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Gran Canaria - best routes??

rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
edited April 2012 in Tour & expedition
I'm due to do a week in Gran Canaria at Easter and the pics I've seen of the roads look great. I've got a road map of the island and I'm starting to plan out some routes - does anyone have any specific tips on where to ride or roads not to miss?

Posts

  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Also, I'm guessing a gilet is a good idea to pack for the descents? I've heard wind can be quite strong there
  • bikergirl17bikergirl17 Posts: 344
    check out the freemotion web site http://free-motion.net/ as the store has posted routes for all of the major rides (and also does group rides daily). depending on where you are staying, in my view the can't miss ride is going along the coast to puerto morgan, turning up to mogan and taking that pass (touro pass). climb up and over to soria and back down (right). alternatively, you can do it in reverse, climbing soria and going up and over.

    basically there are two main roads, and most rides are extensions off those. and be very aware of cars; there isn't much traffic but they're not the most cycle-respecting.
    also check out the archives on www.sportivecentral.com, as someone posted about a few of the more challenging rides.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Brilliant! I'd already booked my bike hire through Freemotion but didn't see they had routes on their site.
  • If your visiting Gran Canaria, one company I reccomend is Cycling Included.

    Cycling Included run cycle tours from Maspalomas Gran Canaria, more information can be found on thier site.

    I have used thier services many times and have kept a good relationship with them. I would reccomend them to anybody.

    http://www.adventureholidayspain.com/page/cycling/

    At what level are you riding?
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Hard to say - I can do 100 miles pretty ok, but not sure how I'd fair with several days in a row of 50-60 miles.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    where are you staying?

    I've ridden lots from Maspolomas on Freemotion routes and also the Pt Mogan area - can share some routes if that is where you'll be? Basically head into the centre of the island and climb those beautiful mountains or round the boring flat windy roads round the coast ;)
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Yes, Maspalomas/Playa area.

    How's the traffic/driver attitudes?
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    v good on quiet roads, except the Brit tourists in hire cars of course, but the lorries on the main ring road around the island can be busy. Generally 10x better than the UK.

    Be aware that the standard of typical riders on the long Freemotion rides is very high - all european mountain goats when I was there, and made for hard rides! The high point on the island is about 2200m and you start from sea level, so those climbs are longer than many Alp or Pyrenees climbs, although generally less steep. Personally I love the riding out there - superb roads and stunning views!
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'll be using Freemotion's routes, but will be cycling on my own, so I don't intend keeping up with anyone (thank God!)
  • hjghg5hjghg5 Posts: 97
    My parents live over there and I've done a bit of cycling (although I'm censored at climbing so stay away from the proper mountain stuff). Going inland is the best starting point - from Playa the Fataga road is the obvious choice or down the coast road to Arguineguin and inland along the Soria road. I wouldn't cycle along the coast road between Puerto Rico and Puerto Mogan - plenty of people do, but it's the main road at that point (further north there is a motorway as well as the coast road so the coast road is quieter) and there's not much margin for error. The road up via Santa Lucia is also pretty popular - from Playa you'd go north to Vecindario before heading inland, then probably back via Fataga.

    I've always used Happy Biking rather than Freemotion - their website is a bit less flashy but they're lovely people whereas Freemotion have always seemed a bit eliteist to me - if you're not a harcore cyclist they're not interested.
  • hjghg5hjghg5 Posts: 97
    For a short route (but still with some decent climb) the Monte Leon route is a nice one, dead easy to navigate - as well as the instructions on websites it's marked with roadsigns.
  • langbarlangbar Posts: 3
    Hi, I'm just back from a very enjoyable week's cycling in Gran Canaria. We stayed just outside of Maspalomas and so were able to do a number of the routes on the Free Motion site plus some of our own. I've jotted down some thoughts below:
    • The quality of roads was variable with some perfect black smooth tarmac and some much rougher roads often on the same route - no potholes though.
    • To save on carrying a large map we used the the free map being handed out at the airport. This was OK but it was hard to determine which were sufaced roads and which were tracks, in fact this was even the case for the better maps we had. This was only an issue when we were exploring on our own, it wasn't a problem when following known routes.
    • Generally drivers were very courteus especially on the mountain roads - the coast road was very busy though especially toward Playa de Mogan which we didn't enjoy much.
    • For us the most scenic area was north of San Bartolome, we really enjoyed the cycling around this area. Of all the routes we did I think we most enjoyed the Presa de Las Ninas route. A really excellent day's cycling.
    • If you do this route it's worth making the short detour to Soria as there is a decent cafe there to get something to drink and eat. Also I'd recommend doing the route anti-clockwise as I think the climb out of El Baranquillo would be quite tough.
    • We did a climb out of Ingenio to Pico de las Nieves which I think is the hardest single climb I've ever done, there's a 5 mile section around Pasadilla which never seemd to drop below 15%.
    • If you have a car it's worth going up to the north for different scenery. We did a really nice short ride from Teror via Vallesco, towards Artenara and then over the GC150 to Cruz de Tejeda and Vega de San Mateo. Really nice views all the way and Teror is a nice little town.
    • If you decide to drive back from the north around the north west coast it's a very spectacular road but it's best to have a lot of time and not have a nervous passenger!
    • The dunes at Maspalomas are fun to wander round on a rest day but if you find yourself wandering through the naturist area but you may see some sites you wish you hadn't :shock:
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Good tips - thanks very much!
  • bikergirl17bikergirl17 Posts: 344
    to the point on the coastal road to port morgan; done it several times and don't consider it bad traffic wise. and if you don't do it, you will miss two good rides (soria or tauro pass). i would, however, be careful on that same road on the maspalomas - las palmas route. it is largely flat, which is a nice change -- but the drivers don't expect or look for cyclists (although admittedly that isn't much different than london!) -- but i was hit hard by a car, which wasn't fun.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm off to GC tomorrow so we'll see how all this turns out!
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