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ADV NewsNew Adventure Bike Route Through Pyrenees Mountains On The Way

New Adventure Bike Route Through Pyrenees Mountains On The Way

ACT to release BDR-style adventure from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

Published on 12.24.2021

The landscape of adventure-ride planning forever changed in 2010 with the introduction of the first Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR). Suddenly we had easy access to free GPS tracks to guide us on meticulously-scouted, multi-day off-road rides, with a bucket list-worthy trip in a new region added each year. 

But did you know there is a European version of this awesome and free trip-routing program? Indeed there is, though it’s not to be confused with the hard-core Trans-European Trails (TET) network we saw trails champ Pol Tarres ride in The Seeker 2. Instead, Adventure Country Tracks (ACT) provide GPS tracks that are perfect for larger adventure bikes, with routes through Portugal, Greece, Romania and Italy — and coming mid-January — a guide to riding the famous Pyrenees, a mountain range separating the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe that crosses through Spain, France and Andorra.

Adventure Country Tracks Pyrenees Adventure motorcycle route

Inspired by Touratech USA’s BDR success in the U.S. a small group of Touratech employees in Germany and Portugal, led by the company’s director of sales and marketing, Martin Wickert, initially decided to scout and document the ideal adventure bike route through Portugal. The project, ACT Portugal, which released GPS tracks, photo archives and an accompanying film to the public in 2016, was a huge success among Europe’s booming adventure bike crowd. 


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Greece was the next successful project. And just imagine that: You fly into Athens, rent an adventure bike at one of the plentiful outfitters and have a BDR-style experience all laid out at no additional cost. Romania and Italy soon followed Greece as available ACT destinations. 

Adventure Country Tracks Pyrenees Adventure motorcycle route

The only way these routes differ from American-style BDRs is you’ll find a few more paved sections connecting the off-road tracks within each ride, and that’s simply because there aren’t as many extended, uninterrupted off-road trials in Europe. For example, the route in Western Greece is 920km (572 miles) with 45% off-road. Italy’s Abruzzo region, a 5-day route, is 1160km (721 miles) and 55% off-road. As with BDRs, all of the ACT guides provide recommendations for hotels and restaurants along the way. 

And to kick off the new year, the ACT Pyrenees, which routes adventure bike riders through the fabled mountain range that spans from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, separating Spain and France, will be available for download mid-January 2022. 

Adventure Country Tracks Pyrenees Adventure motorcycle route

In large part due to Covid-related setbacks, ACT Pyrenees took a full two years to come to fruition, making its release all the more gratifying for the project’s devoted scouts and filmmakers, not to mention the eager crowd of adventure riders awaiting the new route. 

And in the trailer we see it’s truly an epic adventure, covering 1200 km (746 miles) with off-road tracks across gorgeous high mountains with lots of splashy river crossings and memorable stops along the way. If the trailer’s not enough to whet your appetite, there are an additional 5 short teasers available to watch on ACT’s YouTube channel, each one representing a day/stage of the route. 

Adventure Country Tracks Pyrenees Adventure motorcycle route

But as any BDR veteran knows, the accompanying full-length film documenting each route is the greatest source of insight and inspiration. Adventure Country Tracks also provides an accompanying film for each region, but unlike BDR videos, which you have to rent for a small fee or pay a steeper price for a personal download, ACT films, which are narrated in English, are totally free of charge.  

The full-length film featuring the newest route – a generous 60 minutes in length – will drop here for public viewing at 11am PST Christmas Day. Just in time for that New Year’s resolution to make 2022 the year we make even more adventure bike dream rides come true. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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