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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After seeing the Vibraction roadbook report in ABR issue 5 I researched a trip that we could do in a week and settled on Roadbook 10 Aragon and Navarra Pyrenees and Bardenas Desert.

Over the next few frantic months that soon became weeks and days away the bike was fettled to move the Zumo so that a roadbook holder could be fitted, spare wheels with TKC80s fitted etc

Also on the to do list was packing and loading the bike. A good lesson in “what do I actually need and use” saw me reduce the kit by 8kgs and be able to fit everything from tent, tarp, rollmat, sleeping bag, tools, spares, clothes, cooking and cutlery, food, milk for 4 days etc and water. Managed to fit all in 2 x 29ltr panniers and a 33 ltr topbox, plus some essentials in a 12 ltr tank bag

Tested it all out with a slight offroad jolly to Scotland and rode the routes fully laden

Travelled down on Friday am to meet up with Stanbloke and then onto Portsmouth for the late sailing to Bilbao that would arrive 5.30 pm on Saturday evening. We needed to get 270 miles across to where the start of the route was at Ainsa so opted to stay at Olzati in a truck stop en route. A couple of nice lads on sport tourers joined us for these sections

The next morning we set off and travelled over to Ainsa, where we left the two lads and headed off to begin Day 1 and do our first trail in the afternoon on the Sierra de Guarra

Before we left England, we had some difficulty in setting up waypoints but with the aid of Tramp and his excellent instructions posted on the forum Stanbloke was able to get his Montana working. That was until we got to the trails !! The vibration was knocking the Monatana off power so it was shutting down. We relied on the roadbook for navigating

The first section was a baptism of fire due to the rocky climbs and descents that we were not expecting more like the Peaks rough roads. This was shortly followed by our first river crossing and more rocky trails and finished off with miles of forestry single track almost like riding in a long tunnel

I suggested that we ride till 5pm each day and then start looking for somewhere to camp. This worked well and most times we were set up and showered and fed by 8pm. We got to Nocito by the end of day 1 and a much needed shower to relax with

Day 2 saw us cross several Sierras and the tracks were much better, fire road type tracks with some rocky climbs and a few sections that looked like they had not been travelled on for a while. All the climbs were long and some quite arduous but the bikes were coping well and surprisingly so were we. It was a great sight seeing day. Sierra de la Pena, Los Mallos de Riglos, Mirador de los Buites, Ermitage Marcuello, then onto Sierra de Loarre to see the Chateau de Loarre. The day ended at Aguero and as the campsite was shut we had to use a hostel

Day 3 – after a long sleep (went to bed at 9.15pm and did not wake up until the church bells right next to us rang 9.00 am !) – today we would do ravines and the Bardenas Reales Desert

Aguero is at the end of a small road and the trails started straight away with some steep rocky descents followed but equally steep rocky climbs zig zagging up and down the mountain. After a while the rocks ended to be replaced by deep rutted mud, several river crossings, some dry ones. The trails at the top were sandy and then we would drop into another ravine to have a muddy rutted climb out of the other side. We got lost a couple of times and travelled almost 79 kms before we got to stony dry track shortly followed by tarmac again. From here we missed out a section that went through some farms and tracks to get to the same point being a road taking us to Bardenas Reales Desert

After riding round the desert and being sand blasted by the strong wind we headed for Carcastillio, which had a castle but no camping and looked very shut. Went on to the next town but more of the same so headed up to Olite where we found a campsite after several attemps. Finally showered and fed followed by a beer

Day 4 – this was mostly single track and some bigger tarmac routes. There was an offroad section that took us up to the electricity windmills and back down to road again. Decided to miss this bit out and add some hairpins and twisties in. The route took us over to St Jean Pied de Port (officially the end of the roadbook) in France and back again. After 278 kms of hairpins and twisties without any straights covered in 4 ½ hours we ended a fantastic days riding with a leisurely 136 mile ride back towards Olzati and another night in the truckstop en route to Santander for the ferry the day after

Day 5 – sad day as we are going home

Arrived at the ferry port in Santander to a myriad of shiny bikes some wearing the contents of a Tourtatech catalogue and we roll up with very dirty ones!
We soon became the topic of conversation with a lot of people

This was a fantastic trip and I had a great partner that I could not have wanted better as a co rider

We had a laugh a minute and the last day’s intense on the pace ride will keep me grinning for many years to come

The route supplied gave us every type of terrain possible from rocks, mud, sand, river crossings, fire roads, some small twisty roads in the hills to connect, country side, forestry singletrack, desert, breath taking views and sights, all finished off with a fast road ride on some of the best roads I have ever ridden

We did not see anyone at all on the trails over the 4 days riding. What an excellent route
Thanks to Vibraction and thanks to ABR for publishing the initial write up in issue 5

Total mileage over the 5 days was just short of 1200 miles with 500+ on the offroad route supplied

Now for some pictures……………

Start of trail
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Trail Check - you know the "Don't put your vehicle where your brain hasn't been first"
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Rocks !
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Navigation check
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Small river crossing - the first of many, some deeper and longer, some dry higher up
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Bigger rock steps to get up. The first part of this route was the hardest - after this the rest was a breeze
59.jpg
 
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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Day 2 begins with a nice short blast along a valley in the mountains and they were big mountains - Stan zoomed in x5 on me

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We hit the first trail of the day
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Looking down on the valley below - zoomed in x10
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We're now on the next Sierra on the other side and took the trails up to the top - we came over the two on the other side of that lake down below
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Navigation check as we are on unused trails but it was the correct route that joined up with more used trails and fire roads
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Nice piste up to some sights to see. The rest of the afternoon they were like this
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My bike and Los Mallos de Riglos
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Same mountain range, different angle

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That's all for now folks - will continue Day 2 later when I get home - damm work gets in the way of everything !!
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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3,270 Posts
Good pictures Paul,Spain is fantastic riding country. How expensive was fuel if you dont mind.J
 

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Hill Rider
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3,111 Posts
Nice one guys.

Thanks for sharing - especially the bit where the shinny bikers look on in awe :thumbup:

Respect to both of you.

Steve T

:cool:
 

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it's about an hour......
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2,198 Posts
Fantastic trip Paul and Stan. Looked like a great time was had. Not wanting to wish my time away but roll on August when I will get down that way! Will be no doubt nagging for route ideas over the next couple of months.
 

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one-legged member
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Absolutely brilliant, looks like a fantastic trip :cheers:
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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6,063 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good pictures Paul,Spain is fantastic riding country. How expensive was fuel if you dont mind.J
In the remote areas we were paying 18-20 euros for 12 litres but in the more populated ares and some main road type fuel stops fuel was cheaper and we'd get 15 or so litres for the same money
 

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Wing Commander
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That's my country. I went to the University of Navarra to learn Spanish. Have only ridden the bike there on roads, not trails.
 

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Whoa ! Nice one Paul/Stan.:thumbup:
I'm doing the trails East of Ainsa this weekend. After reading this I'm thinking,West of Ainsa has to be done straight after. :) Just had a look at that Vibraction link you mentioned,bit late to get the maps now but I'll print off your ride report and see if I can get some of your destinations covered.........Mate ! you had the weather for it, the weather next week looks pretty grim. :(

Nice bike there Bro' What is that ? a HONDA ? :D:D:D:D:D:D !
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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6,063 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice one guys.

Thanks for sharing - especially the bit where the shinny bikers look on in awe :thumbup:

Respect to both of you.

Steve T

:cool:
Thanks Steve - remember our 16 minute blast on the 712?

We did 4 1/2 hrs of this at that sort of relative pace (relative to the hairpins and tightness of the twities)

It was sheer heaven - I need to count up how many hairpins and twisties we did over that section. Ill post the roads up so you can see them on google map
 

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Enthusiastic AT rider
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That looks fantastic. I'm getting very excited now as my buddy and I are riding down there to do Road Book 2 last week of June. We ummed and arrghed(!) about RB10 but decided we're too lightweight to tackle that one! Collioure is a great place to end up in though. Any hints and tips great fully received!

Great pics by the way.
 

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oh! Wow! Awesome pictures.... wish my riding skills were to that sort of expertise! I would love that sort of adventure.... still, I'm planning a little adventure of my own for the summer in the desert!! (Watch this space - as they say!)

As someone else said earlier .... "respect to you two for such an adventure"... are there more pics?

:sunny:
 

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SOTGATT
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Well done to you and Stan, Paul.

Looks cracking.....

Envious in a good way...:)
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Day 2 continued

Miles of trails and hard pack roads down below

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Ermitage de Marcuello

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Castillo do Loarre - we are now on the next Sierra

139.jpg 141.jpg

Lastly we arrive at our stop for the night - Aguero

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Sunset

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Day 3

Aguero is at the end of a very small single track road and the trails begin straight away

Start of trail that went down and down and down on a steep rocky descent and then back up again !! Unfortunately there were many sections that we could not stop to take pictures due to the gradients and the surfaces we were riding on as we would not have got going again on the inclines and it was safer to do the rocky descents with a bit of speed

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Sandy and muddy trails at the top

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More drops - the track went down steeply to the left

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Checking what's up ahead

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Ruts but much smaller as we're near the top again

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Time for a navigation check - Stans Montana was now working on battery power

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The trails here was sand at the top but every now and then there was mud to mix with the sand = clay = slicks. This would encourage ones bike to take a more scenic route into the trees !!!

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The bikes having a well earned cool down - the fans were on quite a lot - and for those that comment - my bike with mud on it !!

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As you can see on the road book I am crossing a river - which is dry !!

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Now back on hard pack and eventually tarmac

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Stan's bike cooling off in the shade

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We had travelled right across the valleys from the rocks in the distance towering above Aguero - zoomed in x 10 to get this shot

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Aguero was to the very right in this shot

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Day 3 continued

After a fuel stop and a short road ride we arrived at Bardenas Reales Desert

180.jpg

Alto del Caso

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The desert just went on for miles and miles of tracks and was quite cold in the wind after the slow hot riding we had been doing all morning and part of the afternoon

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After searching we found a campsite for the night

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Great trip great reports.

Jelous! no not me not in the slightest i'm really glad I'm stuck here as the sceenery in Northamptonshire is very similar. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Who's riding the strange trike ??? :-D:-D

181.jpg
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Day 4

We did not take too many pictures today because once we got to the hairpins and twisties we were having so much fun and being "in the zone". The only real stops were for fuel, food and we ran out of twisties !!

All the villages were constructed in the same style with a church at the top surrounded by the houses

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On the A1601

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The start of the bigger road N137

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Nice view of the road that was fast flowing bend after bend all the way over the mountains at the back - no straights - we like a lot !!

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Getting near the top now

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At the col and the Border now into France - rear wheel in Spain / front wheel in France

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View across the hills !! The clouds in the pic were drifting along

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On the run down I managed to get the TKCs right to the edge but the pannier touched down so I backed off a bit

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St Jean Pied de Port - officially the end of the roadbook

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Route de Twisties:

From OLITE NA5300 to San Martin de Unx
NA132 to turn off NA5320 to Gallipienzo and Nuevo
NA 5321 to Caseda
Unclassified track to Campo Real
A127 to Sos del Rey Catolico
A1601 down to Embalse de Yesa
N240 west for 300mtrs
N137 to Burgui
N214 to Narascues
NA178 to Guesa, Esparza, Escara, Ochagavia
NA140 to Potillo de Larrau

cross the border at the col

D26 down to Larrau
D19 past Iraty
D18 to St Jean Pied de Port

D933 to Arneguy

cross border

NA135 to Agorreta

end of twisties :(
 
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OVALTEENY !!!
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's my country. I went to the University of Navarra to learn Spanish. Have only ridden the bike there on roads, not trails.
You missed some great riding
 
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