A guest blog by Ade. Recently John, Andy, Mark, Gino & myself were given an opportunity to go on some adventure riding with Klim Technical Riding Gear. We thought, great an opportunity to go back to our younger days and do a bit of off-road, trail riding in the wilds of the English countryside.
Not happening – we were told pack your bags and your passports you're off to play at the Adventure Rider Centre in Mijas, Spain, where we would have access to hundreds of kilometres some of the most diverse, and spectacular, riding terrain anywhere in the world. We would be there for 4 days with two full days riding bikes - WOW!
We were all enduro virgins and had no idea what to expect.
Up bright and early, off to Manchester Airport and a few hours later we are met at Malaga Airport by one of our hosts from the centre Kaz, “the nicest person in the world”.
A 20-minute ride took us past Torremolinos, then turning right before Fuengirola we headed up into the high Sierra and arrived in the beautiful little village of Mijas where the stunning 4star hotel TRH Mijas is. This was to be our home for the next few nights.
Our Hotel the TJH Mijas - It'll do!
Dropped at the hotel Kaz gave us our 1st very succinct briefing “Get a good breakfast”, and then quickly went through what was happening the next day, meeting / pick up time, etc.
Then quick bite to eat and a, very, early night, don't know why I bothered as didn't get much sleep, was too excited “like waiting for Santa”.
Bang on time, 9am, there was Kaz with the minibus. Kaz must be one of the happiest people in the world and her bubbly personality really sets you up for the day ahead.
10 minutes later we are at the Adventure Rider Centre and we are introduced to Baz, who everyone immediately felt comfortable with, pretty important as we were about to trust him riding bikes up, down and round a mountain or two!
Everyone is then carefully measured, no “I think I'm a 30 waist”, and then we were kitted out head-to-toe in Klim. The gear we were given was excellent, light weight, vented, durable, comfortable to move in and it looked as if it had never been worn. One thing that Baz was very keen on was everyone had a camel pack!
Then we were offered a 2nd breakfast?? and briefed on the bikes we would be using and the day's activity.
Outside we got to choose our steed from a stable of Husqvarna's: 350 4 stroke, 450 4 stroke or a 250 2 stoke. We all took Baz's advice and opted for the 350s and then we were off.
What a first day's riding.
Baz constantly monitors you, judging and testing your ability with regular stops to discuss hints, tips, and to impart advice – most regular of which was “don't forget to drink”!
We did all terrain riding: road, dirt tracks, no tracks, rocky, dry (and wet) riverbeds, hill climbs and descents.
We even rode sideways!
Before each stage Baz would stop, offer advice and comforting words before we tackled the next challenge.
Wet River Bed
Now we understood the “Get a good breakfast” comment/instruction as we were stopping for food every two hours – the riding was working our bodies so hard we needed to take on human fuel to keep in the saddle.
Brief Pit Stop - Road Riding
Then, it was all over, day two finished, everyone was in varying stages of ‘knackered', minibus back to the hotel, wash & brush up, dinner at eight and early bed – no one could keep eyes open long enough to go out on the town.
We descend on the buffet breakfast like a swarm of Locusts - we now know what is coming!
Kaz does her morning tonic pick-up and takes us all in the minibus to the centre again.
Quickly into our kit, we were soon out with Baz, who having got our measure from yesterday, proceeds to test and challenge us a little bit more.
At each juncture Baz gently pushed us to “reach our potential”, always on the lookout Baz was there with words of encouragement and advice, you never felt too far out of your comfort zone, if you didn't want to do it then that was fine.
Mid-morning, I was in paradise, you can change bikes at any time and I got to play on the 250 2 stroke – I was still grinning when we landed back in Manchester two days later!
Baz continued to lead us up rock climbs, through tunnels and all over the countryside in one of the most beautiful parts of Spain.
Why go on the road when you can go under!
We learnt a whole new way of riding; standing up, feeling the backend slide, ultra-slow control, it was amazing.
Standing Up - Nice & Easy
Going Down - Nice & Slow!
Gino & myself are experienced, 35 years plus, daily riders but we still had lots of slow technical falls but thanks to the really excellent Klim kit we, and everyone who did fall, was perfectly ok.
Two days doesn't sound a long time, but it was enough. We all graduated with “Chicken Claw” honours.
We enjoyed it so much and learnt such a lot that Gino & I have booked to go again in November 2018, and we aren't alone in returning, one guy we met has been going for 5 years on the trot!
What a view - Why wouldn't you go back?
On way back home tired but exhilarated by the whole adventure.
The entire 2 days riding is technical and hard work, but the hotel with its pool is amazing and Mijas is beautiful.
The evenings are all about good food and relaxing, reliving the days riding with other motorbike riders who appreciate how lucky we are to be able to enjoy this pastime.
We would recommend it to any rider, it's a fantastic way to build your riding experience.
The J&S Five - Adventure Riding In Spain.
Thanks to Kilm, Kaz & Baz we had the most memorable experience ever - until next time.
Ade - J&S Oakmere