Specialized Soil Searching

The Queen of Biescas

“Bea was more intrigued with the mythical side of mountain biking—the soul of the trail.”

Specialized Soil Searching

The Queen of Biescas

“Bea was more intrigued with the mythical side of mountain biking—the soul of the trail.”

This story is begging to start with “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a Queen with her King … and their dog.” But we won’t do that. We don’t need to. We’ll just tell the real story.

A kingdom called home.

Bea, along with her husband Andres, may have discovered the lost art of life—a thing called living. This discovery, through mountain biking, trail building, love for adventure, and just pure, deliberate living, has unraveled a forgotten legacy as deep and mystical as the valley they call home.

History runs like a delicate root system in the Tena Valley on the southern cheek of the Pyrenees, with the fairytale town of Biescas nestled right in the heart of it. With enchanting little towns sprinkled all through the Pyrenees, what makes this one so special? What made Bea and Andres pack up their lives in the city and move to Biescas, without the guarantee of conventional comforts like job security, healthcare, steady income, and vegan ice cream …?

Andres points at peaks all over the valley. He calls out each one by name, along with its most noteworthy characteristic, as if he’s introducing his own children. Meanwhile, Bea ventures off into the forest in search of a wild mushroom patch she found while clearing the trail a few months prior.

For a few years, Bea and Andres traveled to Biescas every weekend from the city for their fresh mountain air fix. Until one day, they decided not to go back. “I will build you a trail on this mountain, my love,” said Andres to Bea, as he stared down the giant colossus of earth he was determined to conquer for his queen. “Well, get on with it then!” shouted back Bea, halfway up the giant’s face already.

So, Andres and Bea set out to create the first purpose-built mountain bike trail in the area. Rumors of new mountain bike trails in Biescas spread like hazel pollen on a stiff southern breeze, and mountain bikers from all over Spain and France were flocking in to sample the goods. Consequently, the need for more trails, a shuttle truck, and a trail guide service almost inadvertently fell onto the capable shoulders of Andres and Bea to establish, and MTB Pyrenees was formed.

Initially, Andres was all about adrenalin—downhill, drops, roots, ruts, berms, rock ‘n roll! But Bea was more intrigued with the mythical side of mountain biking—the soul of the trail. Where it came from, where it takes you, and how all the living creatures, plants, and streams function ubiquitously in this incredibly intricate ecosystem. Determined not to disrupt, but rather to partake.

This led them on a trajectory to learn more about the historic trails of the area and unveil trails that had been lost and forgotten for centuries. From curiosity to a vocation. With every trail they uncovered, a connection to a forgotten world was recovered. Generational residents in some of the surrounding villages got word of this man, his wife, and their dog opening up ancient trails around them.

Stories from all over the area started to surface of the role these trails played in shaping the history of so many lives—from great-great-grandfathers trekking for days to go visit their beloveds to merchants using them as the only means to trade their goods. These trails in the Tena Valley, as in all the surrounding valleys, were quite literally the lifeblood of its people.

Like veins, they run from one village to the next. Traversing over jagged peaks, weaving down spinal ridgelines into moss-covered stone forests, underneath waterfalls, through natural rock tunnels, hugging the shoulder of riverbeds and cliff edges, with a pulsating purpose.

And then comes the drop.

The room is the size of a large cargo van. A smoke machine fights with a disco ball for attention. Music from speakers in each corner throws punches at your chest, pushes you up against the ropes, and then pulls you back in for another round. Bea, the DJ, the conductor, doesn’t skip a beat.

An infinite, irrelevant amount of time passes, but Bea stands her ground behind her turntable. This is not her first rodeo, but it just might be your last. The music fades, the jovial faces seem to move in slow motion, laughter becomes inaudible, raised elbows pause in mid-air, the baseline slows down, likening the sound of a heartbeat and then …


A silence so dense you can almost touch it. A place where the only thing you hear is your own breathing. The air is so crisp you can taste it. This is where Bea finds her true rhythm. She completely submits herself to her natural surroundings and falls into a quiet, flow state that needs no definition, no explanation, just pure, unapologetic existing. Exhaling carefully, consciously.

Trails not only connect village folk to their heritage and the mountain bikers to their escape from the hustle and bustle of the city drum. They’re also the sacred bond between Bea and Andres—a synergy tucked away in the marrow of a wordless understanding. And they tie Bea to herself. Her very reason for being.

To the untrained eye, it may seem like Bea lives in a stark contrast. Taking a closer look, it becomes clear that it’s in this very contrast, this parallel universe, that Bea has found perfect balance. And the beauty in accepting that sometimes spinning out of orbit is perfectly okay … as long as you don’t break an arm and a leg in said spinning act. (You can ask Bea yourself to tell you the story in person when you visit them in Biescas.)

Back to the initial question: What makes Biescas such a special place? Is it the trails, the history, the food, the landscape, the perfect pow days, the crystal-clear rivers, or perhaps the people People like Bea and Andres who unlock its mystery and share it with the world.

In Bea’s own words, “I can die happy now.”

And together they created trails and lived happily ever after …

The END … until next time.