Category Archives: Guides

Take on the mountains of Sardinia!

With our classic Sardinian Mountains guided road cycling trip revamped for 2018, we asked one of our local guides, Lieven Loots, about his favourite sections of the new route that you should get excited about right now!

The Coastal Road to Villasimius
23 km of perfect tarmac winding its way up and down through the highly panoramic coastal scenery in the southeast of Sardinia – because one can’t come to Sardinia and not cycle at least a little bit along the coast!

Genna Silana Pass
One of Sardinia’s most panoramic roads winding its way up from sea level to 1017m above sea level, through some truly amazing scenery dominated by soaring limestone cliffs and one of Europe’s deepest canyons – Gola di Gorropu – only to arrive at sea level again 60 km later – all on near perfect tarmac and with very low traffic. A definition of a road cycling heaven!

Climbing Monte Albo
A 13 km climb in two parts, the first seeing you slowly rise along the valley through thick mediterranean vegetation, the second taking you up to the top along barren limestone slopes. Sardinia’s answer to the Dolomites or – dare we say so – Mont Ventoux!

The Descent to the Flumendosa Lake from Sadali
One of Sardinia’s best descents which will take you on an exhilirating 15 km ride through a neverending series of sweeping bends – well off the beaten track and therefor virtually traffic free. With the added bonus of the view on the lake.

Riding the Trexenta Hills
A wonderful rolling road including one longer climb sneaking it’s way through some real unspoilt Sardinian countryside – you’ll be more likely to meet free roaming sheep and cows than cars along this 25 km stretch of cycling bliss. An ideal way to finish your cycling holiday in style.

Feeling inspired? Ready to take on the mountains of Sardinia? Our road cycling classic, Sardinian Mountains, is perfect for riders who prefer a few more miles under their belt each day and don’t mind an uphill challenge!

A Guide To Winter Biking

This time of year can be tough for all of us based in the UK. With the tendency for wet weather and muddy trails it’s not difficult to get downhearted about riding during these winter months. There is some consolation though in that we can ride our bikes year round, our trails are not buried under snow for 3 months of the year, nor are our summers so blistering hot to keep us indoors or in the shade.

With some good riding habits it is possible to ride through the winter and arrive in the spring feeling fit and with riding skills honed for a summer of adventures. Here are some tips that our Mountain Biking Product Manager Matt Cain have picked up over the years riding year-round:

1. Make it Fun
Make sure that every time you get out on your bike that you enjoy yourself. Unless you are a pro or have serious fitness goals then this is not the time for all-day suffer-fests. Instead design a fun route, head out with some good riding buddies and plan for a mid-ride butty or post-ride ale.

Photo by Lighttrapper Photography

2. Choose the right trails
Seek out some local all-weather trails or well-surfaced bridleways to avoid the slop-fest that moorland trails can be in the winter. Trail centres are also great for reliable riding whatever the weather.

3. Commute for bonus miles
If practical, commuting by bike is a great way to get in regular rides and some bonus training miles. One you are in the habit of getting on the bike every morning its far easier to face the dark each day. Have your kit laid out the night before, your bike sorted and spare socks and undies at work to make sure you are never caught out!

4. Get your kit sorted
Splashing out on some good quality wet weather kit will make a huge difference and it needn’t be expensive. Baselayers and tights are cheap, and waterproof socks, good gloves and a proper waterproof jacket are excellent value for money for keeping you safe and happy.

5. Think outside the box
You don’t necessarily need to be riding your bike to be getting better at riding your bike! An occasional turbo trainer session will keep your fitness topped up and strength and conditioning work including regular stretching or Yoga/Pilates will help overcome any niggling injuries.

Photo by Lighttrapper Photography

6. Make a commitment
Agree to meet your buddies for a ride – it will be more fun and harder to back out if there is a little drizzle forecast. A significant event or holiday in the Spring or early Summer will give you a little extra motivation to get out and enjoy a ride.

If all else fails, remember that it doesn’t always have to be ‘fun’ to be fun! Sometimes you’ll get wet, dirty and get home in the dark, but rest assured you’ll reap the rewards once the days get longer and trails drier.

Looking forward to riding in the sun? Check out our Mountain biking range for your chance to soak up the sun on two wheels and enjoy some excellent trails later this year.

5 tips before your autumn biking adventure

Hopefully you’re coming out of summer with a decent number of miles in your legs, but with our busiest month of the year approaching there is always scope for some last minute preparation. Here are a few tips from our very own mountain biking guru, Matt Cain, for making the most of the last few weeks before your big trip…

  1. Make sure your bike is sorted. Get it serviced to make sure everything is good to go. Fresh tyres and brake pads are a great idea. Just don’t leave this to the last day or two before you go.
  2. Stay rested. Ride your bike and keep your legs active but don’t overdo your training at this late stage. I tend not to focus on big miles, but instead try to ride regularly and on as many consecutive days as possible. Commuting by bike is a good way to achieve this.
  3. Retail therapy. Get those last few items you need well in time. Check you have tubes, brake pads and suitable chain lubricant. Some new riding shorts can make all the difference once you are into days 3, 4, 5 of your tour!
  4. Prepare for everything. Late summer and autumn in the mountains can dish up any weather. Think about sunscreen and a hydration pack, but also waterproofs and baselayers!
  5. Pace yourself. Take it easy on the first few days of the trip as suffering an injury or minor accident early on can ruin your whole holiday. Your guides will give you plenty of info on what to expect each day so you can adjust your efforts accordingly.

Still haven’t decided on your autumn mountain biking destination? Don’t worry, there’s still time! Check out our range of MTB holidays for inspiration.