In November myself and a group of cycling enthusiast friends and family headed to Tenerife for a week cycling with “Tenerife Bike Training”, a company owned by two cycling fanatical brothers, Marcos and Alberto Delgado.
Having only ever visited Tenerife for a beach holiday 10 years ago, it was news to me that the Island was dominated by a volcano positioned right in the middle of it - Mount Teide (3,700m), the highest mountain in Spain.
I had been warned – when cycling in Tenerife, you’re either going up or down! And that was no lie. In just 22 miles, you can ride from zero to 2,350m.
Despite being one of the more inexperienced riders in the group, the Island was ideal for amateur folk like me. The roads away from the coast were quiet, well maintained and the gradients were less steep than a lot of UK hills.
One of the drawbacks to cycling in Scotland, is the state of the roads. Potholes are particularly dangerous to cyclists. The conditions of the roads in Tenerife were a lot better. The roads were smooth and perfect for cycling. No potholes and no punctures!
Another notable benefit was the level of co-operation between the drivers and cyclists. Drivers would wait patiently behind a group of cyclists before being signalled to over-take. In turn, cyclists would avoid riding side-by-side on narrower roads and cycle in smaller groups to allow drivers space to over-take.
The friendly short beep of a horn from a grateful driver was a welcome change to the angry long blast of a horn I’ve experienced in the UK. More co-operation between road users equals less frustration and safer roads.
The climate also makes Tenerife the perfect winter cycling destination. Even in November, the temperature was reaching 25c. The island is relatively small with a road circumference of around 223 miles. The scenery is incredibly varied. The north of the island is wetter and greener whilst the south is dryer and more barren. On the plateau at the top of Teide due to the volcanic lava flows, the topography is what I would image Mars to be like.
The Tenerife Bike Training tour covered 6 days of cycling with 3 ascents up to the famous Mount Teide at 2,350m. Overall, we clocked around 300 miles and almost 10,000 metres of climbing. The trip to the vineyard and the home cooked Paella by Mama Delgado, were highlights not to be missed!
Tenerife Bike Tours run a very tight ship. They have support vans carrying spare clothes, snacks and fluids along with tour guides assisting on bikes. Their success is evident from the volume of cyclists who return to their tours year after year. The beautiful views, the sense of achievement and the camaraderie between the group made for the most fantastic trip and I’ll certainly be back.