Pain and smiles in Spain...

Ric's back from Malaga, just about...

Evening all, apologies for the delay and lack of blogs from Spain but our apartment's wifi was more hit and miss than an amateur darts tournament!

Anyway, I'm back – as you've probably guessed. That was easily one of the best trips I've ever been on – no question.

We rode everything from SRAM's test track to 15 minute long flat-out sand and rock terror tracks which spat us out onto full-speed road descents past ancient churches and right onto the beach!

The heat was head-bending though, 35 degrees plus most days. Shade was definitely a valuable comodity and come the middle of the day we had to retreat from the hillside to the relative cool of the communal pool.

The tracks are ultra-gnarly and require a lot of mental re-jigging. The loose, dusty surface doesn't reward the British norm of 'front brake on the way in' braking and you just have to get used to the bike constantly flicking about – it's tricky at first but really rewarding.

I also had two massive fails; the first was having a big old crash which left me with bruised ribs and a dislocated finger. The second was buying a six-pack of non-alcoholic beer.

It was hot. I didn't speak the language and I was being rushed! Okay?! Anyway, Pete from Silverfish told me they were the best ones to get. He'd know.

Anyway, here are some 'behind the scenes' shots from the trip to tide you over until the full feature in issue 256 (on sale 22 September). 

In the meantime though, if I were you and begining to dread the arrival of the winter grimness already I'd give Michael at Switchbacks DH a shout. Go on, flights will be cheap, the beers will be cheap, the ribs will be cheap and the tracks... Well, I ended up hacking up all my gloves and strapping my hand together just so I could ride them... Do it!

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