biking tied us together; we all shared the same dream, an addiction to biking. After knowing our local mountains so well, why are we still dreaming of going somewhere else to ride our bikes? For the same reason you do, finding new borders, meeting new people, tasting new food, riding new places…
We had unearthed a lingering passion during that trip. Our mind raced with ideas, the foremost thought was that Sierra de Guadarrama, near Madrid, represented a new frontier for us, it is the perfect Mountain Biking holiday spot. Epic technical trails, beautiful sunny weather from April to October and of course fantastic Spanish cuisine and wine to help refuel and of unwind after a hard days biking.
We are now living our dream and created TRACKMTB so that we can share with you the ultimate MTB experience in the epic Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains. Our aim is enlighten you to the local surroundings, provide you with an unforgettable Spanish mountain biking experience and push you to the limit so you can leave with a sense of pride and achievement and hopefully having established newfound friendships with fellow bikers.
Words & Photos: trackMTB