The 70km downhill

"After a few years of racing and crashing, I'd ended up feeling that the freeriding side of things i

You start at 3,400m...
"After a few years of racing and crashing, I'd ended up feeling that the freeriding side of things is where the fun started and stopped.", says Rob Jarman.

"Not freeriding as in ladder rides on the North Shore. More like hitting blind trails or downhill runs, having a laugh with your mates, no pressure, no crowd to please, no dad to give you a thick ear when you get to the bottom and don't get in the points. Just fun - riding your bike on stuff you wanted to ride and enjoying it.

"A year and a half ago, I extinguished all my burning desires to ride my bike at all and decided it was time I did something else. But after being on the race scene for eight years, I guess I couldn't completely shake it out of me. Somewhere deep down in the depths of my soul there was a small flame still flickering away unnoticed.

"So, the day I received a phone call from an old friend telling me about this ride he'd been on - 70km of downhilling over super gnarly rocky, bone-dry trails - I felt like I'd been injected with a shot of lighter fluid, and the more he ranted on about it, the more my body absorbed it. Then it must have hit that small flame in my soul and 'boom' I was on fire again. Either that or it was indigestion.

"Of course, you don't find too many 70km DH runs in the UK. So, as the plane banked left on the descent into Malaga airport, the usual sound of ears popping was replaced by the cracking of jaws, as everyone's mouths opened to record the measurements. My first glance at some of the most beautiful landscape I had ever seen, and to the trained eye a bird's eye view of thousands of kilometres of a vast network of endless Spanish trails...."

Read more, only in issue 168 of MBUK, on sale from 23rd December
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
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