1 December, 2023
Creating MTB paradises together with Euskadi and Navarre Trail Builders
In our search for unique experiences, we sometimes forget to explore the treasures we have just a few kilometers from our homes. In Euskadi and Navarra we are fortunate to enjoy true cycling paradises; a garden of Eden of mountain biking where forests, valleys and mountains give us incredible trails and routes.
But this is no coincidence. In addition to the dreamlike landscapes offered by nature, there is the hard work of the local biker community, made up of groups of people, most of them volunteers, who have created an extraordinary network of trails for the enjoyment of the world.
We do not want to limit ourselves to being witnesses. We want to be active and committed protagonists in helping to weave this network of trails, contribute to the prosperity of the areas where they are built and encourage the creation of unique cycling experiences.
That is why we work closely with associations in Euskadi and Navarra, such as Arauntza Riders, Besaide, Basaburua MTB, Bizibide and Eremua. Behind these names are passionate people who inspire us to continue supporting these types of projects.
Among those architects of emotions that we support is a small group of people from Azpeitia (Gipuzkoa), who have been building their own trails since 2015. There are already about a dozen trails created by Arauntza Riders Kirol Kluba in the nearby mountains.
Setting up as an association in 2022 has allowed them to open up many opportunities: the possibility of expanding trails, organizing competitions and accessing infrastructures are realities that are already within their reach.
In this journey, Arauntza Riders has found a fundamental ally in Orbea. Thanks to our support, they have been able to acquire the necessary equipment to continue trail building, shaping trails that unleash adrenaline and unite the local cycling community.
AMONG CENTENNIAL FORESTS
If we travel to the northwest of Navarra we find the valley of Basaburua. More than a landscape, it is a blank canvas for mountain biking. About 80 km² of pure nature conquered by lush forests of ancient trees.
This is where Basaburua MTB is based, founded in 2021 by people who had been involved in building and maintaining the valley’s trails for several years.
Their vision is clear: to turn the Basaburua valley into an idyllic haven for MTB and to sow the seeds of a cycling culture in the valley.
To encourage participation, this year they started with the Auzolan (Dig Day), an open invitation to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the essence of trail building.
In addition, the dream of a MTB school in the valley is on the horizon, an initiative aimed at cultivating the next generation to maintain the spirit of Basaburua.
A soul in which Basque mythology beats strongly. Names such as “Akerbeltz”, “Basajaun”, “Iratxo”, “Olentzero” or “Sorginak”, illustrate some of the 12 trails that have been created to date. Each one with its own history and experience.
INTEGRATING CYCLING INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
In Lesaka, also in the north of Navarra, cycling is intertwined with everyday life, thanks to Bizibide. This XC and Enduro route center, inaugurated in 2022, is a testament to what happens when the community and the municipality come together around a common passion.
More than 40 volunteers, 32 local businesses, and the backing of Orbea, have turned this area into a beacon for tourism and sustainable mobility around bicycles. Its network of trails positively influences the area, promoting sport, sustainable mobility and a flow of visitors to the region.
In addition, they are working on the creation of different events in the coming years. Among them the Sustrails Open Nafarroa Enduro BTT, which will be organized in collaboration with neighboring entities such as Basaburua MTB and Irrisarri Land.
QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY
Without leaving Navarra, we travel to the Esteribar Valley, another dream corner for mountain bike lovers. There are currently 23 routes throughout the valley, which go through beech forests such as Quinto Real -where the concept of ‘flow’ gains new meaning-, or emblematic summits of the area.
Eremua is the reference association of the region in terms of trail building. Since 2018, this project driven by the City Council and a local association has given new life to old paths and historic trails.
Its work has not only created a network of trails, it has also reopened communication routes between towns and valleys, transforming them into recreational and sustainable spaces.
“There is no point in creating a project like this if it does not take into account the people who live in its villages,” Eremua explains
.A philosophy that matches our perspective of betting on people and growing in a sustainable way.
In this journey, Orbea has not only been a financial partner, but also a catalyst for this dream. Our support has transformed ambitions into reality, allowing Eremua to maintain and improve its trails with a renewed perspective.
As these initiatives grow, our conviction to continue to be harbingers of dreams and real change in our environment grows stronger. We join those people, associations and territories that share our philosophy and speak our same language: that of cycling.