"I don’t race”.
For many riders, the idea of entering the world of competitive mountain biking and putting a number on their bike is horrific.
Pain, misery, aggro, crashes, gels, ego, BS and much, much more.
Why on earth would you do that when there is so much to love about the sport without the added hassle of a start line?
All of the above is true; but only if you want it to be.
Here at Pure Mountains we race as often as we can. XC, Enduro and the very occasional DH. We do it for many reasons.
Fundamentally, racing in Spain is a brilliant day out. The organisation is tremendous, the Spanish love to watch and will support anyone who competes. The routes are well marked and food and drink is everywhere.
Even the biggest races have a large number of riders who are simply there to have fun and to complete the course. The camaraderie is lovely and everyone talks to everyone else. It’s not uncommon to be relaxing after an event, to start up a conversation with someone lying on the grass next to you and to discover that they won.
Most Spanish towns have a bike club and almost all of them put a race on, so there are literally hundreds of small, local races to choose from.
Because of the climate, terrain and organisation, the big races take place here, too: multi-day XC and Enduro stage races that attract the best riders in the world. You will, however briefly (!), share the course with the very best.
And the best are very, very good. If winning is the only thing that matters to you then great, but prepare to be humbled.
We have found that if you like a challenge, a goal to aim at and if you retain a sense of perspective when it comes to your final result, then you can have the time of your life, racing in Spain.
You never know.
Oh, and by the way, we can organise everything : ).
Co-owner and guide, Pure Mountains