This is some of the video from my first trip to the Adventure Rider Centre in Mijas, Spain. It was particularly challenging for me as I still had my knee braced after being told I would never walk again. I could just about stand on the pegs again but I had to learn how to control the bike from a seated position much more as my knee just couldn’t take standing on the pegs for long at all.
7 of us from vstrom.co.uk met up at Malaga and we were collected from the airport by the ever smiling Kaz. She took us to the 4 star hotel they had booked us into and got us settled, leaving us to enjoy the rest of the day before the riding started the next morning.
We spent that first afternoon sat by the pool in glorious sunshine, and we arrived during the Mijas Ferria, which is a week long party for the whole Pueblo, so we couldn’t have chosen a better time.
Mijas Pueblo is a beautiful place that has been voted one of the best traditional Andalusian White Villages on numerous occasions. It is worth a visit in its own right if you ever get chance.
The next morning we were collected after breakfast and taken to the Adventure Rider Centre (ARC) to get kitted out and fitted for bikes and kit. The bikes were all A1, top spec enduro’s, mostly huskies although there was a big Husaberg too, everything from 250 2 strokes to 250, 350 and 450 4 strokes, I chose a 350 4 stroke husky and it was perfect for me.
All the kit was top notch too. Held, Acerbis and Klim are 3 of the names I remember but everything was top notch and very new. Nothing was worn out and there was plenty of choices and sizes to fit everyone from the shortest to the tallest, including the 6ft 7 giant who had come along with us.
Calling Every Adventure Rider
After a brief introduction to the bikes and what was to come, day 1 began with a ride around an area Baz called the playground. Lots of small obstacles and relatively easy climbs that helped Baz assess our different abilities and see how we all reacted to the instructions. We were all more used to riding Adventure Motorcycles than real dirt bikes.
The training and riding got gradually more testing throughout the day, and with constant instructions and reminders we all gradually got better and braver. We got more confident and at home with the bikes too.
One area which Baz had nicknamed the jungle was particularly challenging with thick undergrowth and gnarly rutted sections where the bikes clattered through the rocks and up and down deep gulleys. The type of terrain I had never even contemplated riding before.
It was hot, and tiring. We even ended up sat in a stream laughing at one point to cool down.
Regular stops for food and drinks gave time to raise any questions, and seldom have I seen so many laughs and smiles around the table.
Here i am entering what Baz called ‘The Jungle’.
After hours of riding the most glorious trails through the mountains we went back to Mijas for some great food, and the pool was perfect for soaking away the aches n pains of the day. The evening was spent exploring Mijas and enjoying the Ferria, which does seem to bring out the best of local hospitality.
Day 2 started by learning how to climb and descend much steeper inclines, and we continued along more extreme trails through the mountains. The countryside was glorious with some VERY serious terrain to test us even more.
After that we ended up in a large empty basin where there were various tracks and we had a ride around a small circuit that included a very steep, almost vertical, drop off. I remembered saying you’re not seriously expecting me to ride off that? To which Baz replied with a smile of course, you can do that no problem. It had a smooth downhill exit into a long berm followed by an equally steep climb ending up back on the raised area to again drop off the bank into the sandy section with the berm again. With no pressure and very clear instructions he had us all riding it with big smiles very quickly ant this small circuit gave us a great chance to practice the skills we had been learning.
After that we continued further up into the hills with some seriously challenging sections. I remember at one point crossing through a gap in an old wall to realise we only had a matter of inches the other side, to crawl by what can only be called a small cliff. Challenging to ride to say the least.
Another steep climb had some really deep grooves within the gulleys where water erosion had carved deep into the track. Learning how to negotiate them without wheels just getting wedged into the deep rocky ruts wasn’t easy, but that was the point.
Full Marks to the Adventure Rider Centre
Every hour brought a new challenge and it was a tiring ride, but with each new challenge came more smiles. Words could never describe the experience adequately but I hope with this video I have given you an idea of how fantastic an experience it can be.
We were always looked after with food and drink, all the kit was top grade, the best package of armour and protection as well as the top grade bikes. everyone without exception, whatever their abilities had an incredible time.
Kaz and Baz couldn’t have done more during the whole stay, I had done easy green lanes and forest tracks on home built scramblers and some light off-roading on a big adventure bike previously and a half day on a motocross track but nothing like this, and with options all around for different ability riders to use, no one ever felt bored or left out. It pushed me well past where I thought my limits were, but in a safe and controlled way. Full marks all around go to all of the ARC staff, you couldn’t have done more, or made us feel more welcomed.
If you are considering doing anything like this, don’t, just book it. You will have an amazing time and learn more skills on a motorbike than you might think possible.
Why not join us at the BAREBONESMC forum on Facebook. It gives you FREE access to a helpful group of riders and mechanics from across the world. The group began in the UK but has now become a worldwide phenomenon. So whether you are buying, selling, or simply want advice, there really is no better place to go for anything motorcycle.
Why not take a look around the VStrom store and the Adventure Bikes Store. You will find the best collection of Adventure Bikes products with the most fantastic designs available anywhere. 22 Amazing designs on T-Shirts, Face Masks and Neck Gaiters. From Minimal Logo’s to Original line drawings there is something for every Adventure Rider and VStrom fan, to celebrate their spirit of adventure.
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Any questions just email me at [email protected]