Forming a natural border between France and Spain, and home to the tiny mountain micronation of Andorra, the Pyrenees is one of Europe’s great mountain ranges.
Vast peaks tower above stunning green valleys and crystal clear glacial streams, and picture-perfect alpine villages dot the countryside. Views don’t get a lot better than this and what better way to enjoy them than from up high?
Perhaps this explains why the Pyrenees are a climbing hot spot? Still, it’s not exclusively for experts and hardened climbers; there are great routes for novices to enjoy, too.
Originally called sail boarding, windsurfing was invented by an innovative young man called S. Newman Darby. Legend has it that Darby invented the sport in 1965 on the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania.
Having noticed the craze for surfing springing up around the country (all sound-tracked by the emerging surf rock sounds of The Beach Boys and their ilk) he decided to create a similar pastime for those who lived in inland areas.
If you didn’t have access to huge surf, you could book a hostel nearby and still take to the water on your board to experience the rush.
Given the weather we’ve been having over the last six months, most of us have become used to winter wakeboarding and living without the sunshine. When the sun does break through, don’t be surprised if thousands of us Brits fall to their knees to worship the strange new fire god in the sky…
With the prospect of another wet and windy summer ahead, it’s not surprising that millions of us are trying to book a break somewhere a little bit more clement.
Whether it’s just a beach holiday in the sun or a more adventurous break, a little bit of warmth would be nice. Yet, for those of you who love wakeboarding enough, there are some really great winter wakeboarding destinations to try.
As far as extreme thrills go, white water rafting is about as good as it gets. Making your way down raging rivers, traversing rampaging currents and dropping down torrential waterfalls, all on what is essentially a glorified airbed, is certainly an exhilarating experience.
And the best bit is that all of this is just on the doorstep across the continent.
Travelling around in Europe may be pretty easy these days thanks to the Schengen agreement – this allows freedom of movement within most EU member states (and even a few non members). And it gives us access to some fantastic rivers!
Get hurt in the UK and you might be covered by some form of adventure sports insurance, but what about if you’re going abroad? Well, if you’re an EU citizen then you’re also entitled to a European Health Insurance Card.
The EHIC was formerly known as an E111 until 2006 when the name was changed to come in line with wider European coverage. You can get an EHIC card for free by applying online here.
We’ve all had to wait six to eight frustrating weeks for a fairly routine appointment or sit for hours in A&E – especially if you like to indulge in sports toward the extreme end of the spectrum. But what happens when you are abroad?
There’s an old adage that in life, you get what you pay for. Us cycling enthusiasts know that better than most. It only takes a couple of major breakdowns due to poor quality parts for you to realise that it’s always worth paying for quality.
But while planning and purchasing equipment for a major upcoming bike trip, this lesson has been hammered home in even more emphatic fashion.
Around this time last year, I set off from Brno in the Czech Republic on a cycling trip heading down to Vienna to join the mighty Danube. Following its course, I made it as far as the Romanian border before time constraints forced me to turn back.
And along the way I learned a thing or two about panniers:
Getting the right riding position on your bike is very important. For beginners, who don’t quite know what a bike should feel like, it can often be helpful to get some advice on how to position your bars and saddle so that you can ride efficiently.
For those who have chronic or nagging injuries due to riding, it could be because a poor position is putting strain on certain parts of the body. Then there are the serious riders who are looking for marginal gains in their times and think a change of position might help them achieve this.
Looking at it objectively, these all seem like pretty good reasons to employ the services of a bike fitter. Or are they?
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