"Sometimes Garmin doesn't have a clue."
Sometimes things just don't go as planned. Today was supposed to be an easy recon day. But it quickly turned into a 58 kilometer ascent to El Teide.
The day started by getting some essential groceries. Pasta's, bread, tuna, Nutella, and the most important thing: Coffee. There is a supermarket close by and everyone is very helpful there. Also compliments to my apartment. A 3 room king size apartment is more than I need but it's nice to be able to put my bikes in separate rooms, if they get into a fight.
After breakfast I got ready for my recon day on the bike. Pumped my tires up and got on my way. The weather wasn't particularly good today, only 22 degrees Celsius but it still beats the 6 degrees they got back in Holland today. I selected a 85 kilometer route towards the most northern point of the island. On the map it showed a 1200 meter ascent but no heavy percentages. After a few kilometers I realized something important: "Sometimes Garmin hasn't got a clue about the environment." After only 8 kilometers I had already climbed to 564 meters and was still climbing. Also, the gradients, are not what it seemed to be because after about 18 kilometers I passed through a small beautiful village, only to make a right turn onto a 35% incline. Luckily after a few hundred meters it got better. 18%. Alright, enough bitching on Garmin. What was the route like? Simply said: "Brilliant". Small roads, tiny villages with amazing friendly people cheering you on, loads of switchbacks and great new asphalt.
24 kilometers into the ride, I was on 1145 meters altitude. Garmin told me to turn right onto the TF21 which leads to El Teide. Then it wanted me to turn left, but there was no road there. I love cycle cross and don't mind some gravel riding with my bike, but turning left into a lava field, didn't really seemed to be the best idea at the time. At least, not on the first day.
This is when I decided to push on towards the top of El Teide. And i'm so glad I did. What a stunning road. Well, not the road, because that was terrible. But the scenery just kept changing and kept getting better. As I mentioned before it was very cloudy, but at 1450 meters altitude I climbed into the clouds, to submerge out of them at 1600 meters altitude. And the reward was an amazing view with a sort of snow blanket on top of Tenerife. And in the background, El Teide.
"Just like Ironman Hawaii."
In the following kilometers the scenery changed once again, from a beautiful forest road into a scene from Ironman Hawaii. There is just something amazing about riding through the lava fields. The smell, the wind and especially the temperature. The lava rocks are amazing at holding sun warmth. Also, I have to mention the car & bus drivers one Tenerife. They are very patient and drive very safe around cyclists.
After 59 kilometers of mostly ascending, I reached the highest reachable point on this side of the volcano. I stopped at a restaurant for some water & a Coca Cola. Then I went on my long way back. Luckily it's mostly downhill. But there are a few uphill bits as well, and they turned out to be very hard at the end of such a long day. I reached the hotel after spending almost 6 hours on the bike.
Recovery starts immediately after I got into my apartment. Because tomorrow is another cycling day. So the Etixx recovery shake it is. And after that a chocolate milk. Creating some dinner while talking to my girl at home. Cycling adventures are amazing, but I'ts hard leaving your girl at home. Whilst enjoying dinner and writing to you all, the entertainment team is having a kids disco.
Thank you for reading my story today and I'll write to you tomorrow. And please feel free to leave a comment. D.L.