Cycling in Tenerife highlands

Last weekend I went to explore how the cycling feels like on altitudes between 1000 and 2300 m.

Saturday, La Esperanza

A beautiful coniferous forest is located right after La Esperaza village.

Most visitors don’t go however more than 100 m away from the parking area.

It was a sunny day, but exactly at 1050 m there were some striking clouds.

I went a little bit up and it was sunny again. The forest is full of dirt roads and various trails.

The slope is mostly covered with forest, but there are some random sports, where it’s possible to look down.

Perhaps due to the proximity of the parking area, some trails are marked with “no cycling” signs. I believe that it’s mostly to avoid conflicts between cyclists and walkers (which wasn’t an issue at all during my visit, there very only few walkers). Some trails are tricky too and good skills are needed to cycle on them. (I don’t have such skills and walked the bike in the scariest places).

In a few places some local activists took out the red line, making “no cycling” sign to look like “cycling allowed” :) Well, some trails look quite tempting indeed, but I wouldn’t recommend them anyway when there are a lot of walkers in the forest (does it ever happen?).

One more look down and on the road again.

The road goes up for around 300 height meters and it’s very spectacular.

A place like this can be found in every country, I guess. It seems that power lines attract trails in some way :)

And then I saw the sky. What an unusual color! It’s not Photoshop or my camera’s tricks, I swear.

There is a bar with tasty bocadillos in Las Lagunetas, where a lot of mountain bikers can be seen. It was nice to meet some like-minded people!

The northern slope was not so scenic in my opinion, but perhaps I was just tired. But it’s more wild, which means that trails are not regulated and there are plenty of them.

I arrived back to the starting point a half of hour before sunset and, even being hungry and tired, went for a little loop again and I was rewarded with this view to Anaga mountains and another one to Santa Cruz.

And a full moon on the way back home!

* * *

Sunday, Izaña

There are not so many ways to reach El Teide volcano and most of them will pass through the point called El Portillo. A good restaurant is located there, full of motorcyclists and other travelers.

During the lunch you can entertain yourself counting hikers, who are going around Montaña de Guamaso (2152 m) or cyclists, going up and down on the TF-24 road.

It was +13 in the highlands. But the landscapes were rewarding! I was really eager for something like this. Sorry, forest, you are nice too, but this kind of landscape is something that is worth covering thousands of kilometers.

Come on, why? :(

Well, I didn’t have anything else to do that to look for another road or trail to start with. I found a trail with no restrictions for cycling after few kilometers.

The trail was super cool and the view to El Teide too, but soon I understood that maybe they just forgot to put “no cycling” sign there. The soil became sandy occasionally and the vegetation looked quite fragile. I stopped cycling and walked the bike and then just carried it on my shoulder.

Fortunately after a short time a road began and it looked like that this time I am definitely out of the national park area.

I’ve never seen something like this before. Lava formations are just amazing!

The road went up a little bit and then gradually down for around 300 meters. I’ve seen a pair of off-road vehicle drivers in the beginning and nobody after that for the second half of the day. What a solitary place!

The good road goes further down, which I couldn’t afford, having only 2 hours left until the darkness. I went up, using another road, which was hard not only to cycle, but even to walk on :)

As I went up, the dense forest changed gradually to the solitary trees and then to small bushes. It’s fascinating to follow this transformation.

Higher than 2200 m again. What a severe and beautiful landscape! It’s not possible to cycle in almost all of the area in this picture, but I’d like to come back there to hike.

I don’t really need to say “bye” to El Teide, because it can be seen from so many places on the island. Actually I see it even during my daily routine to go and buy some fresh baking.

Awesome places, undoubtedly. But I can’t help thinking that cycling here in Tenerife is a bit like in a sandbox. Distances are short, altitudes are huge. I barely ride 30 km in a day (which is nothing, compared with the usual 80-100), basically making loops around the starting point, climbing up and going down.

It’s hard to imagine any lengthy road here (without lots of cars), to have this pleasant and familiar feeling of movement from A to B. Cycling is very different here and I’ll learn to love it too. Hopefully my next home will be closer to the trails (but father from the ocean, what a pity that it’s impossible to combine both).

  1. Tanja says:

    Wohooo! Me gusta!!! *kateellinen

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