Frequently asked questions about your mountain biking holiday....
There are often questions about your holiday. In this section we hope that we can answer a few. If you have others please don't hesitate to get in touch.
1- Why flights to Barcelona?
We ask all clients who require a pickup/ transfer to fly into Barcelona (BCN) airport. If you are self driving or planning to rent a car or coming by train I will cover this later.
We only pickup and transfer from Barcelona (BCN) as it is the closest international hub to us. This means that the majority of clients can get flights from their home departure airport to Barcelona with the minimum of hassle. There are other airports in the vicinity but we cannot organise pickups on a Saturday from multiple airports as this is logistically impossible, so we ask all clients who require a transfer to arrive at Barcelona (BCN).
2- Can I fly in/out on aternative days?
For week long reservations we only offer transfers on a Saturday as for the rest of the week the vehicles are generally in use for daily riding transfers. You are at liberty to arrive and depart from Barcelona before or after the day of your transfer and we will happily pick you up /drop you at an airport hotel (but not a city hotel!) on the Saturday.
We will discuss any Long weekend or Short week group reservations requirements and try to be as accommodating as possible, but this may not always be possible.
3- Alternative transfer methods?
Hire car- You can generally rent cars from any arrival airport to drive up to us. Remember that your car needs to be big enough for you, your luggage and your bikebox. If you are renting in Spain be sure to advise the rental agency that you will be going into France as this may have insurance implications.
Train- You can catch the train direct from the UK to Perpignan where you will need to organise a transfer up the mountain. You can catch the train from Barcelona to Puigcerda, from where you will need to arrange a transfer with us (30mins) as a taxi from here will be a little difficult. From Toulouse you can get the train to La Tour de Carol/ Entveig where again you will need to organise a transfer to us (30mins).
Transfer company- You are free to organise a transfer from any airport direct to us with a transfer company, but be aware that this is not as simple as in other regions and you must inform them you are travelling with bikes.
4- What will the weather be like?
Our region is often referred to as the "Sunniest in France" and not without reason. We can expect over 300 days of sunshine a year, but it can rain! it can also get cold in Spring and Autumn. We suggest that during the week leading up to your trip you check the forecast using the links on our website. This will help you plan your kit packing. If you are still not sure then give us a shout.
Spring and Autumn trips can expect cool mornings then daytime temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees centigrade. Summer trips can expect daytime temperatures in the high 20's or mid 30's.
5- What clothes should I bring?
In general we recommend that you have a few changes of riding shorts and short sleeved tops. A long sleeved top can be useful both in the case of cooler weather or mornings and as a protective layer from the sun if you are prone to sunburn. Again in Spring and Autumn the weather can be cool in the mornings and evenings, so think about something as a warm layer for those times.
Do not forget your waterproof jacket for on the trails, this is a "MUST" bring safety item.
For evenings, non ride wear bring your standard summer casual wear. In Spring / Autumn you can add a jumper or lightweight insulated jacket. Swimmers for the hottub.
We ask clients to bring some indooor footwear to keep the dirt outside. Slippers, flipflops, crocks, whatever floats your boat.
6- What bike kit should I bring?
Riding clothes as above.
Unless we state otherwise your normal trail riding helmet. You must wear your helmet at all times on the bike, it is a requirement of our insurance. A full face helmet is too hot on the climbs and most of the time on the descents as well. For those of you that feel more comfortable in a full face helmet the new generation of helmets with removable chinguards work very well.
We cannot stop you having a crash but padding yourself up as if you are in a bikepark will probably lead to you getting heatstroke, so we recommend that you ride with at least kneepads on the descents (elbowpads can be very usefull too) which you remove for the climbs. Remember you are riding on "natural" trails, so back it off a bit and enjoy the ride.
Glasses will stop dust, branches and other unmentionables getting flicked into your eyes.
Suncream is really useful. In general you willl be riding in a much harsher sunlight than you are used to (a mix of the altitude and the lack of polution), so suncream can stop your holiday being spoilt by a case of sunburn!
For your bike remember to bring spare brake pads and a spare mech hanger as these parts are often unique to your bike and impossible to get at short notice here. Some tubes are essential and even a spare tyre for your wheel size is a good idea.
Make sure your bike has a decent set of toughened sidewall trail tyres. This is not the place to be riding lightweight tyres. We also recommend that you run tubeless as in some areas thorns can ruin your day on tubes.
7- What type of bike is ideal?
You will be most comfortable riding a typical trail/enduro bike. That means a fully suspended bike in the 140mm to 170mm travel range depending on your wheelsize. We strongly recommend the use of a dropper seatpost as this dramatically increases your safety in the mountains due to the ability to raise and drop your saddle where nescessary without stopping.
8- How fit do I need to be?
All of our holidays are demanding! This is not cycling for softies.... The fitter you are the more you will enjoy your trip. The weather, altitude and trails can accentuate your fatigue, so we strongly suggest that you prepare yourself for your trip. You will be riding for at least 5 days and on some trips 6 days without a day off. You need to be comfortable doing this.
For each trip there is a description of the trip and trails. We once had some clients suggest that a 30km day was going to be only half a day!! They didn't want to do anything extra that evening.... Do not underestimate the terrain.
9- How good a rider do I need to be?
As a famous coach once said to me "Anyone can pedal but it takes skill to RIDE". This is mountainbiking, in real mountains and not in a groomed park area. To get the most out of your trip you should be comfortable riding on natural singletrack, in a natural environment. If you only ride in areas that are manmade (trail centers or bikepark) you will struggle here, so get out and practice and you will enjoy your holiday much more.
You also need to know your limits. There is no shame in not riding a small piece of trail as you do not feel comfortable doing it. If we have the time we can help you in these situations, but if we are on the move and time is short knowing your limits can stop you having an accident somewhere where you really didn't want one.
Ben Plenge for those of you not in the know is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the top fitness coaches in the business. Ben trains many of the UKs top young riders including Chris Hutchens, Veronique Sandler and Charlie Hatton amongst a host of top riders. As an integral part of the Enduro Training camp Ben organises the mornings warm up, the evening stretch session and daily talks on a variety of subjects from strength training to nutrition. Some of the best and most current training advice on the planet....
Rider protection normally used for racing is recommended. For these trips we recommend all riders have a high level of natural mountainous singletrack riding ability plus understanding of Bike Park riding and wear rider protection. Full face helmets and back protectors are obligatory in the bike parks. Trail riding protection is strongly advised for natural trail days. This trip is aimed at those already racing or those who wish to race Enduro.
Full face helmet recommended for when practice racing on the Enduro circuits
Come and join us riding in the spring sunshine on dry trails to give your season the perfect boost.
Profit from our extensive race experience in your preparation for the coming season. With Angela having over ten years racing experience on the XC world cup circuit and Ian having raced at a World cup level in both XC and DH, plus having been the Scott UK team manager for 10 years you can gain hugely from our knowledge base.
Ben from The Mountain Bike Strength Factory is one of the best fitness and strength coaches in the business. He will be giving evening talks on physical preparation, fitness and strength training, nutrition and much more.
We know the local Enduro scene as well as anyone as we still race in the the Catalan Enduro series, the MaxiAvalanche and the Regional Enduro Trophy series. We spend the week riding on two of the local Gravity Enduro race circuits used in the Pyrenean Championships and on other carefully selected trails sure to get your speed and flow going.
Not sure if this is the right area to get yourself up to speed? This is the region where some of the fastest Flying Frenchies from the Enduro World Series live and train, so expect those Strava KOM's to be hard to get. On the other hand what better way to see how you are progressing!
Friday. Arrrive Barcelona airport. Pickup and transfer to "the Mouli"
Saturday. Acclimatisation day on the local trails. Expect long descents with lots of technical riding. Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
Sunday. Switch countries to Spain for some classic Enduro trails in the sun. Only a short drive but well worth it! Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
Monday. Video analysis day. We will ride a series of Enduro trails and video critical sections to help you improve your trail flow. Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
Tuesday. The Pain Train.... Need we say more. Fun and frolics to put the pressure on! Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
Wednesday. Some loooong drops to work on that endurance. Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
Thursday. Mini Enduro. Shuttle runs with some timed sections to spice things up :) Stretching session. Evening talk by Ben.
What a week, frankly one of the best experiences I've had since starting mountain biking. The Enduro training week proved the perfect blend of fun, holiday, testing trails and a great group. Attitude Adventure put together a week of trails and slick organisation, that I am still getting the buzz from. Ben at MTB Strength Factory proved the icing on an already great cake. His pre-ride flexibility sessions, energy and passion on the rides, pre-dinner stretch sessions (a real benefit and always a laugh) and after dinner talks about energy management, recovery, nutrition etc. I found massively insightful. I would not only recommend this week to anyone who is serious about Enduro racing, but I have already reserved a place next year. Great stuff, well done. - Keven
Just a quick note to say thank you once again for a memorable holiday last week. The trails are truly amazing and the overall mountain biking experience was topped off by the fantastic hospitality you extended to us. There were a lot of glum faces on the plane home!