LA RUTA MINERA is an sportive event held in Berga since 2014. The cyclosportive passes through very low traffic roads, ideal for cycling . Find your route and enjoy the experience!
Why La ruta Minera?
The name La Ruta Minera is chosen because the route passes through the main municipalities where the mining activity was historically relevant, like Guardiola de Berguedà, Cercs, Fígols, Vallcebre and Saldes. Likewise, the toughness of the proposed route and the spirit of cycling, as a sport that implies the idea of sacrifice and fighting, allows to establish a ·parallelism with the toughness and sacrifice of the mining work. So, from a playful and sporting point of view, and the pleasure of getting a personal challenge, La Ruta Minera wants to pay a humble tribute to the men and women who suffered and fought to improve their living in the Alt Berguedà mines for over a hundred years.
Brief historical note
Alt Berguedà is a region with a long tradition in mining since the second half of the nineteenth century. At that time, however, existing mines were minor and were operated by small local companies that could barely compete with the low prices of the imported coal.
Since 1888 the region underwent a gradual process of modernization in mining process culminated with the foundation of the company “Carbones de Berga, S.A.” in 1911. In addition to modernizing the extracting coal process, the company promoted the establishment of worker’s camps similar to the ones built by the textile companies in the Llobregat River shores. The main mining colonies were Sant Corneli, San Jose and La Consolació, all in the municipality of Cercs.
The mines were located in the municipalities of Cercs, Guardiola de Berguedà, Saldes, Vallcebre, Fígols and Gósol and occupy up to 4.458 workers during peak. It must be added the amount of miners who worked in small mines with a traditional extraction system that also worked due to the rise of coal prices. Mining held many people in the region and many immigrants from around Spain.
The importance of mining needed to improve communications in the area and the precarious existing infrastructures. These include most of the cyclosportive roads, such as the road from Guardiola de Berguedá to Saldes, from Berga to Sant Llorenç de Morunys, as a way of supplying wood for bracing mine galleries, and the trail and the cable car to coll de Pradell.
Live and work conditions were extraordinary hard, especially in small local mines. The work occupied the whole family, men in the galleries and women in coal washing. In addition to the hardness of the activity, they had endless workdays, respiratory diseases, numerous accidents and the own hardship of that historical period.
Carbones de Berga S.A.. maintained its activity continuously until 31 th December 1991.