We’ve been working hard over the winter as we prepare to open our new cycling centre, creating two purpose-built mountain bike trails around the cortijo.

The first of our trails was completed in just four days, and it’s an absolute beauty.

A fast and flowing blue-graded trail, Olive Groove cuts and swerves its way past the olive trees before hitting the first berm at Carmen’s Corner, then picks up speed as it heads into a couple of small jumps, followed by some more berms as it drops down to join the driveway.

From there it’s just a few metres down the track and into our green-graded trail, Almond Avenue, which snakes through the new almond trees at the front of the property. This trail will be perfect for children and anyone new to mountain biking.

Ian Warby b1ke.com

Trail-building expert Ian takes a well-earned rest

The idea behind Almond Avenue is to connect with the gentle riverside track that takes us to the nearby cave, and the vast network of awesome XC routes in the area. Mountain bikers don’t have to suffer too much tarmac around here, and now there’s even less need to ride on the road.

Our next task will be to create a link back up the hill so that riders can complete a circuit and return to the bike shed without going back the way they came. We’ve also started plotting out a future red-graded trail, which will feature a gnarly rock garden and drop-offs on our steepest slope.

Our aim is to provide brilliant riding for everyone, while having a minimal impact on the environment. We’re proud to say that we have used absolutely no materials brought in from outside, only the rocks and soil on our land. The first half of Olive Groove was created entirely by hand, with no excavation by the digger, and once the trails have matured they should be an attractive addition to our beautiful landscape.

Juan & Antonio reach the end of the trail

Juan & Antonio reach the end of the trail

Huge thanks go to Ian Warby from B1ke.com for all his expertise and hard work as technical director of the project. We also have to give him credit for coming up with the brilliant name Olive Groove – Ian, you could have been a Sun headline writer!

Thanks also to Juan the digger man for a brilliant job (as usual), Isidoro and Javi for helping out on the tools, Antonio for operating the roller, and Carmen (la Colombiana) for keeping us going with her delicious home-cooked meals and morning snacks.

– Jonathan