Fixed gear bike packing in Tenerife

Posted by Megan Owen on

Loyal customers will recognise today's blogger as Restrap's very own Jade Field. If you've bought a bag, chances are she had a hand in it.  Jade shares her recent (very hot and hilly) trip,  fixed gear bike packing in the mountains of Tenerife. 

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In search of hot weather, cold beers and insane climbs, we set off to Tenerife for a week of fixed gear bike packing. Despite a lot of things going wrong in the first few days - stripping the threads of a seat post clamp, a hostel turning out to be closed down etc, we had a fantastic time, and I would definitely recommend Tenerife for cycle touring.

Last year we did Majorca, and loved doing the Sa Colabra and the climb up to Soller, so were after more of the same. Tenerife is less popular for cyclists (this will change soon!) and is on a whole other level; climbs are far longer, much steeper, and the landscape is just incredible. Cycling along the top of the volcano is like being on a different planet.


Armed with our own bikes (Thanks Jet2!) and everything we needed in our Restrap saddle bags, we decided on touring a loop round the island, hitting up most of the major climbs, and had planned to do the longest continuous ascent in Europe - TF-64/TF-21 from sea level to the crater of the volcano on the last day.

We ended up sacking this off when it reached 37°C by 11am and we realised it was too hot for that amount of climbing, instead opting for dropping down to the beach and going swimming!

Highlights of the trip include cycling along the top of the volcano crater, through fields of lava, with the volcano towering over us, the TF-12 - a climb from beach front to 3000ft including hairpins winding along and around the mountains, up through humid forests and cloud - a climb which other half Jim has crowned his favourite ever.

And also the TF-436 from Buenavista del Norte to Santiago del Teide, another climb which snakes up around the mountain, before dropping down to Masca, then climbing again, getting much steeper, as the twists and turns of the road can be seen for miles below you.

The incredible thing about Tenerife is the difference in scenery you encounter. Each day felt like two or three days as we set off from dry, desert like regions, climbed up through pine forests and humid greenery, before being spat out onto volcanic rock.

The north of the island was cooler, much greener, and we cycled for miles inside clouds, being able to see the water vapour being blown down the mountain. The south of the island was dry, sandy and covered in cacti, much hotter and with awesome rock formations everywhere.

Up on the volcano crater it was a moonscape of different rocks, green, blue, and black, and unlike anywhere I have been before. All of this in one day's riding was amazing.

 

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