A “LOW WASTE” BIKEPACKING WEEKEND IN MONTES UNIVERSALES
A la marchica: Aragonese expression used to indicate that you are going to do something quietly and without haste.
A lot of time and a lot of things had happened since the last meeting in MV back in February 2020. How many things were about to change…!
All along this time, the possibility of gathering again a group of good friends has been the light that I’ve always wanted to see at the end of the tunnel. The damned tunnel ended up being longer and more difficult to go through than we’d expected, but step by step this new meeting could finally become a reality on the 2nd and 3rd of October.
We got together a group of close friends of MV, important and inspiring people for me in recent years, with the idea of creating a point of union in which to take an impulse, grow new ideas, projects, and recover illusions. It was undoubtedly something we all needed. A delightfully heterogeneous group of nice humans, but at the same time with so many things in common, where a special energy flowed from the very first minute.
And possibly one of the things I am most proud of in this whole MV universe is precisely being able to hold such meetings. I believe in this format because of its organizational simplicity and also because of the positive impact it has on the places it passes through. I also believe in them because I consider them so necessary, because they fill a gap not usually covered in the Spanish cycling scene: no start or finish time, no cut-off times or registration fees, but above all, no rush. With the group’s own life setting the rhythms. From the length of breakfast, to the fine line between having a coffee in a village or “Dos Huevos Fritos con Morcilla”.
We rode only a few kilometres, yes, it’s true. The aim of the weekend was to enjoy as much time as possible to be together and to get some good “capazos”.
Getting a “capazo”: In Aragon, to meet someone you know and engage him or her in conversation for longer than you would have expected.
The weekend started with a cool night ride from Griegos (1602m) to the top of the Muela de San Juan, a place at over 1800m perfect to experience the real dimension of this environment and the quality of its night skies. Dinner at the recently reopened Hostal Muela de San Juan, and impeccable night, as always, at the Albergue de Griegos.
On Saturday morning there were more than 40 bikepackers from all over the country. We were even joined by some from the USA, Czech Republic or Italy, who were riding MV and took the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere…
The route, just over 50 km long, would take us from Griegos to Terriente, where we would spend the night at the beautiful Algarbe campsite, one of the most integrated into the environment of all those I know. The weather still allowed it, so halfway along the route a few brave people took a dip in the icy waters of the Cabriel river, at the waterfall of Molino de San Pedro (El Vallecillo).
On Sunday, return from the campsite to Griegos, a little over 40 km, stopping at each and every open bar along the way.
Bikes, past and future trips, bear stories, smiles in the light of the stove, solutions to the world’s energy future, the similarities between Montana and Teruel, more bikes, the stars, new recipes, rural development, more smiles, when is the next one?
LOW WASTE challenge
It seemed like a good opportunity to launch a voluntary challenge for those two days: Try to reduce the use of plastics and single-use packaging as much as possible. We all know that after a night out we can’t wait to find a bin to throw away all those plastic bags or wrappers we’ve used for dinner and breakfast.
What if we use this meeting to share tips, ideas, ways of carrying food, or preparing it, to make our rides a bit more “Low-Waste”?
I know that the difference between using a plastic bag or a reusable wrapper may seem negligible on its own, but I believe that in a global perspective, incorporating new travel habits can have a very powerful effect.
Note: For peace of mind, all assistants took a covid test in advance.