About onyour.bike

Professional road cyclists in Spain
Spanish Men's Professional Road Race Championship, province of Castellón

I started onyour.bike in part as an outlet for my love of cycling and the information I've accumulated after having lived in Valencia since the beginning of 1990s.

The region is well-known throughout the world for the excellent training possibilities it offers to road cyclists, and especially so in the southern province of Alicante

Whilst this is an area covered in onyour.bike, it is just one of the many options available to cyclists in the region and, through the website, I also try to bring attention to other areas within the Valencian Community that are perhaps not so well-known to the cycling public.

Cyclist climbing mountain pass in the province of Valencia
Cyclist climbing el puerto de Barx, in the province of Valencia

At onyour.bike we simply like riding our bikes – road, x-c, urban rental, sit-up-and-beg, you name it – as a way of exercising, enjoying our surroundings, visiting well-loved places and making new discoveries in the world around us.

Ebike riding in Villafamés, in the province of Castellón
Ebike riding in Vilafamés, in the province of Castellón

The Valencian Community offers possibilities to enjoy all these and more options, and more often than not while we are accompanied by excellent weather and, if we travel beyond the most popular destinations, with very little road traffic.

Sustainable tourism

Bicycle trail marker in Valencia, Spain
Roda la Vall bicycle touring route, Vall d'Albaida, Valencia

With a land area of around 5,000,000 km², Spain is, as you may know, the 2nd-largest country in the European Union. With a population of a little under 46,500,000 inhabitants*, however, it is way down the list in terms of population density. Furthermore, some 80% of the population lives in urban areas** (particularly in major cities and along the coast). 

Cyclist descending wooded climb in Castellón, Spain
Cycling in Sierra de Espadán, in the province of Castellón

This population distribution, the product both of economic policy and of the process known as "rural flight" in which residents of rural areas migrate towards larger towns and cities in search of greater employment opportunities and services, has left inland Spain with large tracts of barely-populated land and approximately 3000 abandoned villages and hamlets. You can even buy one, if you want***. 

Bicycle beside River Júcar in the province of Valencia, Spain
The River Júcar, in the province of Valencia

Worryingly, around 50% of Spanish territory is considered in danger of becoming depopulated****.

Cycling in Alicante - onyour.bike
Vall d'Ebo, Alicante

What's this got to do with riding your bike in Valencia? you ask.

Despite - and perhaps even aided by - the highly-successful conversion and promotion carried out in recent years of the city of Valencia, and the decades of work put into the building up and the exploitation of the region's coastline, the Valencian Community has not been immune to the effects of rural flight, creating many areas within the region that are unknown not only visitors, but also to a great many urban Valencians. 

Tourists cycling in the city of Valencia, Spain
Tourists cycling in the city of Valencia

This urban-orientated policy, backed by the enormous investments carried out in the last 40 years in the region's major road- and rail networks to cater to the huge demand for transport between the major urban areas, has led to the creation of numerous substantially-isolated areas that, somewhat curiously, are relatively easy to access, with the added advantage of what were once the only roads available now often relegated to quiet, traffic-free backwaters. Ideal for riding your bike.

Cycling in the Valencian Community - onyour.bike
Cyclists following the River Júcar, in the province of Valencia

The aim of onyour.bike is to highlight some of these perhaps lesser-known areas of the Valencian Community, both to regular visitors to the region wishing to discover new riding territory, and to those wishing to explore this beautiful region for the first time.

As well as paved routes, we cast our gaze over gravel tracks, greenways and forest tracks. In addition to the corresponding cycling-related information, we also aim to incorporate further historical, cultural and gastronomic information about the areas we pass through.

By doing this, we hope that onyour.bike will serve both to introduce readers to new cycling experiences within the Valencian Community and, in a small measure, enable those living in the region's more rural areas to discover the positive aspects that cycling, and catering to cyclists, can bring to their communities.

Dones Bicibles Gran Fondo, Bocairent, Alicante
Dones Bicibles Gran Fondo, Bocairent, in the province of Alicante

If you'd like to contribute bike-related content to onyour.bike or have suggestions about material for inclusion in the blog, don't hesitate to drop me a line via the contact page.

Michael Dixon

Sources:


*World Meters. World population
**World Bank 2017
***Thinking of buying a deserted village in Spain? Hurry, prices are going upSpaniards are now entering a market that has been traditionally dominated by Belgian, British and French buyers
***Ghost Villages Are for Sale in Spain. Some abandoned countryside hamlets are going for as little as $96,000.
***Aldeas Abandonadas
****La mitad de los pueblos de España está en riesgo de desaparición