If you’re going to ride up mountains, don’t start at sea level. It’s all well and good going to 1000m but if you started at 800m it’s technically a hill. Starting at the beach you feel every inch of elevation.
If you’re going to plan a ride while on holiday, don’t drink Bacardi and coke while doing so. Words to live by young Padawan. There I was, enjoying Garmin’s course planning in all it’s glory. I may have had a beer too, who’s to say. Lanzarote isn’t a large place, but it’s certainly feature rich as far as cycling goes. I knew I wanted to go through Los Valles to the top of the Tabayesco road. I rode up Tabayesco last time and descended through Teguise and figured the other way around would be easier (it is). Browsing the map and satellite imagery though I spotted a volcano. A VOLCANO! This could be the new GPSRumors lair! Or just a dead caldera. Either way WOOT!
You remember how I said a while back about workout planning and how it pushes you to achieve more? Sober the following day out on the bike it turns out there’s a third dimension I had not even considered. Up. Really, really up. Drawing pretty lines on a web page is easy, following said lines is hard. I visited 4 beaches on this journey, and for those not “in the know” beaches are at sea level. Volcanos are not at sea level. Below you can see the Polar activity graphs (I like these better than Garmin)
So on to the riding. Almost immediately upon leaving the resort you get to see the upcoming fun. The mountains on the north of Lanzarote form a pretty impressive wall and you pretty much have to ride around to get to the roads.
Not only was I to ride around and up these, I’d continue to ride up and around some that are hidden behind these. It’s warm though, around 25C or 77F so a really comfortable temperature to ride in, especially in December having left the UK at whatever miserable damp temperature that was! This is shorts and short top weather. Not too hot, but hot enough for pleasant clothing.
The roads are stunning though, for the most part they are like a smooth black carpet just begging to be ridden. And sometimes they are a bit…offroad. Not like back country offroad, more of a halfway finished road. Someone clearly put all the normal effort in right up until the final coat of tarmac. And then just went cycling elsewhere, leaving what can only be described as bumpy tarmac. Nothing the tires can’t handle and only mildly uncomfortable. Still no potholes so miles better than most UK riding.
I finally reached the first “top”. Here, I had a bit of a DCRainmaker moment with gadgets as I noticed that two Garmin and one Polar device actually agreed about the ascent and elevation within a few metres. This is amazing given I had not calibrated any of them. I’m not even sure how to. I’d also been up and down and all over since starting so this agreement shows some serious “just working” for a change. This is a win.
I then stopped for a snack to contemplate the descent. The descent was epic. It was also the first of several epic descents of the day. I don’t mean a bit of down hill, I mean descending fast for over 15 minutes straight.
A later descent was 30 minutes. That’s long enough to watch an episode of Friends and make yourself a coffee. I may now need to buy disc brakes. Nothing bad happened but discs make me feel confident and rims don’t. I did once burn my leg on my disc in Wales though after a particularly meaty descent on one of my mountain bikes.
Then came another ascent to the volcano. This caldera looks exactly like you’d draw a volcano for a cartoon. Soon to include my evil lair…Mwahahahaha. Like I could afford a volcano. You people almost never click the ads. No ads you say? I may need to start adding some to pay for my lair…Finally the obligatory bike, sea, road shot. This is about halfway but we’ll call it done there as I didn’t really have the energy for more shots after this. Another huge descent to another beach followed by about an hour of climbing before a huge drop to the beach resort. I’d recommend Lanzarote in December if you fancy a bit of warm weather training.