Montes de Málaga – The Ride Part 1 of 2

So after 5 days of bike rental hunting (see my previous post) my quest came to an end and I experienced the saddle feeling again. 5 kilometers east of Malaga, after a nice morning walk next to the Mediterranean, I was welcomed at the Recyclo Bike Shop by one of the owners and a true bike gentlemen, Greg. Two local young champs were waiting for their companion to start their training ride – Greg suggested I’d join them which I politely declined after making a quick calculation combining track and distance. I opted for an aluminum Focus road bike with an SRAM Rival group – needles to say, the bike was in perfect condition. After 5 kilometers I got used to the doubletap shifting with the SRAM shifters – always fun when shifters do the opposite of what you want them to do.

My companion for the day

Greg gave me some suggestions and in the end I opted for a ride towards Colmenar, turning towards the West and biking around the Nature reserve of the Montes Malaga – 80 to 90 km depending on the exact selection of roads. After a 3 km warm up East wards I took a turn towards Olias for the first 10 km of climbing up to around 500m. Nice roads, not too many cars and an occasional view on the Mediterranean. After 2 km it was clear: earwarmers, windstopper and gloves were no longer needed – it’s Anadalucia dude!

A short descent into town and direction Puerto del Leon via Puerto de la Bolina – another 10 km up to around 1000m with a nasty part of 14% just out of town (you got that right Greg). Once up there you get a beautiful view on the valley on the right and the Nature Park on the left while you stay a few kilometers on the plateau crossing several other cyclists and mountain-bikers. Descending from the highest point it’s 4 km racing cars and motorbikes in the downhill to grab lunch in the village of Colmenar.

View from the Puerto de la Bolina

On arrival in the village, watching around for a place to eat and distracted by glancing at the local church (damn Catholics), I didn’t notice the iron roster in front of me and hit it full on partly blocking my front wheel. And yes, I heard the infamous deflating sound and mumbled the words qualifying for a Parental Advisory sticker. Good bikers come prepared so while eating I checked the tire, replaced the tube and tried to get at least 5 to 6 bar pressure inside. On the bike to Villanueva!

Not really pleased with the pressure inside the tire I decided to put in some more air, start pumping, and then in a split second you know it’s going wrong. The inside of my pump gives in and in the process deflates the inner tube again, another attempt but no I am officially holding on to, after 3 years of service, a worthless piece of aluminum …

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By Maarten Patteeuw

Maarten is an avid road and mountain biker who lives and breathes everything rolling on two wheels. You can follow his rantings on Twitter by looking for @maapathel.