Water (and sunblock) more than anything else wields mighty power in Granada, probably owing to summertime temperatures that often soar above 35C/95F. Luckily abundant public water fountains are a nice perk to riding around Granada so you can go forth fearlessly on that 4-, 6-, or even 10-hour ride, your hydration requirements will be met.
If climbing is your thing, then Granada is your sweet spot. As with most mountain bike or road rides here, this ride allows you to dial up or down the suffering depending on how you feel that day. The main features of this circular loop include an 8.5 km (5.3 mi.) dirt climb with a grade that ranges between 4.5 and 15%, and another shorter paved climb that tops out at 31% at its steepest part and then heads into some tricky — sometimes hike-a-bike singletrack for 2 km (1.3 mi).
“Conoce Granada en bici” son salidas mensuales en mountain bike, presentadas por American Sport Training Center, tu entrenador personal en Granada. Os invitamos a salir en bicicleta de montaña el último sábado del mes con la intención de combinar un pequeño entrenamiento con diversión al aire libre. Incluso, para ellos que quieran, podemos practicar un poquito el inglés. ¡Únete a nosotros!
In sharp contrast to the 24/7, 365 culture in the US, most stores in Andalusia are closed Saturday afternoon until Monday morning. This has a nice way of forcing you to get your shopping done on Saturday, which leaves all of Sunday to go mountain biking or gravel riding in southern Spain. The vendors who really have a good thing going set their own hours, like the permanent pop-up bread kiosk in Plaza Mariana Pineda in the center of Granda. People don’t seem to complain about their limited hours — that’s not a war to be waged.
The range of digital aids available to cyclists really means that you should never have to pay to go on a bike ride yet guided bike ride services exist practically anywhere you can put tires to dirt or pavement. Whether pay-to-play or free, it’s the unknown that fascinates us and motivates to hunt for adventure. This is part 1 of a 3-part series of posts about ride services in Granada.
A robust bike rental service has yet to evolve in Granada but it may just be a matter of time before fleets of performance quality bikes are available to rent here. Granada’s Tourism office has published info (in Spanish) about where to rent bikes on its website. This blog post highlights a few shops that we’ve either worked with or have been recommended to us based on the quality of their bikes and service.
You now have one less excuse not to plan a bike trip to southern Spain now that the Biking Sierra Nevada route map is available for download. The new map serves up 1,164 kilometers (723 miles) of routes dedicated to off-road riders and located throughout the Sierra Nevada Park system, which is 4.5 hours south of Madrid in the province of Granada. The map also introduces in both English and Spanish, Europe’s highest cyclable climb, and the multi-day Transnevada, which circumnavigates the entire Sierra Nevada range.
Starting in March of 2017, groups of Swedes flocked south to Granada to indulge in a few days of consistently above-freezing temperatures, and daylight hours that stretched far into a normal Swedish night. By the way, you could probably substitute any northern European or North American nationality in place of Swedes, it’s just that last year, Sweden had greater representation than anywhere else. Preferential treatment was neither requested nor required and there were no “special handling” instructions. There are however, a few basic minimum requirements for a successful Granada ride experience, which are covered in this post.
While we have very few cold days here in Granada, what to wear is somewhat dependent on where you ride, especially if you’re planning on riding up into the mountains since the sustained climb can get pretty warm and then instantly switch to bone-chilling on the way down. Here’s a sample winter riding “uniform” for enjoying January and February in Granada.
If you know how to make an old bike route new again, switch to a gravel bike. If you don’t have a dedicated gravel bike, you may be able to convert an existing mountain bike into a gravel bike, here’s one version of how it’s done