We are in the heart of European winter when I am writing this article. The last 3 days I have ridden my bike, wearing my Patagonia down jacket in the morning and my long sleeve t-shirt in the afternoon. I always ride in shorts with kneepads. We often start on frozen fire roads and single tracks on the north side of the mountains above a 1000 meter and dry and epic single tracks on the south (sunny) side.
This is my first full winter in Ainsa, Zona Zero and the conditions have been amazing so far. Today we are covered in a white blanket of snow. so a good moment to write about the weather here. We actually can use a little more wet conditions, because some trails were very dusty. Before todays snow the last rainfall was November 2018 I think.
The weather in Ainsa, Zona Zero
Most people look at Pyrenees as a whole when they look at the weather forecast when planning a trip to this region. Although the french border is just 40 km away Ainsa lies in the pre-pyrenees of foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees and has a different climate. Ainsa actually has a dry micro climate. The local tourist information promotes Sorbrarbe and Ainsa with 320 day of sun per year. I don’t really count the days of sun, but they could be pretty close.
So where to look for accurate weather? I personally find Meteo Blue very accurate. You can either download the app or visit www.meteoblue.com and put Ainsa in as weather location. There are more good options but I know for sure your iPhone weather app will not be precise enough. It often is a personal preference.
What is the best seasons to ride in Ainsa, Zona Zero?
Spring and Autumn are the best and most beautiful seasons to ride your mountain bike in Zona Zero. With temperatures around 20 degrees and often a little higher it is a bliss on the trails here. The colors of the fresh green leafs and the blooming flowers in spring are stunning. And you just can’t beat the autumn colors of nature in Sobrarbe.
The Summer months, more specific July and August are way to warm to really enjoy the riding here. The temperatures easily hit 33 to 37 degrees Celsius. It is doable but I suggest coming in Spring or Autumn. In summer you need to start biking at 6 am and be back before 10 am. The good thing of that is that you can spend the rest of the day in one of the amazing river ponds in the area. If you are visiting the area in mid-summer, the better biking options are in the higher pyrenees around Bielsa or Benasque. Another way is using a shuttle service, that brings you up the mountains. Just remember there is never no up here, also with a shuttle there is climbing to be done.
So what about Winter? You might not think about riding in the Spanish pre-Pyrenees in winter, specially when you live in the Northern Hemisphere, but the conditions in Ainsa, Zona Zero are really good. Last December and this January I could ride at least 5 out of 10 times with my short sleeve T-shirt. No better way to enjoy your sunny winter ride with the back drop of the snowy peaks of the high pyrenees.
Best season to ride you mountain bike
in Ainsa, Zona Zero?
With Autumn just beating Spring.
When you are looking for a winter escape with your mountain bike, then you should definitely give Ainsa, Zona Zero a thought.
Author: Jeroen Spoelstra
Pictures: Jeroen Spoelstra