26
Nov
12

Gran Canaria biking slideshow

It’s been stormy the past couple of days, so the rental mountain bike has been sitting safely underground.  It’s been given a thorough trail test in near-perfect weather over the first 8 days of my two weeks here, so any thoughts of it suddenly splitting in half and sending me tumbling over some of the cliffs I’ve been pedaling along have been cleared aside.  Thankfully, not every bike you get to ride is a piece of crap.  As a little update from home, the store is replacing the frame and wife K has a loaner in the meantime.

The best day was this past Friday, getting out on the road before 7am to arrive at the island’s peak just shy of the 2000-metre level at around 3pm.  Along the way I got a bit lost and so had to head downhill several hundred meters to get on the right road again, so the actual vertical climb was quite a bit more than the 2 kilometers.  I also misjudged the amount of time it would take to let gravity pull the bike back to sea level, returning at 7:30pm long after sundown.  A blinking light back and front was a good precaution along with some warm clothing, because even though it can be close to 30 degrees down on the beaches, up near the top the temperatures plunge and the winds are high.

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My favourite trail from last year is even better.  At least it was last week.  All along the way up I was expecting to be passed by the usual convoy of jeeps laden with the package-tourist daytripper set, tongues clucking and heads wagging as they breeze past imagining the difficulties some people put themselves through.  But two hours up the hill there wasn’t even a single car on the road going either up or down.  The reason became clear after rounding a corner to face a rock slide blocking the road as it runs along a cliff.  I suppose word had already spread and the tourists were on another route somewhere, leaving the whole trail and surrounding countryside all to myself.

I keep hearing the word “dangerous” whenever people find out I’ve been mountain biking alone in the volcanic wilds.  Maybe they’re right, but I don’t know if it’s any worse than lolling around on the beach in the pounding sun for hours at a time amid thousands of others all doing the same thing day after day.  Some of them look seriously in need of hospitalisation.


11 Responses to “Gran Canaria biking slideshow”


  1. November 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Wonderful photos, of course. With all that lack of traffic, who did you find to take your photo? It’s great. (Oh – I forgot about technology. You could have taken your own photo.)

    The wildness is wonderful, and since it was Thanksgiving weekend here and people were thinking of things to be thankful for, I suppose we could add that rock slide that kept your path free of the thundering hordes.

    As for dangerous – well. On Thanksgiving morning, in dense fog, there was one of “those” accidents on Interstate 10 east of Houston. Well more than a hundred cars were involved in the chain-reaction, some died and many were hospitalized. Just because you’re heading over the river and through the woods to Grannie’s house (or a Louisiana casino) doesn’t guarantee safety, especially when you’re surrounded by people exercising poor judgment.

    Good to hear you’re getting your new bike frame!

  2. 2 hmunro
    November 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Wow! What beautiful vistas you’ve captured in your photos — though that one shot, over your bike handlebars, gives me the willies. I commend your bravery!

  3. November 27, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Great pictures, nice trails :-)
    Personally I think that yes, biking alone is dangerous. Dangerous because of being alone not because of the biking itself. I hope there was mobile phone reception everywhere.

  4. November 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Great photos! I can’t help but wish I was there though I’m not a bike rider. The image of the circular brick hole made me wonder: What’s the story behind that?

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Ah, TT, the circular brick hole is in a wall on a lookout over the Grand Canyon of Gran Canaria. It’s one of my favourite places – between tour buses. :-)
      Angel, you’ll be happy to know there is cellphone reception even way up in the mountains.
      Linda – I’ll think of airline safety vs driving when it gets really bumpy on the way home.

  5. November 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Wow, sounds and looks fantastic! I’d gladly sacrifice one of Mustafa’s Gemüsekebaps to be cycling around there with you now.

  6. December 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I know I’m not the type of cyclist that enjoys going over stony paths at heights..with no barrier. That’s just me. But kudos for you with beautiful photos, memories and a load of energy burnt off.

    My toughest cycling…is now here with winter Albertan freezer temp. today at -16 C with wind chill of -25 C degrees. I’m going to try for a 14 km. for a delicious creme puff that’s Christams. It’s all I can muster with my face frozen.

    • December 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      I guess you’re still young and tough, Jean! The wimp in me is now out in full force, choosing to take the car over riding the bike to work. Used to be 6 inches of snow wouldn’t slow me down in the least.

      Merry Christmas too you as well. :)

  7. December 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    and Merry Christmas from cold Canada!

  8. December 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Somehow I clicked on your blog – not sure how but when I saw your photos and a bicycle I stayed – and I am pleased I did. Your photos show some beautiful landscape. I used to bicycle everywhere when I lived at home in France. Here (near Atlanta, Ga) it is not easy and dangerous – the SUV drivers own the road. I’ll come back to read more of your posts. Vous dites que vous parlez français? Ici, je ne connais personne ici qui le parle malheureusement.

    • December 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Hello Vagabonde, thanks for your comment and reading my posts. I hope you keep riding despite what sounds like an SUV nightmare. I find it amazing in the States – everyone drives everywhere, and they don’t even build sidewalks so you have the option to walk.

      C’est dommage que vous n’ayez personne avec qui parler francais. Ici en Allemagne, j’essaie de ne pas l’oublier. Je l’ai appris il y a longtemps, c’est une très belle langue.


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