Day 8 – Trail ride #2

09/08/10 (442 miles, fail)

“…but the little voice kept reminding me, “err, no-one, not even Helen, knows where you are right now! Did you happen to pack spare gearbox, or clutch covers in the event of running out of talent, hmm?! Slowing down a bit from this point on…”

Another glorious sunny morning, waking to the river roaring by. I ride into town for bread and cooking gas, before another coffee and bread loaded brekkie. I’ve decided to go for a trail ride today on my own, so Helen can relax in the sun and I can get my trail fix for the trip. Not certain it’s the wisest move, as I’ll be hoping to get it out of my system…on my own…on an isolated mountaintop…on the bike I have to ride home on, hmm.

Trail 2…

I choose the next closest trail marked up heading up the N260 to Vilamura (route here), then onto the trail climbing up to the top. The road up is smooth and winding, then I spot the usual gravel trail off the main road, so away I go and head up another good and steep twisty gravel & boulder strewn track.

Stopping to admire the view, I spotted Tornafort on the hillside opposite…

Halfway up the trail, overlooking Tornafort

I’m more used to riding with a set of road legal MX or Enduro tyres on my dirt bikes, so riding along on these Pirelli ‘dual-sports’ was a new experience and I wasn’t too sure how much grip I would get from them. On opening the throttle on the straighter sections of the gravel trail it would bite in well enough and drive the DRZ nicely upwards. I soon got a bit more confident and made some ham-fisted attempts at drifting the rear exiting the tight corners all without too much drama, but the little voice kept reminding me, “err, no-one, not even Helen, knows where you are right now! Did you happen to pack spare gearbox, or clutch covers in the event of running out of talent, hmm?! Slowing down a bit from this point, I made good progress up the track trying not to get distracted by the views across the valley appearing through the trees, and trying to avoid the bigger boulders and deeper ruts. Soon however I came round a corner to be met by red/white tape across the line, saying the lane was closed due to some environmental issues. Undaunted I spot another trail to the left and head off along this, to reach a dead-end, so even consider riding ‘off piste’ up through the trees to find the trail again, before I come to my senses  and would prefer to ride my bike back in one piece and I hadn’t seen a single person anywhere near. I head back along the track and see yet another trail heading uphill, which I follow for a good few kilometers, before meeting another taped boundary telling me to stop and go no further….rubbish (or words to that effect, I mutter quietly to myself). Total and utter fail. 😦

hilly incline on way back down

I get the maps out and look for alternatives. Yep there’s a fair few of course, but would require a decent ride across to the ones marked up, most of which head away from Sort for a good distance. I decide to hang up my boots there and then as this wouldn’t be fair to Helen, if I was to clear off into the early evening enjoying myself, so make tracks back to the campsite to join her in some tucker and a load of beer, after only an hour or so in the saddle, still sweating buckets in the midday heat.

Back at camp…

The rest of the day is spent walking into town for some food goods, then back to tent for lunch, pool for swim, back to tent for beers, olives and bread, read book and generally relax. I later thought of swapping batteries, jumping the bikes to start mine, riding it about for a while to charge and we’d have two temporarily working batteries. Until I realise the batteries are completely different sizes. Afterwhich, the dutch neighbours return and we finally have a decent natter, before another cracking home cooked meal of chicken, pasta and salad.

We work out a map route back to the coast avoiding any mountain passes and main roads, regardless of how long it’ll take. So the end of the trail riding dream and north-west to the coastal scene and some sea n’surf!

Day 9: Sort – Sabinanigo

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