The joy of being a mountain bike guide in Ainsa, Zona Zero

The joy of being a mountain bike guide in Ainsa, Zona Zero

What is it like packing up your life and moving everything to a new country to start a new business doing something you love? Just read on

Ever since my studies 20 years ago I wanted to work in the mountain bike industry. I studied Product Design and when one of my fellow students started working at Ghost bikes, I wanted to work in the bike industry as well..

The different types of trails in the Pyrenees, Zona Zero

The different types of trails in the Pyrenees, Zona Zero

Since I moved here over a year ago I have been riding outside of the Pyrenees only ones. And until recently I didn’t go and ride into other valleys. I am sure that is because I never get bored of the trails in and around Zona Zero. There is so much to ride here, so much to explore and there is such a diversity in terrain. Aragon just keeps on throwing epic trails at you.

The 5 best trails around Ainsa, Zona Zero

The 5 best trails around Ainsa, Zona Zero

A while ago I shared the 3 best trails for beginners , now it is time for some more hardcore Enduro trails. Therefore I present you with what I think are the 5 best Enduro trails you can ride straight out of the front door of your hotel, tent, caravan or camper in the Ainsa and Boltaña area.  

What I learned so far as mountain bike guide, and What is next?

What I learned so far as mountain bike guide, and What is next?

It has been a little over 6 months since I showed my first clients around Zona Zero. And really like guiding mountain bike enthusiasts around in this magical area. As as a designer, the other part of my brain, I am accustomed to reflect on the things I make and improve them when needed. So it was time for an iteration of the guiding business so far.

“ One part of my brain is wired towards mountain biking and the other part of my brain functions as a designer. They are an inspiration for each other and sometimes they meet.”

The #vanlife mountain bike vlogger

The #vanlife mountain bike vlogger

Since we moved to Ainsa we met a some amazing people. Three weeks ago I said goodbye to Andrew and Alix also know as McTrailrider and miss McTrailrider. They are traveling through Europe in their motorhome. Earlier this year they started to make their living from vlogging. They review all the mountain bike trails they ride during their travels. It was great riding with Andrew, specially because we share similar ideas and values about riding our mountain bike. This blog is about the relevance of the #vanlife mountain bike vlogger. 

Video: My Bike Takes Me To Amazing Places! by McTrail rider

Video: My Bike Takes Me To Amazing Places! by McTrail rider

It is always amazing to feel when things click. Andrew and I really connected on our first ride together. So on his last day in Ainsa we went on another bike ride. We explored the El Confesionario trail also know as the ride to the pussy of the world/ El coco del mundo. This trail was new for the both of us.

Of course Andrew filmed it all and he threw in some amazing drone footage of Morcat and the Confesionario as well. Enjoy watching!

Video : An Unbeaten Mountain Bike Adventure by MacTrail Rider

Video : An Unbeaten Mountain Bike Adventure by MacTrail Rider

Andrew also known as the McTrail Rider was in Ainsa, Zona Zero last month. Together with his girlfriend Alix, he travels through Europe to ride as many cool trails as possible and share his experience on his McTrail Rider YouTube channel.

A few weeks ago I contacted him via Instagram and we went out for a ride together. I showed him the la Caparra trail - ZZ-011 (Trailforks) and he showed me how to do proper switchbacks on my hardtail mountain bike.

The 3 best mountain bike trails for beginners in Zona Zero

The 3 best mountain bike trails for beginners in Zona Zero

Which trails can you ride in Zona Zero when you are new to Enduro mountain biking? Zona Zero has a map with ZZ Light trails. The map contains 6 trails varying from family trails over dirt roads to pretty difficult. You can find some of the easier trails on the normal big Zona Zero map with 20 Enduro trails. They probably made the big map before the Light version.

I personally selected 3 trails for you when you just started with Enduro mountain biking. They are fun, challenging enough and they have great views. As I mentioned before you’ll find easier trails, but these 3 trails give you a good start of your Enduro career.

How to deal with hunting season in Zona Zero, Ainsa?

How to deal with hunting season in Zona Zero, Ainsa?

Autumn is slowly taking over the landscape here foothills of the Pyrenees with its beautiful bright colours. With autumn an annual tradition returns to the area, Hunting Season. The battue or batida in Spanish, is a way of hunting where beaters drive the game towards the hunters who are waiting with there shot gun. The hunters are after wild boar and corso, a small dear. These batidas are both tradition and a necessity as there are way to many boars and dear due to a lack of predators aka wolves.

Read the 6 tips to avoid bumping into hunters in Zona Zero.

Riding the Enduro World Series Challenger in Ainsa, Zona Zero on a hardtail

Riding the Enduro World Series Challenger in Ainsa, Zona Zero on a hardtail

I never raced a lot on my mountain bike. I am not sure if it is because I am not competitive or because I am too competitive and I cannot stand loosing. But in 2018 the Enduro World Series came to town and I didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity. So I signed up for the EWS Challenger.

Since a couple of months the bikers in town were whispering about which trails would be used during the EWS. There were signs of mid summer trail cleaning so the guesses were pretty accurate when they released the EWS stages on the Monday before the race weekend.

Where to stay when you are on a bike holiday in Ainsa?

Where to stay when you are on a bike holiday in Ainsa?

After a day of biking you want to relax and sleep well, in order to be re-energised for the following day of riding your bike. There are many beautiful places to stay in or around Ainsa. We selected 4 different places for you to stay when you come to ride with us. Depending on your budget you can pick one of our recommended hotels or casa rurals.

Bikes tell powerful stories.

Bikes tell powerful stories.

Recently I came across three powerful stories where the bike and its biker played  a central role. I came across one on Instagram, one story slept at our home for 2 days and the last one is the love story of a couple in Boltaña, that also happens to tell the story of the last wild river in the Spanish Pyrenees.

How green is my bike? Let's do some sustainability research.

How green is my bike? Let's do some sustainability research.

How green is your bike?

For me mountain biking is one of the most fun things to do. It is a way I can enjoy nature, do sports and meet new people along the way. Everything can occur at the same time. With my interest in sustainability I find it hard get my head around doing this sport in a more sustainable way. I am not a fanatic or short sided when it comes to sustainability and I truly believe that more people should bike instead of drive a car. After all we all want to promote biking. Surprisingly I don’t see much brands in the industry taking real action, for example circular business models or doing active recycling programs of taking in old products to up-cycle. Perhaps, I haven't done enough research yet.

Why we ride?

Why we ride?

We recently moved to Spain and people ask us a lot why we moved and why we like mountain biking so much. So we taught it would be nice to share the answer to the question: "Why we ride?".  Mountain biking gives us freedom & confidence. For us it is a learning experience while being outside in nature, in the mountains. Why do you ride?