When picturing Ibiza, images of 24hr clubbing with big name DJ’s, hedonistic cave raves and fragile days spent on the beach come to mind, right? Then a tip comes in about a wicked network of single-track on the Balearic island and the mind wanders elsewhere. This wandering led to meeting up with Lorraine Blancher on Ibiza in mid-April with photographer Simon Ricklin and Filmer Gaëtan Rey to search out the islands real party spots – the trails. We were, I admit, a little apprehensive about what we would find whilst standing in the check in queue, furiously scouring the internet for clues and starting points!
Upon arrival we picked up our rental van and headed up to the mystery villa I had been recommended by a mutual friend. It was all a bit last minute and I got very anxious when we rolled up to a janky old shed with some dogs barking outside… A mere 20 minutes later the panic was over. We had indeed discovered the right location and found it to be complete heaven on earth. A rustic Ibiza villa with a huge garden filled with fruits, herbs and chickens, and more house plant goals that you can even begin to imagine.
We were lucky enough to get in contact with a local crew - the Carub Riders. These boys met us at a local farmers market where we talked trails over tapas and they excitedly told us about their ‘flow’ line they had built inspired by their recent trip to Canada. As a Canadian herself, Lorraine was very intrigued. The farmers market presented quite a juxtaposition to the Ibiza I’d heard about. Locals had their fresh fruit and organic veggies laid out, Aloe Vera, Carub, Oranges and Almonds grow in abundance here and organic farming and permaculture is completely booming as the islanders work to promote “the other side of Ibiza.”
Over the next few days we rose early to mind-blowing sunrises enjoyed with fresh oranges and Lorraine’s killer omelets from our villa’s garden, and finished late stopping at the same small restaurant, “La Mesa Escondia” everynight to work our way through their incredible locally sourced menu.
So, what did we find? There are loads of multi-use trails winding their way through the rolling vineyards, around organic farms and along the azure blue coastline of the island. Chilled climbing gradients that you will be sharing with tourist hikers get you to the top of flowing natural descents with plenty in the tank. You can even find oranges, figs and fresh almonds from the trees that line the trails, though we were told to avoid the crazy oranges that grew on the sides of the road!
We took turns chasing each other through high speed sections of dry dusty goat paths that had been tagged by local bikers with back filled roots and secret inside corners. Some of these tracks were so much fun that we lapped the same few corners for hours. Going on long rides and big adventures has its place but nothing beats riding the same section 10 times in lots of different ways and learning from your friends.
Lorraine is a complete joy to ride with, we are like a pair of over excited kids with broken volume switches, I love chasing her and seeing how her lines differ to mine. Following her off jumps and then taking my turn in front and trying to get away from her is a blast! High fives before you drop in and a constant stream of yeowing and whooping come from behind me as we skiddaddled our way through the trees keeping spirits high!
The Carub riders have a spot overlooking the town of Ibiza itself that boasts several trails that switch back down around berms and loamy loose corners. They tell us to take it easy on our first runs. Fun senders and natural rock gardens spit you out into meadows of flowers and flow trails all the way to the jump line which draws inspiration (and build quality) from Luis and Adri’s discovery across the pond! No one really rides mountain bikes on Ibiza they muse, as Lorraine floats across the sunset and lands with a squeak of joy. We have a feeling that will not be the case for much longer.