Nostalgia: Pyrenees 2009

Pyrenees10-61 I’ve been sorting out my photo albums and looking back at some of the great summer cycling we have had.  These 2 were taken by Adam near Torla in the Aragon region of the Pyrenees.Pyrenees10-63

Gran Canaria West coast GC-200 video

Just uploaded another short video of our ride along the west coast of Gran Canaria.  This is actually the second part of our ‘Loneliest road in Gran Canaria’ ride. Great road which was not very frequented by traffic wit fantastic views of the coast and Tenerife.

 

Gran Canaria photos

A selection of Stefan’s and my photos of our week in Gran Canaria are available here

The Loneliest road in Gran Canaria CG-210 film

As it was so beautiful I filmed a little of the route for other prospective cyclists.  Watch it here or on YouTube

 

Last ride in Gran Canaria

The long and winding climb on perfect macadam

Our last ride today so we wanted to ride to the top of the island at 1,920m above sea level and as we were starting from our hotel, we were starting at 10m.  20km steady climb through Mogan followed by 6km ‘flat’ along the side of the the reservoir Presa de la Cueva de Las Ninas to be culminated by a steeper 20km climb to the top.

We were in good form even after yesterday’s big ride and took our time to enjoy the scenery on the perfect blacktop and arrived at Ayacata (1,300m) to be greeted by clouds shrouding the rest of the climb and looking like rain.  A change of plan was called for so we took the road down from Ayacata to San Bartolome de Tirajana and Fataga where we stopped for a coffee and a snack because it was only 11°C and we were cold and hungry.  From Fataga it is a beautiful descent to Maspalomas with just one decent climb alongside the deep canyon.

In Maspalomas we took the coast road with a tailwind to start which turned on us fo rthe last 15km.  The coast road is an undulating, quiet road with excellent blacktop, 30km & 500m of ascent bringing us back to our hotel in Puerto de Mogan.

We were back in time for a swim before bringing the bikes back to Free Motion.

Today’s data: 102.6km, 2088m climb, 5:17h in the saddle.

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

Rest day today

Today was our rest day so we only did 55km and 1,100m of ascent. We rode up to Tamisas and Sant Lucia
The road up padded some beautiful canyons and everything was starting to turn green after a little rain last night. Although the climb was about 6%, where the macadam was rough it was hard work.
The descent fro St Lucia was magnificent and now we are enjoying the last of the sun before going down to the harbour for a drink and to watch the sunset. Easy life 😉

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North East Gran Canaria road tour

Today’s data: 89.70km, 1859m ascent, average speed 18km/h, 4h59 in the saddle, problems: 1 flat tyre.

A little greener in the north of the island

Stefan & I both wanted to see something other than rocks and dust which makes up the striking landscape in the south of the island so we borrowed a tour from an Austrian site nyx.at (thanks for the super tour:-) )  We modified it slightly to start at a point nearer the motorway.

It was really 3 climbs: a small one followed by an 800m one followed by another small one.  The descents in between were great because the corners are cambered quite strongly making them faster and safer.  We were over 1000m at the highest point and in the clouds so it wad just 10°C (23 down on the coast) and a bit wet.  The ride is really beautiful and the bit of rain / damp we had didn’t detract from the enjoyment.

We had a good lunch when we were forced to stop to mend a glass splinter puncture.  A really good ride 🙂

 

Chira Trail, Gran Canaria

Today’s data: 54km, 540m ascent, 1,700m descent and 4 hours in the saddle

Rocky but not too steep

Today was our ‘day off’ from road riding and Stefan and I got ourselves kitted up with 2 Cannondale Claymore 2’s (Downhiller with 180mm suspension travel).  the weather was perfect with clear blue skies and warm (a bit colder up where we started).

Half an hour’s drive up with the bus and the people who were going on a guided walk up in the mountains with non stop commentary from the guide.  I was really glad when we arrived and the commentary stopped!  We got our bikes off the trailer and checked that everything worked.

Disaster!  Stefan had left his helmet back at the Free Motion office!  No ride for Stefan:-(  he ended up taking the road and a valley track back to Playa des Ingles.

The rest of us had a really good ride, 4 punctures of which none were mine.  We had a very international group: 4 Norwegians, a Finn, a Spaniard (guide) a Czech, an Englishman (me) and 2 others of unknown nationality.  It was really good fun and I really enjoyed the Claymore, at least on the downhill parts :-), but in fact, I would have been better off on my own Liteville 301 as it is lighter and much better uphill!

The Tauropass, Gran Canaria

Today’s data: 92.1 km 1606m ascent, 3h58 ride time, and  23.1 km/h average speed.

The long and winding ascent to the Saft Pass

Today was our first tour with the group.  Luckily we were just 8 in total, 4 of whom were Irish, so a perfect number.  We set off from Playa des Ingles and followed the undulating coast road to Porto de Mogan (where we are staying) before climbing about 900m to the Saft Pass.

We stopped for a bite of lunch at a quiet cafe before making the steep descent back ;to the valley.

Once in the valley it is ‘flat’ so we took it in turns to head the ride and battle against the strong headwind.  We were doing 40-43 km/h and I wasn’t able to do my stint at the front as this was just too fast for me. 🙁

After that we returned along the coast road where the undulations had become much bigger since the morning to end back in Playa des Ingles.  It was a good ride, but it was very fast for me.  I obviously need some more training 🙂