As it’s Summer and everyone is thinking of going away or heading off on a riding holiday, this week we’re talking to Jenny Mayhew, co-founder of Pure Mountains in Sierra Nevada.
Who are you?
Jenny Mayhew, co-founder and guide at Pure Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Spain.
What’s your favourite discipline?
Trail riding, I suppose you’d call it. Everything from XC to Enduro.
Tell us about Pure Mountains?
We’ve been running mountain bike holidays from our farmhouse, high up in the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain since 2004. We offer a weeks and long weekends from early spring through to late autumn and our guides lead rides on natural trails that run from the front door. We’re about mountain luxury, with lovely food and accommodation, Land Rover support, unlimited beer and wine. That sort of thing.
We started it about two years ago. The idea was to get chatting to other mountain bikers on Twitter by setting a time each week (Monday evenings at 8pm UK time) where we would all tweet about a given bike-related topic. It’s really taken off and now we usually have a prize, provided by a sponsor, for the best tweet, which encourages more people to get involved. It’s been a great way to build a community, have a laugh and to let people know about Pure Mountains.
What kind of trails are on offer in Sierra Nevada?
These are big mountains, so there’s s lot of climbing and descending. The terrain is mostly loose and stony to rocky. The trails range from flowing to twisty-turny switchbacks. There aren’t really many easy trails. The soil drains rapidly, so we rarely encounter mud.
Do you think women can benefit more from riding with other women rather than a mixed group?
Some definitely can, especially if they usually ride with men and are the slowest in their group – that can get a bit demoralising. Riding with other women is good for building confidence, but riding in a mixed group is fun, too.
What does a usual day entail on a Pure Mountains holiday?
Big breakfast on the terrace at 9am (no need for crack of dawn starts on holiday). Set off riding at 10am, usually starting on the singletrack that runs from the farmhouse gently downhill. Ride until tea break at about 11.30am, where the Land Rover driver sets out folding chairs and hot and cold drinks. The trails we choose depend on the make up of the group. We have a picnic lunch out in the trail. We usually finish the day in the valley bottom and get a lift back to base at about 4pm in time for tea and cake. Then everyone can relax with a glass of something cold before dinner is served by our cook at 7.30pm.
Why do think more women are getting involved in the sport?
Because they realise what a great sport it is. Also, there is now a second generation of mountain bikers who have grown up seeing their mothers and other women riding mountain bikes, so it doesn’t seem unusual.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2014?
Lots. We’ve just finished the second skills coaching trip of the year with Enduro star and skills coach Neil Donoghue and we’ve got another scheduled for October. Skills for Women trip with pro rider and coach, Katy Curd happening September. Plus, we’ve got a full schedule of weeks and weekends running until mid November and a family trip scheduled for August. We’ll be away at Ironbike in Italy at the end of July for couple of weeks. Between trips, there will be as many XC and enduro races as we can fit in!
Northern Downhill Powerline TT
One Industries Mini Enduro Round 3
Check out this comparison between Manon and Rachel at the latest World Cup in Leogang.. interesting to see how long Rachel was leading Manon before the welsh wonder stole it back!