Meet our colleague Björn who’s developed a passion for mountain biking in Spain and explored various routes over the past five years.
What inspired you to start mountain biking and how long have you biking?
“It started when I had to undergo hip surgery and I wasn’t allowed to run which I couldn’t anyway. However, I found that cycling was a more suitable option for me as it didn’t strain my skeletal structure. I have been cycling for over 10 years and it has really benefitted my hip. When I arrived in Spain, I immediately joined a group of cyclists called the ”Sunday bikers.” I was a bit nervous when I set off for the first time, especially with all the ups and downs of the mountains, but I have stuck with them for five years now.”
What’s your favorite trail or route to ride, and why?
“My favorite route is from Fuengirola, where I live, up into the mountains of Mijas. There is a hidden valley with no residential houses and you can ride around the valley and back to Fuengirola. It usually takes around 3.5 hours and covers 40 km. It’s my favorite because you get away from everything and the nature in combination with the view are just stunning.”
Do you have any tips for beginners who want to get into mountain biking?
“Start by renting a bike and going out with someone who knows good biking routes and areas. Then try to find a group to ride with as it’s always better going out in a group for safety reasons and to make the experience more social.”
What’s your favorite piece of equipment or gear that you use when mountain biking, and why?
“Investing in a good pair of cycling shorts is really important, but my favorite device is the sports watch with the heart rate monitor and GPS. With it you can see your current altitude and speed allowing you to compete against yourself.”
How do you stay safe while mountain biking and what precautions do you take to avoid injuries?
“I always use a helmet and I usually bring spare parts because you can be very far away if something happens. Don’t ride the bike when it’s raining; it gets very slippery – I never go out when it’s raining. Ask yourself how much you can manage, take it easy and your group will wait for you.”
Do you prefer riding alone or with a group?
”Always prefer to go with a group and then have a drink together.”
What do you love most about mountain biking, and what keeps you coming back to the trails?
”The freedom of being out in nature, far away from everything is amazing and of course, the physical well-being is an added bonus.”
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in mountain biking?
”Find a group that you can go out with. First time rent a bike to make sure you really like it.”