LEAVE NO TRACE
First, and above all, be self-supported, and bear in mind that no one will pass behind you picking up your trash, so follow the Leave No Trace principles.
Don’t leave a single waste in your path. Leave everything as you find it, and if it’s possible, better. If there are some wrappings where you are going to sleep, take it with your trash and create a positive impact. Inspire your friends to do it.
If you fell Nature’s call, dig a “cathole”, at least 100m from any water source. A small trowel can be useful, there are some weighing only 12 grams, they are used more than you imagine. Cover it and try to disguise it as much as possible. Of course, don’t leave there toilet paper, much less wet wipes. Put it in a small plastic bag and take it with the rest of your trash.
Toilet paper can take up to one year to decompose and wet wipes up to 100.
It’s not the philosophy we want, is it?
There are a lot of options to sleep outside. Quiet places, spectacular ones, camping areas, free refuges, and all kind of accommodation along the routes. Choose with common sense, out of sight, and out of private areas.
Some of the refuges you will find along the route
Don’t light fires, don’t cook out of facilities in campsites, you already have hot meal everyday of your normal life. You can always wait for the next bar to have a coffee or a just done roast. All the areas you will ride are in high fire risk.
If you’re planning to have a bath in any of the natural pools or rivers, please use a mineral sunscreen instead of a chemical one. They are becoming easier to find and the price is similar. Every drop counts.
In my opinion, the three main difficulties of the route are isolation, climate and elevation gain.
You will ride in remote mountain areas. As I told you, the Spanish Lapland has a very low population density, not even one person per square kilometre in most of the route. Whenever I have ridden solo in these roads I remembered this phrase, to always keep in mind where I was moving:
“IF YOU GET TO A VILLAGE THAT SEEMS TO HAVE 100 INHABITANTS, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOONER OR LATER YOU COULD BE 100 KILOMETRES WITHOUT SEEING ANYBODY”
Climate is other of the points to take into account. You will be over 1500m altitude most days, reaching 2000m in a couple of sectors. Keep in mind that things can go wrong up there. The most reliable seasons for the ride are spring and autumn. In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 30ºC and go down to 3ºC degrees at night. And there are regularly surprise storms Winter could offer an experience closer to the real Lapland, with temperatures reaching as low as -15ºC. In addition, the route crosses two ski resorts, so in high season we can have some closed sectors up there.
Things may change. Keep that in mind. The rain may collapse a bridge, the snow may tear trees, don’t worry, improvise, a journey becomes an adventure when something goes wrong.
Finally the elevation gain. In my opinion, the most predictable of the difficulties. It’s about 13000m+ and it’s something to always keep in mind.
The most recommended way to get to Teruel with your bike, if not with your own car, is by train. It’s not fast. I know. It’s not frequent. I know too. I could say that it’s part of the adventure.
Another option could be arriving here (or leaving) by the Green way “Via Verde de Ojos Negros”, that links with the Mediterranean, being the longest one in Spain.
You can find all the information in the Guide PDF. In the download area you can get the Guide, and updated tracks and waypoints.
You have multiple route choices. Be responsible and choose one according to your preparation and experience, as I told before, you will ride in remote mountain areas.
It’s more than advisable that you have insurance, international cycling license, or whatever you consider. Take your documentation with you. Comply with the rules of the road.
Obviously, this is not a race, not even an event. We don’t organice anything, we only offer route information and tracks so you can come to discover these areas that so deserve new visitors. You will ride under your responsibility. No one is responsible for anything, just you.
Don’t forget that this is a hard route, maybe harder than you think. Keep in mind that circumstances may change, a road may have deteriorated after winter, or a storm may have caused some damages. Face it in a positive way. Always have a plan B, but better not to use it. And above all, have always a good attitude and enjoy the route!