Vid: G-Spots in Basque Country

Words Doug McDonald
Date Mar 5, 2012

Carlos and I recently took our Cove G-Spots over a local mountain which sits in the Basque Country on the border between Spain and France. This isn’t a route I guide on often during our mountain bike holidays, it’s very rocky and tough. The climb is short but very sharp, most people will have to push their bike at some point. The descent is an old path up the mountain which switchbacks all the way down into France. The first time we did it Carlos commented that it was like a “rocky road to hell”, the name “Rocky Hell Road” just stuck, it’s actually not a road; it’s not hellish; it’s just rocky fun mountain biking!

The Cove G-Spots really come into their own on this type of trails. It’s a bike which can easily be cycled to the summit but really lets you enjoy the descent. I’ve done this trail on a few different bikes now but the G-Spot just carries so much speed over the rocks it really makes it fun.

Larun is the most westerly of the Pyrenees mountains, sitting almost a kilometre above Biarritz. It has always held a special place in Basque culture and mythology and you can see the evidence of that in the numerous dolmens, stone circles and neolithic monuments. Some people say the name comes from runes found carved on the stones there, other people say it means “good pasture”. It has been used as a defensive position throughout history and also as a haven for witches. In 1912 a rack and pinion train was constructed which runs 905m to the summit in a very direct 4.2km and carries tourists to the bar there. Unfortunately we are currently not allowed bikes on the train, although we continue to work on changing that!

This kind of ride – the up and over, destination XC/AM ride – really appeals to me. 400 metres of climbing for a 1000 metre descent sounds pretty good too. Now if someone would just get Doug some new shorts…

Posted in: Videos, Trail Tales, News


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