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EASTER WEEK // Montes Universales

...every Easter, Stefan makes time for a week-long bikepacking pilgrimage somewhere new. Somewhere empty and undiscovered. In previous years, these trips have seen him ride in Romania, Sierra de Cazorla and the hidden hills of Valencia. This year, he chose Montes Universales in Northern Spain...

The population density of these places is very low, not only due to the hardness of the climate and orographic conditions, but also due to the intense emigration that took place during the 20th century. Soon I found out that the places mentioned in the EL PAIS article offer great possibilities to move around with a bike on the many gravel roads, mountains, river valleys, to sleep outside and enjoy beautiful untouched nature. Easter week seemed to be a perfect time for visiting – spring would be there, and the weather should already be pleasant at the end of March, though the places mentioned above are in general colder than the mediterranean places I am used to…

With the help of Google Street View I planned a nice 650km route with 12000m climbing, on approximately 70% gravel roads, and the rest secondary tarmac roads.The days before leaving, I nervously checked the weather app twice a day, but that didn’t help; the weather forecast was not good looking: rain, snow, very strong winds, and low temperatures for the whole Easter week! I prepared thermal bibs, warm layers, warm sleeping underwear, the winter sleeping bag, the mattress for low temperatures …. It was a good decision to bring all the warm stuff, I needed all of it! The week was a beautiful adverse play of changing weather. The weather forecast was right: very low temperatures for this time of the year, snow, rain and brutal winds. The beautiful landscapes, harsh brute nature, and little rural villages compensated for the bad weather I had most of the week. I had to walk and push the bike for many hours over several days through snow, ride on icy frozen snow plates, still happy to be in such a beautiful place. When moving in the woods on gravel roads I was virtually alone, accompanied by foxes, some boars, and many herds of deers, every day a spectacle.

I’ve seen many parts of Spain, but this is probably my favourite part of this beautiful country. Highly recommended!…

Pannier

PANNIER DANGLE-MUG

Our original Pannier Enamel Camp Mug, for your cycling and bikepacking adventures...

£15.00
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Ortlieb

Gravel-Pack Panniers (PAIR)

Ortlieb's lightweight gravel-bikepacking waterproof panniers...

£118.00
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voile, Pannier

PANNIER x VOILE 20″ STRAP

Our Custom Pannier.cc x Voile 20" Bikepacking Strap...

£9.50
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Journey | SLOVENIA

SOCA SPRINGLANDS

...bikepacking the mountain passes and gravel roads of Slovenia's Soča River Valley, Triglav National Park and Julian Alp lands, in the tracks of Slovene mountaineer/traveloguer Julius Kugy...

by STEFAN AMATO & DUNCAN PHILPOTT
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Journey | ITALY

LOOPING THE ORTLER

Bikepacking the Stelvio National Park and Ortler Alps, hut-to-hut from Bormio >> inspired by the photos and tracks of Fred Wright, renowned Rough Stuff Alps pioneer...

by STEFAN AMATO & JORDAN GIBBONS
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Journey | ITALY

Bonatti Tour | Overview

Bikepacking the Mont Blanc Massif, Bergamasque Alps, and Dolomites in the tracks of renowned Alpinist Walter Bonatti...

by STEFAN AMATO & JORDAN GIBBONS
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