Trail Riding Pyrenees Adventure
Mega Mondo - £699
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
I am big on the teamwork low-budget DIY kick. That’s what I am going to immerse you in. If this sounds awful, it probably will be. If you are a show-off, a prima donna, vaguely selfish and really into doing things ‘your’ way then do NOT come on this trip. If you are the kind of person who thinks insulting people is funny (and then follows up the insult with “I was only joking”) can you please not come on this trip. The compressed nature of the living means we need team-players who want to get stuck in. You CANNOT do this trip and think of yourself as a ‘customer’. You need to be signing up as a ‘team-mate’, it’s not all about YOU, sorry…
I created the route that you will ride. If you sign up to a Motel Mondo you are agreeing to NOT make any attempt using maps, phones, GPS or electronic Satnav units to record the route in any way whatsoever. If, whilst on the trip, it comes to light that you have been recording a ‘breadcrumb trail’ then you will be asked to leave the trip. If you have a tracker on your bike then remove or de-activate it whilst on MM.
Safety – Is our primary concern.
I want you to finish the week, in this order, feeling:
Trail-riding and motorcycling are NOT safe. You do not have to face these risks. Be safe by NOT motorcycling. Be safe by NOT trail-riding in remote wilderness locations. If you lose control on a cliff-edge mountain trail, and go over the edge, you will be killed. Ensure you have life insurance that covers you for this. I have no ‘tour operator’ insurance nor group insurance. I am a private individual taking like-minded buddies into a risky situation. Your safety is NOT guaranteed but, given that we ARE trail-riding we will always mitigate all risks. If you are killed it will almost certainly be in an RTA with a car etc. It will not be my fault. It will be because you are riding unmaintained trails in the mountains, far from help. If you want a guarantee of safety you must NOT come on this trip.
Five days guided trail-riding in the Catalan Pyrenees staying in a building each night.
There is ZERO guarantee of a single room. You cannot access this trip if you require a single room each night.
100% teamwork. You MUST be a competent trail-rider to be able to access the route we have designed. If you are even vaguely nervous on a trail bike then this is not for you. Instead, attend the fantastic Mondo Skill Builder!
It will be intense and tiring with little privacy or molly-coddling. However, it will be an unforgettably positive experience with the risk of death and serious injury. There is no mechanical recovery, first-aid, emergency or back-up service.
Monday afternoon 2pm – team assembles in Oliana, northern Catalunya, Spain, Exact location – HERE..
Meet and greet, ride 50 miles, eat and sleep in an epic mountain farmhouse Monday night.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, trail-ride about 500 miles around the Pyrenees, mixture of farmhouses/hotels/hostels every night.
Friday, trail ride to hotel, arriving late afternoon, exhausted. Return group eqpt then shower, cocktails, dinner and crisp cotton sheets! No need to go ‘native’! Expect to have to share a room whilst in the hotel. End hotel and start hotel are THE SAME PLACE. Saturday morning, ride off into the sunset (as far as that is possible before lunch).
You will pay the 'Andrew Miller' Bond before the trip. This bond is returned to you in cash on the Saturday morning once you have actually attended the week and stayed in the hotels that were booked for you. The bond was created once it became clear that certain men would suddenly refuse to share a room or stay in a certain hotel and then leave the trip but with a room and a meal prepared for them that they now thought they did not have to pay for. Yes, people do that.
- £699 covers all the guiding, picnic lunches, gasoline, hot beverages at elevenses.
- The ‘trail accommodation varies enormously but should average out at about 110 euros ppn. You MUST carry this in cash (ie 550 euros) during the week. It is not pre-paid and plastic is usually not possible. Many of the venues that we sleep at in the mountains are remote and opening ESPECIALLY for our group for one night only. We tend NOT to stay in ‘normal’ hotels down in the towns, apart from on the Friday night at Hotel Cal Petit. These mountain venues are fantastic and many are virtually unknown to outsiders. They are VERY special indeed!
Everyone is asking me about what bike to take etc. The answer is simple; It’s not about the bike, it’s about YOUR level of skill.
We will be riding hundreds of miles of farmers’ trails in the mountains carrying some luggage. It is neither enduro nor trials but will challenge different riders in different ways. If you have zero off-road skill you need to stop reading this and start trail-riding. If you are a dirt-legend then you will be fine on a huge Adventure Bike. If you are a normal person with no off-road experience who wants something to do on their ‘adventure bike’ you need to build up your skill before attending MM. It is your call not mine. Personally, I hope to be on a Honda CRF250L which I will also ride to and from Spain. Put simply, your choice of bike mustn’t impinge on the rest of the team members’ enjoyment. Whatever you bring, just make sure you can handle it easily on rough trails, hill-climbs and loose rubbly descents (and pick it up on your own). A GSA1200 or KTM990 can handle this project but usually, the rider simply doesn’t enjoy it. The weak link is the rider, not the machine…
This is the equipment supplier Austin recommends:
This is the dry bag Austin uses:
This is the protection Austin uses:
To register interest send an email to email@example.com
16 – 20 Sept 2024 – 10 places left
£699 Motel 6
There isn’t any. If it goes wrong for you, the rest of the team will get you to tarmac and then to a town. These are the guys that will literally get you ‘off the mountain’. Once we get you to a town, we may leave you, unless you have life-threatening injuries. If you are injured badly you will need to summon your next of kin to be your companion. They need to be ready for this.
You will need some euro-wide breakdown cover in place because I will NOT provide any.
If you want a trip with full rescue vehicles, really easy dirt roads, first-aid staff, vehicle recovery etc, this isn’t it. Don’t sign up. Also, you could be killed or badly injured. There is zero health cover. Your injuries may be treated in a Spanish hospital ONLY if you carry the EHIC card ON YOUR PERSON, but even this is NOT guaranteed, they often charge people who are holding a valid EHIC card in front of them!! Non-EU nationals, expect a heavy bill from a Spanish hospital and have appropriately heavy-duty holiday insurance that covers dirt-biking in wilderness areas AND helicopter evacuation.
Because we are NOT carrying full camping kit we can run a leaner set-up than on a full-camping Mini-Mondo. However, there is no support truck so the group needs to be self-sufficient. Traditionally, everyone wears the same riding gear EVERY day and the same evening wear EVERY night whilst out on the trail. Everyone leaves the bulk of their kit at the hotel on the Monday and are reunited with it on Friday evening. You can have clean knickers etc every day if you like but YOU have to carry them.
Austin & Dai will carry:
- Puncture repair kit, tubes (only 18 & 21), pump and levers
- Full tool roll incl chain-breaking kit and 520 split link
- Basic first aid kit (we are never more than 2 hrs from a good hospital)
- A tow-rope
Each rider will carry:
- Waterproofs, evening wear, wash-kit, towel, drinking water
How you carry this is up to you but Austin begs you NOT to cram it all in a rucsac on your back. The Kriega Hydra-pak is much recommended but you will need another pouch/bag too. Remember, any tail-bag fitted MUST be able to withstand the off-road pounding that we will subject the bikes to. You cannot have anything carried for you by other team-members.
Big Scale Adventures CANNOT rent you a bike but a man called Nick Tunstill CAN. He lives in Tarragona outside Barcelona and has 4 bikes he can rent you. For a little extra he may deliver it to the start point of the week, Oliana and then collect it at the end. Your contract, is with Nick, NOT Austin. This allows you to:
Either – ride out to Oliana from the UK on a big bike, nice ‘n’ easy
Or – Fly to Barcelona, rent a hire car and drive it up to Oliana to find your bike waiting for you
Or – collect your rental bike from Nick’s home rather than the start point of the trip
Contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t pay anything until you have read my ‘statement of expectations’ and the ‘Trail-riding and safety policy’ Email me and I will send it to you. This document is NOT on this website. This is the ethos for the week. It’s really prescriptive and some people find it weird and implausible. However, it’s how I roll so there’s no point in signing up and then leaving the trip at the end of the first day spluttering “You never said it would be like THIS!”
To guarantee a place simply pay in full once you have spoken to me on the phone. Do NOT pay without agreeing to the terms. If that’s too steep then the minimum (non-refundable) payment is £300. That gets you a reserved place. Pay, by making a BACS transfer to the bank account named ‘Big Scale Adventures’ – 30-91-91 36472060 with a ref of your surname. There is no mechanical recovery, first-aid, emergency or back-up service provided. We are on our own…
This refunds policy is extremely strict. You are gambling with substantial sums if for whatever reason, however understandable, you have to cancel. You MUST have holiday insurance that will refund the money you pay to me if you cannot attend. I will not refund your fees (full details below). The Motel-Mondo project only works because there are 10 of us. I plan the team as 10 bikes. If even one person doesn’t show up we are compromised.
In summary, the £300 deposit is NOT refundable under any circumstances. It is how I simply find out who is and is NOT serious about attending. The balance of £399 has to be paid by midnight on the last day in April 2024. If you don’t want to gamble with your entry fee, get insurance, or step away from this project.
If you cancel before midnight on 30 April 24 and have only paid the £300 deposit then you will get no refund.
If you cancel before midnight on 30 April 24 and have paid the full £699 then you will get a £399 refund.
If you cancel AFTER midnight on 30 April 24 then you will get no refund at all.
Take out holiday insurance that covers a refund scenario AND medical treatment. Do NOT rely on your EHIC card!
These people specialise in off-road exped insurance:
- Five days of guided trail-riding in the Pyrenees.
- This is the identical route as ridden in Mini Mondo.
- Zero camping – Sleep in a bed every night in bricks and mortar accom.
- Supper and breakfast prepared for you. Picnic lunch on the trail.
- Accom is often remote farm haciendas – very cool.
- Roughly 100 miles of trails a day on a ‘round-trip’ route.
- Meet monday lunchtime, 4 nights on the trail and 5th night back at the start point in Oliana.
- Tons of photo locations, mountain cafes and local history spots.
Motel Mondo is run by Big Scale Adventures Limited • Registered in England and Wales • Registered number 11234298 • Registered office 27 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3BL
⚠️ WARNING ⚠️
Trip is lead by Austin VINCE. His decisions, on behalf of the team, are final.
You will be guided in two squads by myself and the legendary Dai Jones. Seriously, no-one in the english-speaking world knows their way around these mountains like we do and we are devoted to giving you a fabulous experience.
The off-road routes are designed to be accessible to GS 1200s, KTM 110s etc but not if they are ridden by a normal person, they are quite technical. They simply cannot be tackled by off-road novices. If you need a bit of adventure on your adventure bike, and can handle it like a God, but can only get a week off work, then THIS is it. If you have NEVER been trail-riding you should probably not be doing Motel Mondo. Naturally, if you want to bring a smaller bike, be our guest, you will have a better week than the person riding a 250kg machine. We rarely exceed 30mph and the speed limit on the trails is 12mph. More info below under ‘Choice of Bike’. There is no mechanical recovery, advanced first-aid, emergency or back-up service provided. Also, this is dangerous.