For all those Adrenalin junkies !
Dirt biking in Spain allows to to enjoy the mountains, lakes, beaches, forests, hills, and rivers of Spain: with such unrivaled variety, it’s no wonder that Spain is so loved by off-road motorcyclists. It’s a mecca that offers something for long-time riders as well as first-time riders.
A geographical introduction to Spanish dirt biking
Those who have never been dirt biking in Spain before may be surprised to hear that the landscape is made up of more than beaches. It is true that the country has 8,000 km of coastline. However, it is also one of the most mountainous countries in Europe (with three quarters of it at 500 metres above sea-level), one of the most diverse in terms of ecosystems, and the third largest (behind France and Ukraine).
The north of the country is home to Montserrat, the famous geological wonder that translates from Catalan (the local language) to “saw mountain”. The Ebro, the second largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, flows through the country and gives bikers plenty of chances to get muddy. A nice contrast to this are the many dusty, off road tracks in Andalucia in the south. Southern Spain also offers stunning views of the northern tip of Africa and miles of beachside dirt bike riding. Added to that, the south of Spain offers the Sierra Nevada, which is a chance for bikers to ride through snow, forests, and take in the spectacular scenery.
The capital of Spain, Madrid, is a sprawling metropolis that, due to its prime location in the centre of the country, can be used as the start or end point of many epic Spanish road trips. Madrid to Vigo, Madrid to Valencia, Madrid to Bilbao, and Madrid to Malaga on the Costa del Sol are all great chances to head from the beating heart of the country to its fringes, with some great dirt biking along the way.
Dirt biking in Spain is perfect for veterans and beginners alike. For veterans, there are long established routes, communities, and blogs for bikers who are aware of the sport but new to the region. For beginners, there are many companies out there willing to offer motorcycle holidays in Spain. In equal measure, Spain can be a series of flat wide open expanses for those who want an easy ride, or it can be a steep and rocky challenge for for those who are more hardcore.
What gear will I need for dirt biking in Spain?
Preparation is key for a successful dirt biking trip – especially in Spain. If you are going on a dirt biking tour with well established company, then most of the kit will be provided for you. Yet it is still good to check what a given company does and does not provide as it may not always be the same with each one.
Starting with the obvious, you will need a dirt bike and biking clothing that (ideally) will cover you from head to toe. It might be tempting to avoid covering up so much, given Spain’s heat, but nobody wants their first point of contact with the ground to be their skin so safety takes priority here. You will also need a helmet. You may feel the need to buy a tinted goggles, due to the intense Spanish sunshine, but be sure to check that they are within regulation visibility (50 per cent).
Check out our travel gear essentials for adventure travellers.
Top tips for Spanish dirt biking
When it comes to dirt biking in Spain, being safe and having fun go hand in hand. For example, there is nothing fun about dehydration and the Spanish climate means that you’ll be very hot. There is the abundant sun, the physical exertion involved in dirt biking, and the fact that you’ll be dressed in thick, heavy riding gear. After a few hours’ riding, you might feel like swallowing a couple litres of water in one greedy gulp. However, that is not the way to do it. It is recommended that you start drinking water straight away and consistently sip at it throughout the day.
In terms of actually riding the bike, you need to make sure you have your body position right and you will need to pace yourself. If you are a long time dirt bike rider, it might be tempting to go full throttle right away. However, Spain is a slightly different beast; the dirt here is red and dusty, as oppose to brown and sticky. This means that your bike will act differently on the straights and on the corners.
There are a few other things to consider too. Be sure to have the right amount of fuel, to bring your tools with you, and to tell someone when you are going dirt biking. Spain is vast and some of the most exciting places to go dirt biking are far from any towns. Spain’s aforementioned mountainous also means that gravity will not necessarily always be on your side. As a result, be sure not to leave your helmet on the ground, even for a moment. Nothing is more bittersweet than watching your only means of head protection roll away from you and disappear into the awesome Spanish countryside. Dirt biking legend Chris Birch recommends placing your helmet on your handlebars or footpeg if you’re stopping for a breather.
Dirt biking in Spain is a great opportunity to see the country differently. Many tourists spend their time in the cities or the coast of this great nation. Yet dirt biking offers you the opportunity to ride to hidden places deep within Spain itself.
Thanks to Ed Wild,founder of Redtread, a motorcycle holiday provider in Spain.
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