With a little more climbing planned for today and a valuable lesson learned on the nutrition front after a tough 10km end to a section the day before into Teguise we set out at 9.15. Two water bottles, 550ml water, 700ml with a high 5 tablet, 2 gels, 1 protein bar and peanut butter and banana sandwich and we’re off. With Club La Santa being on the coast the day begins with a 10k climb to Teguise, mostly on the Big ring except the little section past restaurants Mezza Luna. Although 10k sounds tough its not too steep and warms up the legs nicely, the group naturally splits with Gav, Kev and Kenny all sharing the work. Turning left and we are met with a poker straight Road to Tiagua which offers fabulous chain gang practice with smooth surfaces and no potholes. With it being day 3 we are now masters of peeling out to allow the lead to be taken over either just as the wind has an impact or at the bottom of an incline, pleasantries are always exchanged during these transitions!
Through Morgaza and Tao and we tap a steady pace out and up to Teguise, Kenny deciding to drop back while Kev gives Gav and me a row as we stop and wait for him at the top in the town, and subsequently disappears left at the roundabout to begin the climb to Los Nievos leaving us to play catchup.
The first real climb of the day and Kev is the first target after taking a jump on us in Teguise, a couple of km up the road and we have him and and get a short tow and chastise him for waiting on us…
The wind defines the effort on many of the cycles and while there are a few switchbacks, these break up a number of straight climbs, are they always into a headwind? The windmills give us a target and we duly pass them and the military/radar station and we are there.
A familiar face and cheery smile meets us at the top, the ill Jason has beaten us to the top, a quick drink and a nibble of the sandwich and we set off down towards Haria, departure timed to give Kev little rest.
The descent into Haria has numerous switchbacks, several hewn out of the rock, Jason is always just around the the next corner showing impressive bike skills, we soon catch a car and a passing opportunity presents itself, Kev first and despite the drivers best attempts me a corner or two later, zipping past (at least in my mind) and accelerating away.
We pass the junction at the top of our next climb, Tabayesco and descend into the white washed picturesque village of Haria hot on the heals of Jason who is but a dot below.
The next section is fabulous wide roads with sweeping “no brake” bends where Kev has a technical and his chain jumps and I pass him momentarily, a shout for behind let’s me know he’s coming through in the inside, there will be some impressive free wheeling stats for this section. We pull in at the garage at the foot of the hill for Kev to sort his chain and Jason let’s us catchup, I take another bite or two of my sandwich and some water to steel myself for the Tabayesco climb.
We turn right after a kilometre are are met by another group readying themselves for the 10k climb back up to Los nievos, we are straight into the ascent and a headwind, fortunately it eases as the hill protects ups. Gav’s on my wheel and with the knowledge of what’s in front of us from the previous day we commit to no photo stop before the top. We pass a few hardly souls on the way up but also watch in awe as one cyclist powers past us in an impressively big gear. The views back to coast are stunning and there are numerous small farms giving a target to aim for all the way up. There is a brief respite near the half way point where the road levels out before a short climb to the aforementioned junction. Onwards and upwards and we’re soon back at the top, Los nievos.
A quick drink and a gel and set off on the descent back to Teguise and our lunch stop, other than a couple of sharp corners we whizz downwards, the signpost says 4k to Teguise and the newly named “unnecessary hill” tests the thighs, my gel kicks in and Gav drops back a little and race for Cafe Cejas, the incredibly good value cafe from yesterday. And, as if prearranged, Adrienne and Andy are pouring over a map next to the church and we lunch together.We are just polishing off our cake when Sally and Susan appear with big grins, we swap superlatives and leave Sally capturing every moment of Susan’s day on her iPhone like a proud parent.
The road home begins with a chilly couple of kilometres downhill, a right at the roundabout and another straight towards Femara, and with Kev’s “no wait” policy, Gav and I swap places at the bottom of each small incline all the way to Femara. The final stretch turns us back into the wind and we agree a kilometre each strategy to Soo, past the surprisingly populated Ghost Town and swing back into Club La Santa.
I’ll leave the stats to the Strava gurus, but suffice to say this is a spectacular ride with varying landscapes, views, climbs and descents.