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... Is the route sign posted?

The TransAndalus is NOT sign posted. On some of the stretches which coincide with the National pathways (GR) we can make use of the characteristic painted signs; either Red/White or Yellow/White. In order to follow the Transandalus one must take care with directions, and in order to help this process we have plenty of aids including GPS tracks, maps and digital routes.

What documentation is available on the web site?
... What documentation is available on the web site?

From the start, our objective has been to provide as much information for the traveller as possible, to help with route planning. To this end we have provided the following:

  • Stage Planner: A tool which enables the traveller to plan each stage according to the physical capability of the cyclist and how they plan to travel, eg. daily kilometers, accumulated climbing, speed and time in the saddle.
  • Forum: A meeting place for "TransAndaluzeros" to talk route planning, find other cyclists, pose questions, or leave detalled trip logs with photos.
  • Route planner: A fundamental traveller's tool with commentaries about the state of the terrain, technical data on distances, difficulty, percentages etc. Information about lodging, where to eat, local bike shops, maps, profiles, and of course, the actual route maps to help with daily planning.
  • Tracks / Waypoints: To upload the rtacks and waypoint archives to your GPS, we recommend that you do so form the individual province pages, and not piece by piece. Please note that if any conflicts occur while riding the route between tracks and route maps, follow the instructions from the latter.
  • Detalled maps: We are in the process of loading detalled maps at 1:50,000 scale. At this time we have available the maps for Córdoba, Sevilla and Huelva.
  • Maps for GPS: Our very own "Charity Cartographer", carlos García has designed an application which enables you to upload a map of the whole TransAndalus (including a 5km margin either side of the trail), with the route drawn in. Now there is no need to upload the tracks, as the GPS pointer will show us whether or not we are on the right path. All details are available in this post>> in the forum.

The end of each stage has been selected taking into account the proximity of some sort of facility for over night stays, where one can eat and rest up for the next day. Each of the corresponding provincial route maps have information including names of the establishments, telephone numbers, addresses and web sites where applicable.

Where do I start?
...Where do I start?

The TransAndalus does not have an established start point. The route is circular and as such, each user can decide where to start and finish according their physical condition, time restraints and preference.

Is the route hard?
... Is the route hard?

The TransAndalus es a route designed by bike riders, for bike riders. The level of difficulty, both physical and technical is somewhere inbetween those of the Way of St.James and the Trans Pyrrenees, although tending toward the latter. The route is not recommended for those who have recently taken up mountain biking. The Silver Route (Seville to Santiago), or the French Route may be a better option for less experienced riders.

Which is the best time of year to do it?
...Which is the best time of year to do it?

Although this is a very personal question and there will be those who prefer to travel with more or less heat, it is unquestionable that the low rainfall and favorable climate in Andalucia makes it a perfect region for cycle tourists, and the route can be undertaken throughout the year. It is worth noting that.

  • During the months of July and August the heat is extreme, especially during the the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August.
  • During the Winter Snow is common in The Pass of Sierra de los Filabres (Almería) and in Campos de Hernán Perea (Jaén)
Should I take a tent and sleeping bag?
... Should I take a tent and sleeping bag?

Accommodation can be found at the end of each stage, so there is no real need to load up with the extra weight. Having said that, taking camping equipment allows the traveller to stop where they like (respecting the designated camping zones). Information regarding lodgings at the end of each stage can be found on the route maps.

How can I take the route maps and web based maps with me?
... How can I take the route maps and web based maps with me?

In the not too distant future we are planning on publishing a traveller's guide for use on the route, meanwhile use can be made of the web based route maps to make our own daily planners. If you would like to know how, open this PDF.

Which type of bike is best?
... Which type of bike is best?

It is not a question of getting hold of a brand new bike to take on the TansAndalus, the best bike is probably the one we are used to riding. It is true to say that, in the case of the Transandalus a Dual Suspension would probably be the most appropriate.

What should I pack?
... What should I pack?

The amount of stuff to take will depend on the type and length of trip we're one is planning. More considerations will be. Budget, overnights, cooking etc. Above all, to ride the TA we recommend travelling as light as possible, hence our recommendation of taking advantage of the hostels and lodgings rather than camping. (saving the bulk of tents, sleeping bags, food, stove, sleeping mat etc.) We also recommend not taking stuff "just in case". We find the "just in case" items are rarely used and add unnecessary weight. Here are two more PDF's from Richi and Jaime with more ideas about travelling with mountain bikes.

How should I take luggage?
... How should I take luggage?

The amount of luggage taken and the way we take it are important considerations for planning the TransAndalus. At the risk of repetion, we strongly advise taking the least amount of luggage as possible. If the stuff can be well spread between riders, all the better.

  • Handlebar bag: useful for carrying regularly used items and stuff of value (mobile, wallet, camera, route maps etc.). Ideally the bag should be waterproof, easily fitted and removed, and carryable when off the bike.
  • Water bottles. Where possible, frame mounted bottle holders should be used, andtake large bottels especially in Summer
  • Camelbak: We do not recommend the use of hydration systems. Let the bike take the weight, and use your back pack for lighter, bulkier items (fleece etc.)
  • Panniers or rear bag: Watch out for large panniers! They are an invitation to take more stuff than is necessary. The advantage of using panniers is that the weight is distributed lower, thus lowering the centre of gravity of the bike. For most trips a back pack should provide adequate stowage.
  • Pannier rack, trailer etc: There are many ways of loading a bike, the cheapest and easiest being a rear pannier rack, although these are unsuitable for dual suspension rigs. For these the situation gets a little more complicated and a lot more expensive:
    a) Trailers: (Bob Yak, Extra Wheel etc.) These are heavy and having a third wheel complicates things a lot. They are much better suited to long distance touring on tarmac or more compact ground, and where supplies are hard to come across. We do not recommend the usse of trailers on the TA.
    b) Seat post mounted racks: It is not true that these items break seat posts, indeed if anything is likely to break it will actually be the rack where they are soldered (especially the Topeak version).
    c) "Axiom" Rack: Although usable with dual suspension and cheap, they are not dependable and break easily.
    d) "Old Man Mountain" racks: By far the best option, and the one we recommend for use with DS bikes. Although the price is a little off-putting (around 110 euros).
  • More information on taking luggage can be found on the sub-forum: bici y material on the TransAndalus web site.