the dust has now settled on the 2015 bici-almeria training seemingly ages ago in april. many of the group are now reaping the benefit of all those tough kms in the mountains
despite weather that was slightly more unsettled than that we have had in the previous 6 annual visits, we did still manage to ride every day for both of the weeks that guests were with us.
in order to be closer to the big ride climbs featured in cyclist bici-almeria found new accommodation near the village of tabernas – about 20km from our old hq in sorbas.
we really did strike gold on the accommodation front – a magnificent, private selection of re-furbished cottages in their own secure, wooded compound set back 150m from the main road between sorbas and tabernas. please take this in context – main roads in our part of almeria would be considered positively deserted in the uk. casas rurales albardinales are owned by one of almeria’s finest olive oil producers oro del desierto, which is located just across the road. lovingly restored to a magnificent standard the six cottages are named after the six important olive varieties – arbequina, picual, hojiblanca, cornicabra, lechin and blanqueta. these were set in a small, secure, gated wood with lots of outdoor relaxing space, a well used outdoor cooking area, shaded car port and of course, a very big swimming pool. the only real noise was the enormous variety of ornithology that shared the place with us!
Rides this year varied in length, from a 50km cold one that had to be abandoned when the temperature at the top of the first climb (1000m) dropped to just over 5˚C, to the epic velefique and calar alto double header of over 6 hours and 150km. as always all riders got to ride at the pace that suited them, whether it be flying up the climbs or taking it steady and making sure they were able to ride again the next day.
For me particular highlights this years were
• the new climb of alto de ohanes in the foothills of the sierra Nevada
• perversely the fact that we did have some challenging days climatically with wind and cold
• staying somewhere new and the fact that it was self-catering
• finding a local restaurant had some izadi 2001 crianza on list and it was delicious!
• driving to another province in order to get a guest’s bike up a running again
• the parilla (hotplate style barbecue)
• the company of our guests, particularly nice to have 3 ladies on the trip this year
• and finally and best of all was the simply magnificent place that we stayed. Any worries about self-catering, the houses, the location were all laid to rest. casas rurales de tabernas is simply an amazing place for a group of cyclists to stay. we will be going back in 2016
Check out our pics from the 2015 trip HERE