Tuesday, July 15, 2008

La Molina 2008

Last Sunday PJ and I headed up to La Molina for some biking action. It was my second time there this year, but PJ's first ever experience of getting to the top on a gondola! You never forget your first time...!

My first trip on a gondola with my bike was in the French resort of Morzine, about 5 years ago. Suddenly, everything I knew (or thought I knew) about mountain biking flew out of the window as this wonderful world opened up ahead of me. It's not that I don't like riding uphill - there are some very satisfying moments to be head battling your way up an incline to the reach the top - it's just that I would much, much, prefer riding down! Since then I have been back to the alps several times, and last year made the short journey to the Pyrannees a few times. This year I'm committed to riding up here as much possible - there are three bike parks open in the area during the summer, and my motivation to ride is sky-high.

Anyway so we both had a great time; while it was sunny on Sunday, there were massive thunderstorms over Catalunya the night before, so some of the trails were a little slippy. Other sections were perfect as the heavy rain had washed away all the dust and dried to that lovely grippy consistency. The photo above is taken on what is probably the longest trail at La Molina, a fantastic trip down the far end of the resort. La Molina Bike Park is now officially sponsored by Kona (one of the largest bike manufacturers) and so has money to improve, and it shows. This year it is considerably better than last year, and they just keep building more and more things. Here's a video of PJ on the north-shore* corkscrew:

Next weekend we are hosting a raiding party from Britain - Muir, Paul and Rhys are coming over to see what the fuss is about. I'm pleased as it's always good to have friends over, and I'm sure we'll have a great time. We'll spend most of our time in Andorra - the parks there are bigger and better than La Molina, but about an hour further away. We're there for five days though, so plenty of time, and we might drop by La Molina on the way back to Barcelona. Can't wait!

* wooden structures such as these are referred to as 'north shore' because the first people who had the idea to build such structures were the mountain bikers of the forests on the north shore of Vancouver, Canada.
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