The route described below has the honour of being endorsed by two world-class bikers like Sergio Mantecón and Carlos Coloma. This mountain bike route starts from the town of
San Vicente del Raspeig and takes us into the Sabinar valley. The terrain in this area is mostly rocky and uneven, so it usually requires advanced technical skills. However, we've chosen a route suitable for mountain bikers of most skill levels.
We'll begin our route at the Lo Torrent park. We've chosen this spot because it's easy to access from the A7 motorway and the Autovía del Mediterráneo that goes around Alicante and also because it has a lot of room for parking.
We'll take Calle Lo Torrent and, almost immediately, we'll get to Calle La Huerta and we'll start a mild ascent through town. After just 1 km, we'll turn right onto Camino de la Bayona, and then again onto Camino de la Sendera, until we get to the overpass on the AP7 road. At this point, we'll be leaving the outskirts of the town and we'll begin to enjoy the roads and trails of the Sabinar valley.
These first 7 km of the route will help us warm up before we get to the first demanding climb in the route. It covers about 6 km and it goes up the western sides of the Bec de L´Águila mountain and the Guendo range, leading us to the Cañada Real –Royal cattle track- del Palamó or Peña Roja, on which we'll ride west for another 300 metres. After that, we'll face a 2-kilometre technical descent to an area known as Els Cocons, only to start going uphill again on the second steep climb of the day, which will take us back to the Cañada Real del Palamó. This is quite a classic climb for local bikers due to its difficulty level. Fortunately, we'll be able to take a short break from the efforts done during the first part of the ascent just before facing the second half, which runs amongst pine trees and takes us to the highest point on this route at 560 metres of altitude, between the Penyes Rojes and the Altet de la Mosca.
At this point, we'll start a quite tricky descent. It's a very steep road, made of loose rock and with deep ditches that make it necessary to be very meticulous while biking, leaving very little room for mistakes. This descent is known as "The Joker". In fact, some bikers participating in the World Championship are said to have been spotted training here, including Julien Absalon (double Olympic medallist, 5-time world champion and 6-time European champion).
However, the most demanding part is also a very short one, so we won't waste too much time if we decide to do it on foot, and any bikers with an intermediate skill level will be able to start cycling again in no time – we recommend not doing this route unaccompanied, due to its difficulty and to the fact that this is not a very busy road, which can be a problem if we need help at some point.
Once we finish the descent, we'll be facing the last climb of the day, up to the Casa del Sabinar, after which we'll start going down a very entertaining trail with medium-difficulty jumps that runs parallel to the Camino del Sabinar road. We'll access this trail after the first 23.5 km of the route. We'll be able to take advantage of the good conditions of the paved road before taking the dirt roads of Tossal de les Cocas, which will gradually take us closer to the single-family detached houses in the outskirts of San Vicente and, finally, to the actual town, going mostly through the same road we took at the beginning of the route until we get back to the Lo Torrent park.
Alicante / Alacant
Alfàs del Pi (L')
Villajoyosa/Vila Joiosa (La)
What to see
San Vicente del Raspeig has some unique buildings, such as the church of San Vicente Ferrer, the Casa Consistorial (the old Town Hall), the Local Market or the Town Hall, apart from some architectural milestones like the Local Library, the Faculty of Education or the six-storey Vertical Garden.
If you're into contemporary architecture, a visit to the campus of the University of Alicante is a must.
What to eat
The location of San Vicente del Raspeig makes its gastronomy feature a perfect combination of locally-grown vegetables, fresh seafood and, of course, the main ingredient: rice. Some of the most traditional dishes are potaje (legumes with vegetables), borreta (cod and vegetables), paella, almendrados (almond sweets) and suspiros (similar to meringue).
Did you know?
San Vicente del Raspeig is one of the most important university towns in Spain. It houses the main campus of the University of Alicante, with around 30,000 students, while the town has an actual population of slightly over 56,000 inhabitants.
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