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Archive for the ‘Greenway’ Category

Maigmó Green Route

Posted by admin On Mayo - 5 - 2010

The Maigmó Green Route, with its 22 km high, connects the  Agost halt with the Alto de Maigmó, and goes by the municipality of Agost, Petrer and Tibi.

A bit of history…

The town of Alcoi has a long industrial tradition. Its internal localisation, in a very uneven land, was a strong drawback for the exportation of its products. Therefore, under the Guadalhorce Railroad Plan during the dictatorship of  general Primo De Rivera,  a vertiginous construction work was started creating 66 km of railway infrastructures, using all the engineering resources of the time.

The civil war, the post-war and its miseries, prevented the extension of the railways and the opening of the railway service, remaining permanently forgotten in the Alicante mountains.

Description of the Maigmó Green Route (Alicante):

Ascension road (or descent road depending on the point of departure that you chose) till the Maigmó port, that leads us through potter lands, vineyards and badlands (type of landscape characterised by arid land rich on clays, extensively eroded by the wind and water). It is an engineering work designed by an almost damned orography that accesses a drop of 440 m through 6 tunnels and 2 viaducts (Fontanar viaduct and Forn del Vidre viaduct) which cover a total length of 1520 meters.

Main advises to cover this route: water, sun protection and lantern or bicycle headlights since the lightning systems of the tunnels don’t work because of some people’s lack of civic responsibility. I have to warn you that there are short sections that are shared with cars, although it is unlikely to come across many vehicles since most sections only served as entrances for the adjacent estates.

And as a perfect complement to this Green Route, for a weekend of sports and nature, our friend Nani Martínez, who is a cyclist and a good expert of the Alicante area of, recommended us not only to cover the Maigmó Green Route, but also to visit the Natural Park of Carrascal de la Font Roja (higher north, in Alcoi), situated on the Menejador Mountain, one of the last foothills of the Béticas Mountain Range and one of the highest present in the province of Alicante, with a maximum height of 1352 ms at the peak with the same name.

It is also known as the Bosque Encantado (Enchanted Forest) since, according to the legend, this forest was inhabited by strange creatures, such as elves, trolls and gremlins, which remained hidden during the day, waiting for the nightfall.

However, when the dense mist came down from the mountains, completely covering the Font Roja, the forest’s inhabitants could go out during daytime, and there were few humans, who dared to enter this enchanted forest.

But putting the legend aside, what Nani did tell us is that… ‘there are enough land irregularities to climb and it may be accessed by bike or by foot through a set of stairs. Once you have reached the top, where there is a sanctuary, a church, a fountain, a small village… you can continue uphill either using your bike or by foot.  It is shady and very cool, very green and there are many things to see. It is close to the path that allows the access to the Font Roja and it’s a magic place’. We are looking forward to it, Nani!

Thank you Nani for sharing all this information with us, and for the photos. And, most of all, thanks for supporting and encouraging us!  To enjoy the tandem!

Sources:

- Green Routes

- Web LinkAlicante.com


Benicassim Green Route to Oropesa del Mar by the coast

Posted by admin On Abril - 20 - 2010

Hi everybody,

We share with you the pleasant Benicassim Green Route to Oropesa del Mar.

The route takes off from the resort ‘El Palasiet’ (Bencassim) and ends at the beach La Concha, in Oropesa. If you start the trip from Benicassim, take the old track’s bridge that is in front of the hotel Voramar (a mythic hotel in the area), and follow the asphalt road which will lead you to the hotel Palasiet and the exit of the green route.

There are 5.5 km that border the coast between big steeps and pinewoods, and is so close to the sea that there are stretches where you can go down and take a swim.  It goes through the tracks used by the railway not so many years ago. It seems that this stretch wasn’t right for high speed trains, so another was built in the inside. This tracks was therefore rendered useless for trains and is currently used by cyclist and pedestrians ;)

We recommend you to observe the two watchtowers part of this green route:  the Torre de Cordá and the Torre Colomera both have a circled base, a defensive characteristic and medieval architecture. They are both visually similar to the Torre de San Vicente in Benicassim.

The three of them were used as watchtowers against pirate attacks.

One of this route’s flaws is that there are many people using it: cyclists who ride too fast, pedestrians who walk on the bicycle’s lane…and therefore you have to be careful with everyone. In spite of this saturation on the weekends, it is a short ride suitable for all physical conditions and ages, since the Green Route’s irregularities cross mountain separations and tunnels.

You can watch 2 videos recorded this weekend in the Green Route, even if the bad weather and the rain prevent from seeing the wonderful coastal landscape it offers.

Thank you Yorch for letting us publish it with clear skies. A ride definitely worth your time.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JMRMTB

Hi everybody!

Via verde Ojos Negros

Posted by admin On Marzo - 1 - 2010

Iván: In the summer of 2009 we decided to start with our training on the “Vía Verde de Ojos Negros”. Our intention was to take the train and go the “easy way”, from Castellón to Sagunto and from Sagunto to Barracas, to take the route going down (I recommend this to all of you, especially those who aren’t necessarily the fittest). But, at the end, we weren’t so jolly as we found out that the train we intended to board (a Mid Distance) didn’t allow bicycles!!!! I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened with our tandem bicycle…

After this incident, we gathered extensive information about travelling by train throughout Spain with our bicycle. There are specific rules, depending on the train and journey, and on the RENFE website you can look them up. About this particular case, the MD trains (Mid distance) do allow to travel with bicycles, but only 2 per coach. If there are more, a express authorization from RENFE is needed and it has to be issued 48 hours before the trip at any train station (too much bureaucracy, isn’t it?). Maybe that day there was a squad of cyclists heading to Teruel and Zaragoza…who knows?!

The issue of the trip organization is basic, so, if you travel by train and take your bike, don’t forget to get the appropriate information.

Here is the website where RENFE publishes their regulations to travel by train with a bike. There is a link on the right hand side that reads “travel by bicycle”  http://www.renfe.es/horarios/index.html

But, in addition, here’s more information learned from our experience:

- Not very precise: it doesn’t specify how to file for an authorization, also, there’s open margin for the transport to be denied using the argument of “too many passengers”, no matter whether you are carrying the permit or not.

- Incomplete: we’ve never been able to obtain information on “short distance” trains as we always get an error on the website, and, on the other hand, it gives no information on the TRDs, on which, bicycles are not allowed on the train. (as per the information provided on the RENFE helpline).

This fact makes us wonder about how environmentally conscious these people are, as, only two bicycles per coach is an extremely low number for a means of transportation as important as the train. This forces the citizen to make the journey using another motorized vehicle…and then we get so alarmed when we hear about global warming!

Anyway…in this calling that leads me to share information, we promise to write a post where we will give more detailed information about travelling by train with a bicycle (and we will compare this with other European countries).

Going back to that journey last summer: after the trials and tribulations with the RENFE employees, and once we realized the impossibility of our intention, without further delay and leaving aside our anger, we decided to enjoy the road from top to bottom, which, as expected was a long way and relatively hard. However, it was very very gratifying: it is always a pleasure to ride along a Via Verde.

Let’s talk a bit about this green path…

A Little bit of history: The “Vía Verde de Ojos Negros” was in the past a railroad linking point between the provinces of Castellón, Valencia and Teruel for the mining trains of Sierra Menera. It started to work on July 27th, 1907, carrying iron from the rich deposit located in the mines of  “Ojos Negros (Teruel)” going towards the “Puerto de Sagunto”.

It was a Project that started as a “disagreement” between the people managing the exploitation of the Ojos Negros mine and the company “Ferrocarril Central de Aragón”. In order to save a few cents on transportation, the mining company decided to build their own way to Sagunto and that way avoid payment to the compañía ferroviaria aragonesa: nothing less than a 200 km road with several bridges, viaducts and tunnels. A great work of engineering.

In 1972 this rail was closed down, and, it wasn’t until 2002 when its rehabilitation began as a green way, having finished the last part in the spring of 2008. The projects, already in place, promised to broaden the road all the way to Sagunto and their connection with the city of Valencia.

General map of Via verde Ojos Negros:

Profile of Via verde Ojos Negros:

We also loaded a video of back when we didn’t have a tandem bicycle yet. The butt we follow in the video is J.L’s, and, as you can see, that far into the road, we were really working hard : ) We hope you like it!

Fuente: http://www.viasverdes.com/

Regards and until the next post!

The Green Track Program

Posted by admin On Enero - 31 - 2010

Due to ourtrainings and the need to cover many kilometres in our tandem bikes, we are discovering true gems of our Spanish geography.

Many of these gems are provided by the Green Track Program. And since Internet is about sharing knowledge and information, today we are going to talk about this program.

What are the green tracks? Many bicycle and outdoor sports lovers have probably already heard about them: they are 1,700 km of out-of-use railway infrastructures transformed into cycle-tourism and trekking routes in collaboration with the Spanish Railway Foundation (FFE-Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles). Thanks to this program, a valuable cultural and historical patrimony has been rescued from oblivion to be used again by all of us, and without age or physical limitations.

In our trainings, we try to incorporate some kilometres fromthese green tracks to enjoy the wonderful views. These pleasant trips are alternated with ascensions to mountain ports with much more demanding edges and irregularities. At the end, everything favours our physical preparation!

Moreover, something very interesting is that the FFE offers the possibility of collecting stamps when going through any of the green routes in order to complete the GreenTracks Passport. We have already done some of them, specifically the Green Tracks of Bajo Ebro and Tierras Altas (as you have seen in our blog) and the Green Track of Ojos Negros where, like we commented on the previous post, we ran 8 km. We will write a post about this last one including pictures of when we did it with or bicycles, you know, to continue sharing experiences ;)

We leave you with a video of the Vasco-Navarro Green Track:

Greetings from the tandem!

The radios whistled with the wind

Posted by admin On Diciembre - 3 - 2009

JL: Tortosa-Caspe 100 kms that felt like 180. Parallel to the Ebro and then towards the interior facing a strong frontal wind coming from the northeastsince the very beginning. On days like this, it is better not taking your bicycle out. We were completely worn out. The wind gusts forced us to invest almost 8 hours and the thermal sensation was very cold. The worst part was the pain in our butts. I’mhaving a hard time adapting to the new bike seat…

Iván: Continuing my partner’s story in our special journal, I confirm the thing about the air, there was a lot, a biting cold, a huge exhaustion and the rain he forgets to mention, because we got wet.  However, he doesn’t say anything about the views which we had the luck of seeing today thanks to a bicycle enthusiast waitress, the green route of bajo ebro” and the “tierras altas, with more than 40 tunnels which, by the way, we had to cross some on foot and using the poor light of our mobile phones to lead the way, because if it is already difficult riding a tandem bike, imagine doing it in the dark, hahaha. Anyway, an unbeatable landscape (am I starting to sound like Labordeta from Un país en la mochila?)

Anyway, the tunnels are not the nicest part of the route, but all the viewsthe Ebro route has and the landscapes between vegetation walls, stone and sand. To sample, a button.

Greetings to everyone and see you tomorrow at Cariñena!!!

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