The Elements

TREEVUE co-founder Ryan Aldred's love of cycling and unhealthy need to conquer Europe's great climbs was tested last weekend as he took to the mountainous region around Ronda, Spain (80km east of Malaga).

Photo 1: Ronda, Spain

Photo 1: Ronda, Spain

The physically challenging terrain through Sierra de Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves national parks, both of which are regular features of cycling's Vuelta a Espana grand tour.

Photo 2: Brave Face

Photo 2: Brave Face

Not quite the sun drenched finish enjoyed there by 2014 Vuelta Stage 5 winner John Degenkolb, this weekend mainly consisted of rain, rain and more rain.  Long, painful and cold climbs broken up with treacherous, near impossible descents presented for some interesting 7 hour+ days in the saddle.

Photo 3: Cloudy Summit

Photo 3: Cloudy Summit

Mother-nature only added to the already difficult challenge, but couldn't dampen the jubilation and exhilaration felt upon reaching summits such as the amazing category 1 climb out of Zahara (after a belly full of tapas).  Working your way upwards, beautiful lake a constant to your left, into the heavens for mile after mile (Photo 3).  A climb i'll never forget (for better or worse).

Anyone looking for a challenging weekend on the bike, with rolling terrain through a truly beautiful area of Spain (even in the rain, ha) should seriously consider Ronda.

Ryan took his trusty cycle-cam to record the action (much of which was unusable due to the rain).  They managed to salvage some footage and put together this short 3 minute video of their adventure (see below).

The boys will be hoping for better weather during this June's trip to Bormio, Italy and planned ascent of Giro favourites such as the Passo dello Stelvio standing tall at 9,045ft above sea level - please don't rain! :)

Ryan Aldred