II MTB Kingdoms Conference: Mountain Biking and Tourism

On May 17th and 18th, the second MTB Kingdoms Mountain Biking and Tourism Conference will be held in Ayerbe, the capital of Reino de los Mallos Bike. This forum aims to establish itself as a national reference, bringing some of the best specialists from both national and international levels to Huesca province, in Northern Spain. The key themes of this conference will focus on “Strategies and competitive cyclotourism destinations” and “New knowledge in the construction of bicycle trails.” The event will start on Friday morning at 9:00 am, and will be inaugurated by Maria Jesús Gimeno Palacio, the Managing Director of Tourism of Aragon, and Ayerbe’s Mayor, Antonio Biescas Giménez.

Regarding presentations on strategies and destinations, Patxi Saez Lazcano, Director of Marketing and Tourist Product Service of Navarra, will discuss the formation of Navarra en Bici, a recently established cyclotourism club, which was introduced at the International Navarra en Bici Congress held in Pamplona on April 17th.

In the realm of destinations, two presentations will be delivered on the Cyclotourism Strategic Plan of Guipuzkoa. The first, by Abrahám Olanoormer professional cyclist and current Technical Secretary of the Guipuzkoa Cyclotourism Federation, will outline the reasons behind the plan’s implementation, involving the federation, the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, and the GIMBE Association, entre otros. The second presentation, by lawyer David Cajigóswho provided legal assistance in the plan’s development, along with representatives from GIMBE Association, and Beñat Auzmendfrom Orbea’s Trail Tales program, will discuss the challenges and solutions encountered in executing this strategy, which encompasses technical solutions for bicycles in both urban and natural environments.

In terms of knowledge, Eduardo Melchori, President of IMBA Italy, will deliver an online presentation on the International Trail Rating System (ITRS) proposed by IMBA Europe, detailing the criteria for classifying routes and trails.

These presentations will take place on Friday, May 17th, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. In the afternoon, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, a roundtable discussion moderated by Luis Miguel del Cerro, Director of the MTB Pro Magazine digital platform, will invite specialists in trail construction and recovery to debate the current state of the trailbuilding sector in Spain, with topics such as ‘advantages and disadvantages of building bicycle trails in natural environments’ or, ‘Is machine construction or trail recovery better for the economic sustainability of destinations? What are the challenges faced by the increasing creation of companies dedicated to building bicycle trails or circuits in Spain?’ The panel will feature the presence Hegoi Ado (Oreinbike, Gupuzkoa), Carlos Cuezva (La Demanda Cycling, La Rioja), Marcos Prada (Mtb El Bierzo), Yaroslav Alpizar(Trail advocacy of the year 2023)

On Saturday, May 18th, the conference will begin with an online presentation Christoffer Riisone of the individuals responsible for the DIRTT Project (Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trail building Training ) of IMBA Europe, aiming to establish a knowledge hub for developing an educational framework and professional training program for trail construction.

Saturday morning will continue with two technical presentations. The first, by Carlos Cuezva, will provide a technical insight into approaching a natural environment bicycle circuit construction project. The second presentation, by Marcos Prada (a student of the DIRTT Project program), will analyze costs in the construction and recovery of trails.

The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion moderated by Luis Miguel del Cerro, focusing on the economic and social management of rural bicycle destinations. This session will feature destination managers such as Vicent Reig (Enduroland, Castellón) , Jorge Vaquero (Eremua, Navarra) , Javier García (MTB Kingdoms, Reino de los Mallos Bike, Huesca), Paco García (Hurdes Trail)

On Sunday, a cycling tour will be organized in collaboration with the Reino de los Mallos Cycling Club,offering two types of routes in Reino de los Mallos Bikea 50 km, 850-meter elevation MTB rally-gravel route, and a 35 km, 110-meter elevation MTB-enduro route.

Attendance to the conference is free, but registration is mandatory via the following FORM: https://forms.gle/gHgQcjrtGRqRa6aZ9

The conference is limited to 80 participants, hence formal registration is necessary.

Conference registration does not include Friday or Saturday meals. Additionally, access to recorded online presentations will cost 10 euros for interested individuals, who should email info@mtbkingdoms.com to request the service and receive information on online registration.

For the Sunday cycling tour, the activity cost is 15 euros, covering accident insurance, certified MTB guides, and a barbecue at the conclusion of the activity. Interested individuals should indicate their participation in the registration form so that the Reino de los Mallos Cycling Club can send an email requesting necessary details for the activity.

These second Ayerbe conferences are supported by Orbea, particularly through its Trail Tales program aimed at promoting and supporting the community involved in bicycle trail construction and recovery. Public entities supporting the event include the Ayuntamiento de Ayerbe, Adesho, Diputación Provincial de Huesca, and Gobierno de Aragón