Above all, we would like to thank Carole, from the Evenida agency, who created this product. She put in contact Les Roues de Lilou (which organises VTTAE tours throughout the region, electric bike tours or Segway gyropod rides, but also incentive activities, seminars and group outings) and the Biarritz Coast Rescuers who had a bachelor party to organise.
Carole had advised them the Cubilar hut, lost in the middle of the fantastic desert of the bardenas. It is an old sheepfold that has been refurbished and has several beds, a huge barbecue, and above all, an unobstructed view over the desert, and especially El Rallón, this high plateau located in the heart of the Bardena Blanca. The whole part of the Rallón and the Pisquerra is prohibited 10 months out of 12 to preserve the reproduction of a rare bird species which makes it an exceptional place.
So we organized this bachelor party last Saturday, May 26, 2018. The meeting with our clients was scheduled at Cubilar’s cabin. On the program, a circuit of about 45km by mountain bike with electric assistance to criss-cross this magnificent desert which offers breathtaking landscapes.
We set off from Biarritz, under downpours of water… The concern is there, because when it rains, the desert of the bardenas is impassable, except the pebbled track which makes the turn of the polygon, the north entrance, and the south entrance… it is at this moment there impossible to leave the paths.
After 1h30 drive, we arrive in Pamplona and there, relief! One sees some clearings in the distance, in direction of the desert of the bardenas. Arrived then in Olite, the weather is clear, we take advantage of it to make a small pause. This magnificent medieval town is almost reminiscent of Walt Disney with its castle and emblematic towers, it’s magical.
We then set out again in the direction of Carcastillo, before rushing into the desert of the bardenas reales by the North entrance which brings us up to the statue del Pastor which faces this immense desert.
Twenty minutes later, we are parked at the foot of the Cubilar cabin, our customers are on the spot since midday. They too are delighted to see that the weather has cleared. Just like us, their journey took place under downpours of water with even, in certain roundabouts up to 30 cm of water…
The ground we are going to practice is still very wet. It is not ideal because here, the ground is a very sticky clayy clay species, which remains hung on the soles and the wheels, which will tend to enormously weigh down the bicycles, preventing them from riding correctly. A small concern about the quality of the terrain persists, but everyone is getting ready without getting demoralized, while with Alexis, mountain bike instructor, we will prepare the equipment. The customers arrive, one reads on certain faces the anxiety, 45 km of bicycles are planned. Laurent, the groom, wonders what he has got himself into, not really sporting, he apprehends the length of the circuit.
We assign the frames to each one, we adjust the saddle heights, we adjust the chinstrap, we put on the helmets… and let’s go for the briefing. We turn on the bike, we put it into economy mode, we explain the pedalling techniques, the assistance techniques… everyone listens carefully before getting into the saddle.
Let’s go for several miles in the middle of this desert. We begin by advancing on the track, smiles are drawn on faces, laughter, and especially amazement! Some are very surprised at how easy it is to ride these ATVs with electric assistance: « it’s too easy », « it’s cheating » and more… Here we are at the foot of the first climb, we switch to « turbo » mode to climb without problems, everyone is smiling and reassured. Before enjoying the scenery, we enjoy the machine. The first puddles arrive, the first bowls in the mud too… everyone laughs. The bikes are full of mud, so we remove as much as we can before we leave.
Second climb, a little longer… it’s steep, you can see that the bike helps a lot but you still have to pedal, the first efforts are felt.
On the way down, we arrive in front of the statue of El Pastor, with a beautiful mud puddle to cross. We realize that the initial circuit planned is not very feasible because of the rain, which pushes us to modify greatly our basic circuit. It is an evil for a good, because the path that we are going to take is safer and corresponds better to the less sporty.
We take advantage of the huge puddle in front of us to ask Laurent to make us a nice dish on our stomach in the mud. A hedge of honor is made, encouragement… the groom can’t escape his pledge! So he launches out for a nice slide, everyone laughs for this good shared moment.
We finally resume our bikes, direction another extraordinary point of view. Areas of trialising zones are discovered, small bumps, holes… Alex takes the opportunity to give some indications to discover at best the capacities of the VTTAE while having fun, in joy and good mood.
We leave again towards one of the most photographed places of the bardenas, el Castil de tierra where we take beautiful group photos which will certainly remain engraved in the memories.
It is 19h, we are together since 14h30, about twenty km separate us from the cabin, the clouds become black and threatening, we feel that the storm is not far, it is high time to return. We activate the assistance in turbo mode, and it is at 25km/h that we return towards the cabin.
Once arrived, the group is delighted, the VTTAE, mine of nothing, it tires! The group leaves to get ready for the bachelor party while we put the stuff away.
Before leaving, we share one last moment together, we show each other the pictures, everyone is happy with this day.
We look at the watch: 20h30, it is time to leave again in direction of Biarritz to close this beautiful day, because the VTTAE leave tomorrow for a new expedition!