Ayr Burners Cycling

Sportive, Cyclocross, Youth, Adventure

Javea 2024

As usual come May, our much-anticipated trip to Javea came round, with a total of 17 Burners heading out to Spain to enjoy some cycling in warmer climes than we’ve been used to this Spring. Unlike last year, this visit to Blanca Bikes wasn’t blighted by tropical rainstorms and we enjoyed typical Spanish sunshine for the duration of the 4 day trip.

As in previous years, we arrived late in the evening and, after dumping our stuff, we headed round to La Sucreria in the square above Blanca Bikes for our traditional burgers and rosemary fries – ideal preparation for the first days ride.

La Sucreria (late on Thursday night)

Our first day was a ‘gentle’ spin out along the flat roads to the coast leading to the town of Pego, from where we had the pleasure of ascending Vall D’Ebo. Strangely, this hasn’t got any easier since the first time we did it, and the vicious ramps after it are as steep as they ever were. Luckily we’d (almost) all had a substantial breakfast to see us up the hills. Once that had all been done it was mainly downhill all the way back to Javea, stopping at the excellent Blanca Bikes cafe in Parcent en route.

Almost at the top !!!!

Give that man a biscuit ….

When we got back to Javea, we convened at La Esquina on the coast for refreshments (and a club sandwich). As usual, the choice of places to eat was (almost) as important as the cycling, and the first night saw us wander round the corner for another al fresco meal, appropriately enough at the local Italian. This proved very popular again, with the Tiramisu being particularly enjoyable.

The second day was supposed to be a bit easier and, although the mileage and elevation was a bit lower, it didn’t always feel like it (sorry, Frances !!!). This took us to Denia (another coffee stop) before climbing up to the masts on the cliffs above Javea, which provided amazing views down over the bay and along the coast.

Javea from the masts

What goes up must come down, and what followed next was a fun descent to Javea and then a run along the front to l’Arenal (flat) before climbing up from there (not flat) and then descending to the beach at Granadella.

Granadella (drier than last year)

Last year, Grandadella was wetter than an otter’s pocket and the Burners didn’t see another soul in the short time we were there. This year, it was warmer, drier and 1000% busier – it seemed like all of Spain was there for the day !!! Unfortunately, what goes down must go up and we had the choice of the road we’d come down or a shorter, but MUCH steeper road with hairpins every 100 metres. This was made more difficult by the number of cars driving up a 15% slope at 3mph, then suddenly stopping whenever there was a (slim) chance of a parking space.

Once we got to the top of the hill, it was another great downhill to l’Arenal and an easy spin along the front back to Blanca Bikes. That night we descended on the Curry Palace and, once again, were impressed by the volume of food that was served, which seemed to be in inverse proportion to the cost.

Following that ‘easy’ day, the Coll de Rates lay in wait next day. We had been joined by John Scott who was a late arrival, as well as being rudely awakened by a couple of Irish guys who were staying at Blanca Bikes – one managed to get himself locked out of his room at silly o’clock, and wasn’t shy at banging the room to rouse his comatose buddy.

Coll de Rates – MvdP just out of shot (by about 800 metres)

It seemed like a good idea to stop at the Blanca Bikes cafe at Parcent (ie bottom of Coll de Rates) for some sustenance before tackling the climb. Just as we were leaving a tall Dutchman wearing the World Champion’s jersey passed us but, despite our best efforts, we couldn’t catch him up the hill. He was doing some hill repeats and was kind enough to give us a wave as he bombed back down to start again. His support crew were at the top but that was the last we saw of him – not sure he was ready for a photo opportunity despite our orange jerseys.

On the way back we had our only drama of the weekend when someone who shall remain nameless (Calum) bumped into the back of Marty, followed very quickly by a lamp-post. Thankfully, the bikes were unscathed, as was Marty but Calum took a nasty bump to his leg which meant there was no more cycling for him.

After our long walk to the Indian restaurant the night before, we were much closer to home for another meal outdoors. We returned to Embruix, where we’d eaten the first year we’d been over, and the food was just as good.


For our last day, we decided on a genuinely easy day, and headed over to Moraira, which is a lovely little town on the coast, further south than Javea. All was well until it was time to pay, at which time a load of cockroaches appeared out of nowhere. We didn’t need any more protein so they lived to fight another day.

Moraira (pre-infestation)

We then returned back to Javea for a final visit to La Esquina before our last meal before heading home. The Italian restaurant was chosen again and, although the food was great, we did experience the biggest disappointment of the trip – they’d run out of Tiramisu !!! Despite this disaster, it didn’t spoil our enjoyment of what was perhaps the best trip to Javea thus far.

La Esquina (again !!!)

Although the majority of us returned on a flight the next morning (at the ridiculously early time of 6am), Bobby and John stayed over for another day. There are no photographic records of what they got up to, other than this one – perhaps that’s for the best …..

What happens in Javea, stays in Javea !!!

Everyone had a great time, so a big thanks to Peter, Marty and Nigel who looked after us very well, as did the ladies preparing our massive breakfasts and the guys at the Blanca Bikes cafe in Parcent. The accommodation was great, the Cervelo bikes likewise and the roads and weather were the perfect balance compared to the previous years.

Get your name down for 2025 asap !!!!

Donald Laurie • May 31, 2024

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