El Medano and a visit down memory lane.
As is the case everyday I woke up around 9 am to do my morning stretching before breakfast. I found that this warms up my body, and this helps me, especially when the road starts going up immediately. Yesterday evening I decided today was going to be a ride along the coastline towards El Medano. In doing so I would also get to see the airport from the other side. As I haven't really seen it, since I've arrived.
The route selected was a nice road that leads through all the coast villages and city's along the way.
Somehow the legs felt amazing today. Something I didn't expect after 3 hard days. But nevertheless, progress was fast and easy, despite some hilly villages and coast roads. 40 minutes into my journey I came across Karting club Tenerife. Not many people now this, but before I became a fanatic cyclist I was a racing driver. Starting with go karts when I was online 9 and ended up being many times champion. Even winning an European championship in Germany. So, in seeing the young kids starting their first laps made me think about the olden days of spending every weekend on the race track. Learning and having fun along the way.
Surfers, Kerosene smells and pigeons.
After about 24 kilometers I reached Los Abrigos, which meant I was now driving right behind the airport. The road between Los Abrigos and El Medano sits right between the sea and the airport strip. A weird combination. Riding in between the two you get the many surfers on one side, combined with the smell of kerosene. Not many planes take off and land on this airport but I was lucky to see a few. My grandpa was a plane enthusiast and he and I would always try to tell which type of plane passed through the sky. I'm not a huge believer of greater things, but my grandpa always kept pigeons. On his funeral we freed pigeons, as a symbol to release his soul. Like is said, not a big believer, but nevertheless, there have been pigeons close to me every time I stopped somewhere. That shows me that my grandpa is always there protecting me and watching over me.
El medano - San Miguel via Granadilla.
Enough with the sentiment. In reaching El Medano I reached sea level and then made my ascent back up towards Granadilla.
A couple of days ago I did the climb to Vilaflor from Granadilla and from Arona, but there is a third way to getting up there. And that's via a small town called San Miguel. No, not the beer, but a town. The climb then takes about 12 kilometers, with an average gradient of 9%. But to get there I first have to go all the way up to Granadilla. The road up there isn't spectacular. Very busy, and very straight forward. Reaching Granadilla I stopped at a gas station to fill up with water.
Riding up to Vilaflor with Ag2r la Mondial.
As I leave the gas station i'm overtaken by a few Ag2r la Mondial pro cyclists. This is one of the few teams I don't really know, so i'm sorry, can't tell you any names. But I can tell you that two of them were climbers and the other two not so much. The two climbers barely weight in around 60 kilograms. They were kind enough to let me tag along, and more convenient, they also were going from San Miguel towards Vilaflor. As we started the climb from San Miguel everything was going great. Beautiful day, some pro's to train with, and nice conversations about upcoming races. The first part of this climb the gradient is about 7-8%. I'm pushing 260watts and am still able to talk to the guys. We kept riding this pace for about 9 kilometers, with occasionally the gradient topping 11%. After 9 kilometers on this beautful road everything turned for the worse. Not the view, not the company, but the pace and the gradient. Suddenly the gradient stays around 14% and after a good 800 meters of me trying everything I can to hold on, I had to sit down and pace myself. I kept riding together with two of them, but the climbers race away together. Nothing to be shamed about I know, but my ego hurts a little at this point. The only consolation is seeing the face of the other two guys. They were also in some serious pain. At that point my ego turned good again.
In reaching Vilaflor we shook hands and I wished them the best of luck with the upcoming races. They took the descent towards Granadilla and I was set on doing the beautiful descent to Arona again. In trying to be clever i selected a different route tha the Garmin said, and I ended up being lost in the woods somewhere. Mind you, there are worse places to get lost.
After staying there for a while to take in environment, I desided the best thing to do was to go back to the main road and take the "normal"descent to Arona. In the descent I overtook a few cars and myself was joined by some motorcyclist. They were in for some fun. "Let's do it". On the straight i'm no match for them, but in the corners I can close the gap. Great fun, and be assured, it was all safe. No craziness. In reaching Playa de Las Americas we both went on different ways. And after a couple of meters I wished I had a motorcycle. The last part of my journey turned out to be a tough one. Going up and down, isn't as much fun when the legs are tired. But all in all, I had another great day on this amazing island. Tomorrow I won't be on the bike. It's my well deserved rest day. I'm going hiking on the island of La Gometa. I will tell you all about it tomorrow.
Thank you for reading my story today, and i'll write to you tomorrow. Please feel free to leave a comment.