Lanzarote & Wind Speed

kingrollo
kingrollo Posts: 3,198
edited March 2019 in Road general
I am off the lanzarote next week. I went earlier in the year (April) and took a guided tour from papago bikes which was excellent.

This time I want to go out on my my own for a couple of short ride - I am staying playa - blanca - and there seems a nice route up to el golfo and back - about 25 miles.

The only question mark is the wind - yahoo weather is currently showing 16-17 mph winds - and has been for a while - I don't mind this making the ride a bit tougher - but at what MPH does the wind become to dangerous ?

Comments

  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    My personal limit is around 22-25mph. Any higher than that and I'll usually give it a miss. 16-17mph is a 'light' wind for Lanzarote. Direction is important too, as most routes from Playa Blanca involve going north, pretty much...
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Imposter wrote:
    My personal limit is around 22-25mph. Any higher than that and I'll usually give it a miss. 16-17mph is a 'light' wind for Lanzarote. Direction is important too, as most routes from Playa Blanca involve going north, pretty much...

    Cheers - all systems go then !
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    You'll be glad of the wind to keep you cool.

    Last time i rode in Lanza I had a great time until I saw a small road to go to the coast. Downhill so that was nice. What I didn't appreciate was that they'd dropped a few inches of loose gravel on the road and I ploughed into it at speed.

    That was as close to crashing as I've ever come without doing so. So basically go easy if you go off the beaten path. And get medical insurance too.

    Have fun though.
  • I was in Lanzarote in February this year - this thread here has info from myself and others : viewtopic.php?f=40003&t=12927525


    Anyway, wind can be a BIG issue as gets very strong. Some days don't be surprised to see 20-25kts. However, it's predominantly from the N so as you're in Playa Blanca at least you'll have a tail wind home. Enjoy, the roads are great and local drivers very patient (unlike UK at times).
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,200
    kingrollo wrote:
    This time I want to go out on my my own for a couple of short ride - I am staying playa - blanca - and there seems a nice route up to el golfo and back - about 25 miles.

    The only question mark is the wind - yahoo weather is currently showing 16-17 mph winds - and has been for a while - I don't mind this making the ride a bit tougher - but at what MPH does the wind become to dangerous ?

    I was there in January and did the route you are referring to. I left Playa Blanca on the main road out past the salt pools and up to Yaiza, then cut off down to El Golfo and back via the coast road before picking up the main road back to Playa Blanca. It was pleasantly warm but the wind was horrendous, gusting up to 40 mph. The headwind out was very tough but the ride back was a hoot. The real danger comes when the winds are blowing across you, that is really hairy and I would not repeat the experience in winds like that again. The route itself is good, lovely smooth roads and some dramatic scenery albeit some sections are a bit bland. If the wind stays at bay it will be very enjoyable. 16 - 17mph should be fine.
    There is another route up to Femes from Playa Blanca, a long drag up with a fairly steep section at the end. You have the option of continuing down the other side and coming back via Yaiza or enjoying the long descent back to PB - watch those cross winds again though as this is quite a busy/fast road.
    Enjoy!!
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Crescent wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    This time I want to go out on my my own for a couple of short ride - I am staying playa - blanca - and there seems a nice route up to el golfo and back - about 25 miles.

    The only question mark is the wind - yahoo weather is currently showing 16-17 mph winds - and has been for a while - I don't mind this making the ride a bit tougher - but at what MPH does the wind become to dangerous ?

    I was there in January and did the route you are referring to. I left Playa Blanca on the main road out past the salt pools and up to Yaiza, then cut off down to El Golfo and back via the coast road before picking up the main road back to Playa Blanca. It was pleasantly warm but the wind was horrendous, gusting up to 40 mph. The headwind out was very tough but the ride back was a hoot. The real danger comes when the winds are blowing across you, that is really hairy and I would not repeat the experience in winds like that again. The route itself is good, lovely smooth roads and some dramatic scenery albeit some sections are a bit bland. If the wind stays at bay it will be very enjoyable. 16 - 17mph should be fine.
    There is another route up to Femes from Playa Blanca, a long drag up with a fairly steep section at the end. You have the option of continuing down the other side and coming back via Yaiza or enjoying the long descent back to PB - watch those cross winds again though as this is quite a busy/fast road.
    Enjoy!!

    Isn't the femes climb the one that ramps up to 29% !!!!!

    I only want to keep my fitness ticking over for a sportive at the end of the month

    With regards to wind - is there a best\worst time to be out - my plan at the moment to head out fairly early...
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,200
    kingrollo wrote:
    Crescent wrote:
    kingrollo wrote:
    This time I want to go out on my my own for a couple of short ride - I am staying playa - blanca - and there seems a nice route up to el golfo and back - about 25 miles.

    The only question mark is the wind - yahoo weather is currently showing 16-17 mph winds - and has been for a while - I don't mind this making the ride a bit tougher - but at what MPH does the wind become to dangerous ?

    I was there in January and did the route you are referring to. I left Playa Blanca on the main road out past the salt pools and up to Yaiza, then cut off down to El Golfo and back via the coast road before picking up the main road back to Playa Blanca. It was pleasantly warm but the wind was horrendous, gusting up to 40 mph. The headwind out was very tough but the ride back was a hoot. The real danger comes when the winds are blowing across you, that is really hairy and I would not repeat the experience in winds like that again. The route itself is good, lovely smooth roads and some dramatic scenery albeit some sections are a bit bland. If the wind stays at bay it will be very enjoyable. 16 - 17mph should be fine.
    There is another route up to Femes from Playa Blanca, a long drag up with a fairly steep section at the end. You have the option of continuing down the other side and coming back via Yaiza or enjoying the long descent back to PB - watch those cross winds again though as this is quite a busy/fast road.
    Enjoy!!

    Isn't the femes climb the one that ramps up to 29% !!!!!

    I only want to keep my fitness ticking over for a sportive at the end of the month

    With regards to wind - is there a best\worst time to be out - my plan at the moment to head out fairly early...

    I can't remember the exact gradient but it is steep - 29% sounds possible. It's fairly short though. I don't think the time of day makes much difference as far as wind speed goes, just your luck on the day I think. There are some really nice roads around Tamanfaya national park as well but might be a bit far out if you are just looking for a 25m circuit from P Blanca.
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Anybody recommend a decent map for navigating around lanzarote ?
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,200
    kingrollo wrote:
    Anybody recommend a decent map for navigating around lanzarote ?

    If you are just staying around Playa Blanca I'd suggest you probably won't need one. There are only a few roads in the area and they are well sign posted. If you have a look at Google maps or similar you'll see what I mean. The routes mentioned generally follow the main roads and there aren't many options for leaving them. It was one of the criticisms I had of Lanzarote the first time I visted: several of the minor roads just seem to come to an end as if they gave up or ran out of money.
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • All bike shops, hire places, resorts etc have tourist maps which will be good enough for general navigation. They won't have all minor roads but be good enough to get you to destination and home again.
  • Try Windfinder for more detailed forecasts too

    https://www.windfinder.com/#10/28.8705/-13.8263
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    Try Windfinder for more detailed forecasts too

    https://www.windfinder.com/#10/28.8705/-13.8263

    Wow - thats brilliant thank you very much.
  • Try Windfinder for more detailed forecasts too

    https://www.windfinder.com/#10/28.8705/-13.8263

    I wouldn't rely on it too much, wind invariably stronger than forecasts especially in Canaries(I know from personal experience with regards to surfing conditions).
  • Try Windfinder for more detailed forecasts too

    https://www.windfinder.com/#10/28.8705/-13.8263

    I wouldn't rely on it too much, wind invariably stronger than forecasts especially in Canaries(I know from personal experience with regards to surfing conditions).
    I don't know where their data comes from, but its a useful site in my experience. I row somewhere rather sketchy (exposed, quite remote, no phone signal) and I use it a lot to decide whether I should head out. It is no worse than BBC or MET office.
  • Try Windfinder for more detailed forecasts too

    https://www.windfinder.com/#10/28.8705/-13.8263

    I wouldn't rely on it too much, wind invariably stronger than forecasts especially in Canaries(I know from personal experience with regards to surfing conditions).

    Likewise Cape Town :lol:
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,306
    i ride there often and with 47-ish mm rims, once you are used to it the 'average' wind really is not a problem, it's rarely bad enough that i won't go for a ride, but on really windy days i'll avoid routes i know are exposed

    i tend to head out as soon as it's light, there's less traffic (especially tourists in rental cars who are sometimes not such good drivers as the locals)

    where the wind is more likely to be tricky is on twisty descents or as the wind is funnelled by buildings/landscape, large+fast vehicles can have an effect too but drivers usually give plenty of room

    as above, staying in playa blanca means there's usually a tailwind coming home

    as you are looking for shorter routes out of pb, i suggest...

    1 - the road lz-701 (aka cyclists' road) up to the roundabout is a bit dull, at the roundabout there's the branch through los hervideros to the junction for el golfo, but i prefer it in the other direction so usually go straight ahead to yaiza then up over timanfaya, from there you can do a loop back via the lz-56/lz-20, with the typical tailwind you'll be able to maintain high speeds on the swoopy sections of lz-20, it's fun

    at the roundabout with the camels you have the option of going back through yaiza or going up over femes the easy way, be careful on the steep descent from femes to the roundabout (don't stray onto the picon on the outside of the roundabout!) from there either take the main road down to playa blanca or the other exit up and over which will eventually get you back to the roundabout on lz-701

    2 - the other way out of playa blanca is to head up over femes in the steep direction, the final bit from the roundabout to femes is about 800m, i think max gradient is maybe 20% on the top section before the hairpin (the inside of the top hairpin is crazily steep, but that's for oncoming traffic), once over there's a rolling bit then a nice twisty descent to the camel roundabout, from there i'd go straight across and climb up, reversing the route via lz-20/lz-56 above

    for a longer ride, the long climb up to the hairpins above haria is good, once at the bottom, have a coffee and cake, then climb back over

    this site has routes/images https://www.cyclinglocations.com/lanzarote/
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    No cycling signs have appeared on the Femes climb out of Playa Blanca, if obeyed, that makes Playa an extremely unattractive destination if you want to go to Lanzarote for a cycling holiday.
    https://www.lancelotdigital.com/lanzaro ... K32jOQ4gQQ
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,801
    Don’t trust Yahoo weather (it’s the equivalent of Strava watts) and nobody can predict accurate wind speed, let alone general weather, any more than about 5 days ahead. Even that’s a stretch with the Jetstream in its current state.

    Use something like forecast.co.uk, netweather.tv and Pippi’s suggested Windfinder - we have all three on a 42”screen above my head as I type this.

    https://www.forecast.co.uk/aeropuerto-d ... e-ace.html
    https://www.netweather.tv/weather-forec ... /Lanzarote

    Tip of the day - for anyone riding in the UK it’s well worth putting the Netweather Storm Radar app on your phone. Best bit of weather tech you can get for free. You can also get a bigger version here:

    https://www.netweather.tv/live-weather/radar
  • max1234
    max1234 Posts: 71
    The no cycling signs are bad news as i am going to Playa Blanca next week. The Strava Femes segment is showing activity in March so hopefully the ban is not being taken too seriously.
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    max1234 wrote:
    The no cycling signs are bad news as i am going to Playa Blanca next week. The Strava Femes segment is showing activity in March so hopefully the ban is not being taken too seriously.

    I am going end of April - playa blanca - let me know what the situation is.

    I must admit I am very surprised at this - only last year playa blanca seemed to welcome cyclists with open arms - loads of cyclists which must bring in year round revenue ......or did...
  • Alejandrosdog
    Alejandrosdog Posts: 1,975
    kingrollo wrote:
    max1234 wrote:
    The no cycling signs are bad news as i am going to Playa Blanca next week. The Strava Femes segment is showing activity in March so hopefully the ban is not being taken too seriously.

    I am going end of April - playa blanca - let me know what the situation is.

    I must admit I am very surprised at this - only last year playa blanca seemed to welcome cyclists with open arms - loads of cyclists which must bring in year round revenue ......or did...

    i hope this is all tosh becuase thats the best way out of playa blanca, the superfast smooth wind behind you main road back is def the best way back.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    max1234 wrote:
    The no cycling signs are bad news as i am going to Playa Blanca next week. The Strava Femes segment is showing activity in March so hopefully the ban is not being taken too seriously.

    I'd say the problem isn't being caught by the authorities, it's drivers feeling empowered to give you a hard time if they see you riding it.
  • max1234
    max1234 Posts: 71
    I think you're right about possible agro from drivers. Does anyone know if there is much else worth doing near Playa Blanca? I'm going for a family holiday and will only have time for rides of about 40 miles, but do want hills.
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    max1234 wrote:
    I think you're right about possible agro from drivers. Does anyone know if there is much else worth doing near Playa Blanca? I'm going for a family holiday and will only have time for rides of about 40 miles, but do want hills.

    Look at Roys bike hire website. - they have some routes on their website.
  • crescent
    crescent Posts: 1,200
    The Femes road is only one route out of PB, although admittedly there are only really two routes. The other road out towards the salt pools can take you to El Golfo on the coast or up towards Yaiza and Uga, these are basically hubs where you can access roads to the rest of the island. Just look for the roundabout with the camels on it and you can head out to the Timanfaya national park on the LZ67 which is a fantastic road.
    Bianchi ImpulsoBMC Teammachine SLR02 01Trek Domane AL3“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • perfectmark
    perfectmark Posts: 117
    I was just out there and had a great time cycling. I was a bit nervous about the winds too, but you really welcome them when it is hot (don't think it went about 20mph when I was there though). I found an app called Komoot which had a free cycling map of the area you can download. There are also lots of routes on their website which you can download to your phone and then leave in your backpack with voice navigation turned on.
    https://www.komoot.com/guide/827/road-c ... -lanzarote
  • ricky_h-2
    ricky_h-2 Posts: 119
    It's been a while since I last cycled over there and would echo the comments about wind, especially when descending in gusty conditions, youi mght need to ride with an extra pair of clean pair of bib shorts....
    The other problem with riding there is it is popular with Brits, who when abroad, drive like Brits.... So if you ignore a no cycling sign, you could find a punishment pass is headed your way courtesy of some "colonial gammon" who feels entitled to share his wisdom with someone on a bike overseas.
    The only problems with drivers over there always seemed to be the hire cars.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Ricky h wrote:
    The only problems with drivers over there always seemed to be the hire cars.

    This has been my experience too. Local drivers (including the buses/lorries) always seem to give you a huge amount of room - and the only close pass I had when I was out there was from a hire car. No idea if it was a Brit, but I would have happily put a fiver on it...
  • max1234
    max1234 Posts: 71
    I did three rides there last week and as others have said the roads are great and the drivers very considerate, but constant 20mph winds make going out of Playa Blanca difficult. The ride back is fun though!
    The signs on the Femes climb only apply to the last section after the Maciot roundabout. I did it once anyway when it wasn't busy. One car slowed down and told me there was a no cycling sign but other than that no problems.
    I was told the plan is to build a cycle lane on the side but not to expect that any time soon. The road is not especially narrow so I don't see that cycling causes too much disruption. Big groups would be different.