Training In Malaga, Spain
1st to 5th April 2011

Spain. Sun. Mountains. Bikes. Mates. Riding.... Now that sounds like a good plan for a 4 day weekend to me!


Jack Reading - ONeal Rider Profile
Training Trip in Malaga, Spain

After resting my wrist for 2 weeks and not really doing anything with myself except working I was chomping at the bit when Friday the 1st of April arrived and me and 7 other riders jumped on a flight to Malaga, Spain, at 6am for a 4 day riding holiday (well for myself it was more of a training trip). My wrist hadn't fully healed but I wanted to chance riding and see how much I could get away with. But with the second round of BDS the following weekend I didn't want to make the situation worse!

We arrived in Malaga at 10am, the sun was out, and with a full day of riding lying before us. To say we were excited was an understatement! After building up our bikes at the airport and getting some rather funny looks from 'normal' tourists while waiting for the van to arrive, we headed to the tracks to get started. I taped up my wrist with a support bandage and as I tied my shoe laces and felt it tweaking away I really worried about how much riding I'd actually be able to do.

The first track we went to was mental! It was so loose and rocky words can't describe how loose and rocky it actually was. Me and Joe Bowman (of, both of us who have never been to Malaga before, were initially slightly worried I have to admit! If every track had been like that one I don't think all 8 of us and all our bikes would have made it through the weekend! The second track we rode was called the 'Antenna' track, solely because it started at the top of the mountain where the Antenna was. It was a bloody long decent and absolutely amazing. It really did have everything, with the rocky gully at the bottom which was about 30 seconds long being the highlight! Imagine the gnarliest rock garden ever, then make it fast as hell, really narrow and most of the rocks around are really sharp – something like that! Ow and with 50 PSI in your tyres because you'd flat with anything less! If you made it through without touching the breaks you'd just defined commitment on a DH bike!

By the time we rolled up at one of the very English Malagan pubs it had been an epic first day but my wrist was bloody sore! Not that I was the only one with problems – Barry had blown up his rear shock and Mink had smashed a front wheel to pieces (Animals!). However, things took a turn for the better for me and my wrist. After icing it at the pub and then using Biofreeze for the rest of the trip coupled with strapping it I seemed to somehow, ride it better... The vibrations from riding must have strengthened all the muscles around the problematic area and I haven't really had a peep from it since! BDS round 2 is back on!!

The rest of the riding proved to be equally as awesome as the first day. Malaga has lots and lots of tracks all accessible using a van on tarmac or dirt roads but somehow there doesn't seem to be a massive riding seen. You very rarely bump into other groups of riders, and if you do they tend to be other tourists rather than locals. We rode a couple if super long tracks and a few shorter, more racey style tracks as well. By the time the 4 days was up we'd probably done the equivalent of a whole seasons worth of DH vertical in the UK.

I'm now fully fit again and very practiced for the race this weekend. For the last number of years I've returned form Whistler at the end of the season feeling fully dialled, but then there haven't been any races left for me to smash out a wicked result! Then again last year would have been my first BDS podium if my chain hadn't snapped on the sprint to the finish. So now I've just returned from 4 awesome days training on some of the hardest longest tracks I've ever ridden, I'm confident for a good performance this weekend at Moelfre! Although coming back from those tracks to ride Moelfre will be a bit of a come down!