Tales From The Dark Side – Mountain Biking in Spain

Tales From The Dark Side
Report from Monachil – Sierra Nevada, España
By: Luka & Danielle Cherriman

 After waiting in a queue for over an hour just to see the inside of a church, I was dying to do something more interesting and so I was really excited when mummy said we were going mountain biking tomorrow.

We set off in the car and drove [more like a rally driver down from our village, making me feel sick at every turn – Danielle] to a small mountain village called Monachil in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range just outside of Granada.  We drove around and around looking for a parking space that both mummy and daddy were happy with and got out to find our guide.  We found the bar after what seemed to be an age of walking around in circles, and sat down for a drink; as well as the drink we were given some funny looking tapas, that consisted of slimy mushrooms, some bacon and a loaf of dry bread.  Mummy dived in [just for a change – Danielle] and we sat back disgusted!  Shaun our mountain bike guide finally turned up and we walked across the square to his bike shop.

In the bike shop, which was jam packed with dirty and grimy mountain bikes – so different from our lovely clean road bikes.  We were given four different mountain bikes [lucky because there were four of us! Ed.] and some very smelly and sweaty helmets.  The bikes were loaded into the minivan and off we went.  The bikes had pride of place on the back seat and we were crammed into the front.
DSC05113After we drove up the mountain, we got to our destination – which seemed to be a park in the middle of nowhere. While testing out our bikes Shaun told us we would be cycling uphill, I didn’t think this was going to be a problem, after all, I am a cycling demon!!  I set off keeping up with mummy and ahead of Shaun who at one point told me to wait for Danielle because she wouldn’t like being last.  After about 15 mins I realised that mountain biking wasn’t easy at all because we had to drag a heavy bike up a 5000km hill – OK maybe it was only 5!  I was exhausted, I was out of breath as Danielle zoomed past me and not very happy at all [but my super dad was very sympathetic, which is unusual for him – Ed.].  We reached the top – to see what?  We were still in the middle of nowhere looking at a mountain in the middle of nowhere.  Mummy and Shaun seemed to enjoy the Geography of the area  To me we were in the middle of nowhere!  In case I’m not making it clear we were in the middle of nowhere.

Move over Luka it’s my turn to say something.  We left the view point, now for some downhill.  At first it was really easy, we were on a wide fire trail, but suddenly Shaun turned off the track down a narrow rocky path.  Shaun went first, followed by mum – how hard could it be?  I set off, it was easy for about 30 seconds, but then……   I hit a rock, my nose hit the handlebars  and I thought it had broken.   I tried again, I hit another rock, I slipped off the pedal and it hit me in the shin.  I tried again and went another 30 seconds before hitting another rock – ahhh I hate going downhill.  Dad showed no sympathy and shouted for me to stop messing around (not quite as politely though) and mum rocketed down the hill – she showed no sympathy either.  I got it together and managed my first single track descent – Luka would have said “I owned that downhill”.  I was really pleased with myself.

A little further down, after some more fire trail, it was all going well and  Shaun decided that we could handle some more single track – again I looked down , it was steep, narrow and this time there was a drop off to our left hand side.  No worries….  Luka went down first, showing no fear.  He managed to get down the steep part, no problem, he went round the corner, leaning downslope,  he hit a root and stopped in the wrong place and the next thing I saw he was tumbling down the slope, goodbye Luka I always wanted to be an only child……  Oh wait I’ve got to go down there too….

Hey Danielle – this is my epic fail – “I totally owned that fall”  I was face down in a bed of spiky thorns with a bike on my head.  Mummy and Shaun came to my rescue and removed the bike, I don’t really remember what happened I just fell and ended up with a bike on my head!!

DSC05182The rest of ride was much better, I stayed upright and enjoyed the different downhill sections as we rode back into the village.  Final thoughts I really hope I don’t have to do that again….  But mum and dad says we are going again on Tuesday.

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