Tenemos que viajar

We must ride!

376 miles and 45,809 feet of climbing. A week with Vamos Cycling in the Alpujarras.

It’s not the numbers that tell the story, but they hint at it!

These are the sort of numbers Gary achieves week in, week out, that tan his skin like an Essex girl’s dream, and sculpt his legs to ebony efficiency. This, the life of the ride guide at Vamos Cycling.

You would imagine with such high mileage and so many mountains that Vamos and the Alpujarras are the realms of pro training camps only, and, sure enough, just round the corner on the Sierra Nevada it’s not unusual to find pros such as Cadel Evans working away at altitude.

However, at Vamos, all are welcome.

It works like this, breakfast 8.30am where the day’s ride is proposed and considered at length. By 10am the bikes are gathered outside on the railings and riders are making final adjustments to supplies, shoes and sunglasses.

The friendly, positive atmosphere fosters an inclusive group spirit. The ride starts with the group together, and with only short climbs (relatively) from the village of Cadiar followed by long descents, it usually stays reasonably together as the riders warm up.

At the bottom of the first climb of the day there’s a brief outline of what’s in store, 14km, steady, with a steep bit in the middle and a little drop about two thirds of the way up. Carry on past the left hand junction and wait at the petrol station near the 16km board, or similar.

The pace on the climb is your pace. Fast or slow, you decide, and only you, as the climb levels you to an understanding of your own capability. This is not a macho showdown, it’s whatever you choose it to be. The spirit of Vamos and Le Sportif, as determined by nature.

If groups aren’t your thing get route advice and find what you want to, sit in the sunshine at coffee stops, fly down super smooth descents, grind up steeper climbs.

The Spanish commitment to high quality tarmac is evident for 99% of each ride. The Alpujarras are to the road rider what trail centres are to the mountain biker.

This type of endeavour cannot be undertaken unsupported. Come the afternoon, the lounge and bedrooms are littered with semi-comatose riders caught between the end of the ride and the start of dinner. Dinner has all the cyclist’s requirements - tasty, plenty and healthy! Savour your time in this cycling bubble, it’s over all too soon.