Regress to Progress

Madrid’s riding scene may be small, but it’s driven by a passionate bunch. Although a Madrid local and BMX legend, Sergio Layos didn’t start riding mountain bikes until well into his career.

Regress to Progress Finding Family in the Two-Wheeled Cultures of Spain

Low-hanging bushes whip me in the eyes as I lay my bike over into the next turn.

The sun set at least 30 minutes ago behind the high plain on which Madrid sits, but it’s still 95 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m desperately trying to follow Sergio Layos, a Madrid local and one of the BMX world’s most stylish and longest-serving athletes, down a bobsled-style trail that rockets through a park just outside the city center.

Layos is relatively new to mountain biking, even though he’s usually out of sight four corners into a descent. But he’s already uniquely enmeshed in the culture, as two of his best friends are integral to the region’s scene. One is Igor Eskudero, a lifelong mountain biker and BMXer who works as a guide for Basque MTB, based in the north of Spain. The other is Ricky Grimal, another BMX ripper who lives in Barcelona and has played a big role in the design, development and growth of the world-famous La Poma Dirt Jump Park.

Meeting these guys and their merry band of BMXers shortly after moving to Spain a few years ago renewed my stoke in mountain biking. Upon returning to my native Europe after living in Whistler, British Columbia, for five years, I’d been hard pressed to replicate the scene I’d been part of during my time in Whistler’s warm, boozy bosom. The trails that flank Whistler Mountain, hot laps on A-Line with my crew of mates and the family feeling of the Whistler community had eluded me elsewhere.

This article is for our Subscribers and Plus Members.

Gain access by purchasing an online or print subscription.

Basic Free Subscription
$0 / Year

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

Sign Up

Plus Online Subscription
$19.95 | Year

  • Online access to the latest print issues the day they hit newsstands

  • Download print articles and take them with you on the go for offline reading

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

 Get Plus 
Free Trial

Premium Print Subscription
$34.95 | Year*

  • 4 Issues/year of our print magazine mailed directly to your front door

  • Online access to the latest print issues the day they hit newsstands

  • Download print articles and take them with you on the go for offline reading

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

Go Premium

Already a Member?

Login