Getting serious about mountain biking routes

Posted by Peter, The Lemon House
Monday 19th April 2010

Round where we live in Ogliastra, Sardinia, there is huge potential for mountain biking, and we have documented some routes, but this is currently the least developed activity. So we are repeating the formula we have already successfully applied to climbing and walking: use our free time when we don't have guests to go and reccy good routes, even if they are too hard for us, and then get experts, whose opinions count for something with their peers, to come and document the routes.

We are documenting some 100km of trails rising from sea level to over 1000m AMSL, to ride as 3 one-day rides or a two-day trip, and broadly following the southern loop of the T-track whose intended route hasn't ever been fully developed (constructed and signed), even though the local counsellors proudly presented it to us in our first meeting with them 5 years ago...

Peter spends a couple of days for each outing, planning using the IGM maps and Google Earth as well as his local knowledge, then going to explore and make sure the route is rideable, even if he sometimes has to stop and walk:

Peter stops to choose best line on descent from Genna Argei

Though the winter rains make the descents more interesting (this one is now officially rated as difficult, for expert riders, and you could hurt yourself...and here there's no-one who'll find you, no mobile phone signal...) Peter had also to check that here where the track was washed away to create a hole that "two buses fit inside"

Track washed away, the hole is big enough for two buses

you could easily get across. You can -;)

So, what was Amos and Davide's verdict on the first ride, 50km and 100m+ of climbing, yesterday Sunday 18 April?: "Grazie 1000 to Mr. Peter for the great ride. We have discovered a hidden area in Ogliastra and rode on splendid tracks, made more interesting by the heavy rains. A splendid and tough ride, with steep and technical climbs. The descents are rideable but demanding, for lovers of this sort of riding."

Next outing: 2 May. More reccying on Wednesday, today Monday Peter is too knackered to do anything except work on planning the next ride and translating the next edition of the Pietra di Luna climbing guide!

PS here's the video of the 2 May Urzulei trip, even better than the 18 April!


Read more blog entries by Peter, The Lemon House

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