The loneliest road in Gran Canaria

The loneliest road in Gran Canaria

Today was to be ‘the Big one’ with over 100km and well over 2,500m of ascent on the menu.  We weren’t too sure about the meters of ascent as my Garmin topological map only has 20m lines and when converting a hand drawn track to follow the profile, it jumps in 20m up or down depending on the nearest contour line.  This gives approximately 2x the  ascent than in reality.

We drove over to San Nicolas de Tolentino where we were to start.  Our guide book informed us we would ride 30km up hill on the loneliest road in Gran Canaria.  This was an accurate description as we only met 5 vehicles on the way.  The road was very narrow; so narrow that a truck and a bike would’t fit on long stretches.  We rode 10km without a single downhill before reaching one of the water reservoirs, Presa del Parrallilo, where we could enjoy a bit of ‘flat’ before climbing relentlessly to 1,500m.  It was completely tranquil and round every corner (there were an awful lot of them) there was a new breathtaking view.  The surface was OK if not perfect and we climbed to Artenara which left us just 350m to our highest point.  From there we descended to Agaete to join the coast road back to San Nicolas.  The west coast is the least frequented side of the island with few hotels and tourists.  From Agaete you can take the high speed ferry to Tenerife which is visible all along the coast road with the typical picture of the Teide pointing out above the clouds.

We had a tail wind along the coast road which basically followed the cliffs giving spectacular views of the coastline.  20km before arriving back at San Nicolas we had the  final challenge of nearly 600m ascent over 6km.  This was hard after the 72km and 2,000m we already had behind us but the views and the challenge made it a fantastic ride.

Today’s data: 101.9km, 2815m climb, 6:11h in the saddle

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