Day 7: Welcome to Bilbao: We made it!

Welcome to Bilbao: Finally there!

We’ve reached our destination! Who would have believed that a cook, a mother of three, a motorbike licence newbie and an ex-mountain bike professional could cover the 1500 kilometres from Benicassim to Bilbao in seven days? Contrary to our expectations, however, the last stage was really tough. We were already at the end of our collective tether exhaustion-wise – but the demands on our riding skills during this stage eclipsed all we had faced on the previous days.

The toughest part of this stage was traversing a mountain. OK, there was a narrow hiking trail – if you could call it that, because we could hardly see it! We battled our way down the unbelievably steep and rugged terrain to the foot of the mountain. Caro: “I wouldn’t even ride a mountain bike down here – and I have to do it on a motorcycle!”

I spy with my little eye: So, where is the trail?
Steep descend: The rugged and steep terrain demanded the last bit of our strength.

After that we went through a stretch of forest. It was dangerous and madly exciting… pure motocross! The speed at which we rode over and through the obstacles was crazy. Tibor’s oil bottle even broke and the oil spread all over him. Caro also looked like a dirt-spattered warrior after her favourite stretch, which was covered in deep mud – how she loved that!

Mudbath!
Even more mud!
Teamwork: The best way to overcome obstacles.

When we finally arrived in Bilbao, we were so relieved that we fell into each other’s arms, laughing happily. We couldn’t believe that we had really done it! Götz and Caro were our daredevils, but we all agreed that the Iron Man award for the trip should go to Javi – he must be made of stone and have nerves of steel, because even after his heavy fall and his dislocated shoulder, he rode on and took photos as if nothing had happened!

High spirits after all those exertions.

I can truthfully say that in the last 7 days we have all pushed our levels of stamina and courage to the absolute limit. But now it’s time to relax. Our flight leaves on Wednesday, and until then? We’ll be taking it easy and enjoying our success!

 

 

 


Up Front and Behind the Camera

Epic view.

Some of you may be wondering: Who takes the photos during the trip? And how do the four riders know exactly where to go?

Those of you who have been following #fromcoast2coast from the outset already know Javi and José.Javi is our photographer and José is the guide who makes sure we arrive safely. It’s high time we introduced the two of them to you properly!

José

José started riding enduro 23 years ago. His love of this hobby started when he was just a boy with a Vespa on enduro trails.

José knows the region very well and guides us from Benicassim to Bilbao.
José in his garage with his own motorcacle.

He’s now 51 years old, but his passion for motorcycling is as fierce as it was on the first day. José has two professions – he’s a driving instructor and a restorer of old houses. If there was a Spanish McGyver series, José would be the perfect man for the role! His incredible talent for improvisation helped us a lot when we encountered problems and challenges of all kinds.

He works as a KTM Adventure Guide in the Benicassim area from November to March every year. The #fromcoast2coast is the dream tour for him, because it ends in Bilbao on his favourite trails.

Javi

Javi Eccevaría Ruiz – The genius behind the camera.

Javi is a photographer and producer. He used to be an MX pro and first sat on a motocross bike at the age of 14. Javi is passionate about everything that has two wheels: enduros, motocross, MTB, racing bicycles, etc.

We knew Javi was fit – but on day 5, we saw that he was a really tough customer, because he had a bad crash at speed, dislocating his shoulder and injuring his hip and elbow. But when we pulled his upper arm bone back into its socket, he got back on his bike and rode on – almost as if nothing had happened.

Javi is on the road with his production company “The Who” at various events for different racing teams and companies. Before he decided to join the ranks of the self-employed, he was assistant to Sebas Romero, the world-famous photographer and producer.

This tour is a challenge for Javi (in a positive sense), not only because it’s long, strenuous and exhausting. He also has to carry a lot more luggage than the other riders – and that makes the trip even more difficult for him.

 

If you want to know more about Javi, follow him on Instagram @livelike_javi_thewho. You’ll also find pictures of him on our Instagram channel, @magura_powersports.

 


Day 5: Unexpected Turbulences

Crossing of a streambed and a steep climb: A challenging combination.

This is Day 5 of our coast-to-coast trip. We still have two days of hard riding ahead of us, but we’re really glad we’re out of that desert – with temperatures of around 46°C, it was exhausting and a real test of our mettle.

As we get closer to our destination, it’s becoming more and more obvious to all of us that our riding skills have really improved since we started out in Benicassim. We were all a bit afraid of some of the tricky and downright dangerous parts of the route we encountered when we started out, but now we’re getting through these rough sections with flying colours thanks to the new skills we’ve gradually gained. Caro and Götz are our two daredevils! Götz, for example, mastered one of the steepest climbs on his own, but this journey will also have a lasting positive effect on the riding skills of Andi and Tibor.

Götz managed the probably steepest section on this day alone.

Despite all our daily successes, we can all feel the energy-sapping exhaustion in us. Fatigue isn’t the only problem, however – the more physically exhausted we get, the harder it is for us to stay focused at high speeds off-road or in technically-demanding terrain – and Andi unfortunately found out what can happen when you let your concentration slip! We were riding down a mountain path, but it was washed out and streaked with gullies. Normally you would drive around these gullies, but Andi rode right into them and crashed.

The long and steep climb was the bigest challenge this day.

He was ok, but that was the second bad experience that had hit us that day, because just before Andi went down, Javi had crashed… and it didn’t look good for him. However, he was able to carry on later and he seems to be doing well – but that crash reminded us yet again that they can happen, even if the rider doesn’t make a mistake.

We were riding in line, with a distance of about 10 to 15 meters between each of us. The surface was stony and loose. The rider in front of Javi dislodged a stone, which Javi just couldn’t avoid. His front wheel hit it, the motorcycle skidded, and he hit the ground at 30-40 km/h. When Tibor reached him, Javi was still lying on the ground, groggy. He had injured his hip and elbow – and his shoulder was dislocated.

Javi collects himself: After the crash a longer break was necessary.
Stricken: Calming down, going for the shadow…
… and providing first aid.After all that Javi was able to ride again. What a machine!

We patched him up as best we could and took a longer break. Javi then astonished us all by getting back on his bike and riding on, almost as if nothing had happened!

Nice garage: In here our bikes will spend the night.

We were very glad to reach the hotel for the night – but before we all more or less fell into our beds, we all agreed that although the day had been so hard, and we still had two full days to go… giving up wasn’t an option!

 

Want to know how the story continues? Then follow us on Instagram @magura_powersports!

 


Day 4: Desert Ride at 46°C

 

There’s nothing like a good breakfast.

We’ve reached the halfway point. This is now Day 4 of our trip through Spain. After yesterday’s unfortunate encounter between Tibor’s toe and a large rock we weren’t sure whether he’d be able to continue. But a good night’s sleep can solve a lot of problems, and in the morning he was ready to get back in the saddle. His toe was badly bruised, but luckily not broken. So the watchword was “grit your teeth and keep going”.

Despite his annoying injury Tibor is not losing his good vibes.
No troubles, no defects: The enduro bikes by Husqvarna run like crazy.

And indeed, it turned out that Tibor needed extra grit in his condition: the throbbing pain made it almost impossible for him to operate the rear brake, so he had to regulate his speed with the front brake and the engine. Engine braking is not only impractical, it’s loud. Tibor’s 2-stroke engine is plenty loud as it is, and all the braking took a heavy toll on his hearing. As if the 46°C (115°F) heat weren’t enough…

Our route on Day 4, from Atienza to Quintarnar de la Sierra, first took us through open terrain with scattered bushes and rocks. By midday we were in forest again, but luckily this time there were no fallen trees to slow our progress.

Marvellous scenery: Ruins of long ago times.
Approaching the forest of the north.

In spite of two falls in recent days, we can feel good about ourselves: Götz has rediscovered the joys of enduro riding. Andi and Caro have improved their skills considerably and take pleasure in the rough surprises that Spain’s landscape keeps providing.

Look at me: Within only a few days Caro improved her skills by a 1000%.

Before we start on Day 5 tomorrow, we’ll give our motorbikes a thorough check. They’ve taken a huge beating, so it’s time to retighten screws, retension our chains and clean our air filters.

But that’s not for this evening. We going to give ourselves some rest before taking off again tomorrow.

Sty tuned and follow us on Instagram @magura_powersports!

 


Day 3: Pain of the Apocalypse

The most scenic trip so far.

On morning of the third day Götz, who had given his knee a day of rest, decided to join us on the terrain. We know Götz – he’s not the kind of guy who gives up easily. But we didn’t expect him to show that kind of toughness.

Fast route, less technical: Until Tibors injury the route was fun for everyone.

The route for the day took us along the Tagus River. It runs from east to west all the way to Lisbon and is the longest river in Spain. The countryside was dry and desertlike, but in places along the river there was lush, green vegetation – delightful scenery that we enjoyed for 70 to 80 km. The track itself consisted of very fine, white limestone sand. We generated huge amounts of dust, creating a dramatic atmosphere that Javi captured well in the photos.

Playground for adults: This rock formation invites to play around.

As for the technical requirements, Day 3 was a wellness holiday compared to the two days before it. We made good time and stayed focused because we knew that even a small mistake could have big consequences. And that’s what Tibor soon learned the hard way.

Tibor had been keeping an eye on Götz all day, helping him regain confidence after his fall on Day 1. On an easy ascent Tibor drove ahead of Götz to make a path. The sun at this time was low in the sky and the grass was high, concealing a big rock that Tibor encountered a second later: his right foot caught on it and stuck.

What followed than could only be described as pain of the apocalypse. Tibor howled for all he was worth, for a full 10 minutes. And those of us who know him can attest that he’s no sissy. Finally the pain subsided and the group started off again. A short time later, all had arrived at the hotel, more or less in good spirits.

That’s how it looks: Pain of the Apocalypse.
Götz takes care of the the stricken comrade.
Waiting for the pain to subside.

As for Tibor’s toe, by that time it had swollen to the size of a zeppelin. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to drive on the next day.

Stay tuned and find out how the story continues! Follow us on Instagram @magura_powersports for pictures and info!