Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vilaflor Up-Down Ride ... with a Motor !

Beautiful late afternoon, not a cloud in the sky, so Anna and I decided to go up to Vilaflor and do a circular ride that she 'pioneered' a few weeks ago. It starts from our usual spot, but instead of taking the 'motorway' main track, you climb up the road for twenty minutes, then turn off towards Teide onto quite a rough track for another forty minutes of tough off-road climbing, and then fourty-five minutes of rocky, loose downhill takes you back down to the main track, and back to the car.

To be honest, the thought of slogging for an hour uphill with my dodgy knees didn't really appeal to me, so I decided to do it on Nikki's electric mountain bike (a Focus Jarifa Pro). Anna is in her element slogging uphill, so she wasn't bothered.

I the end it was a good decision as we had to get round in two hours max before the light started to fail, and I stopped a lot less than I normally do, and moaned a lot less about shlogging uphill with dodgy knees. I was also trying out my new Shimano hydration backpack, as Nikki's bike doesn't have room for a bottle cage, and it worked superbly, also meaning no stopping for a drink.

As you can see from the pics, taken on Anna's phone, the light was exceptionally clear and the colours very strong: the greens of the trees, against the red / black of the lava, against the intense blue of the sky at >2000 metres.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Afternoon in the Rain

Following my "Morning in the Mist" Vilaflor ride / walk with Nikki and Gizmo (see my previous post), this was the more 'extreme' version (in terms of mud, anyway). In a way, it was also an example of the way that the internet has changed our friendships, and our lives ...

I teamed up with someone who I'd met in cyberspace (on the Boards windsurfing forum). Pablo is a yacht captain who is taking his boat across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Like me, he's a keen windsurfing, with many years of sailing adventures to his name, so he stopped off in Tenerife to 'score' a few days of windsurfing in el Medano. Sadly the Wind God was not co-operating. So instead I offered to show him a different side of the Island, and do a bit of mountain biking up in the forest.

When I turned up at our usual meeting place (the bar Las Raices, at about 1100 metres, above La Esperanza) it was 14c, not too chilly ... but fully in the clouds, and steady rain was falling. The weather was foul really, and normally we would never venture up there on a day like that. I suggested that we just have a drink and cancel, but Pablo was not to be put off. This was despite him not exactly having what you might call 'technical' bike gear.

Just look at this picture ... I have my SPD bike shoes, Gortex bike jacket, helmet etc ... and Pablo has ... his 'official' / company / yacht uniform ... no helmet ... and deck shoes !

Despite the lack of suitably clothing, a bike that was possibly a decade older than my full-suss Marin, and never having seen the trail before, Pablo ended up 'smashing' the downhills at a furious pace.

Anyway, he's just about to set sail for Cabo Verde, and then the Atlantic crossing to Antigua. I wish him Bon Voyage ... and thank the internet for introducing me to somebody who lives the adventures of life to the full !

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Morning in the Mist

We decided to take advantage of the extra hour this morning, and get out of town up into the mountains. It's been an oppressively hot & sticky autumn so far, and it was around 25c as we left the coast, so we weren't too upset as we watched the temperature dropping on the car thermometer as we climbed up to Vilaflor. When we got up to the track it was a very refreshing 14c, misty (in the clouds at about 1200 metres up), with occasional breaks of blue sky and sunshine.

I went for a bike ride ...

while Nikki and Gizmo went for a walk ...

There were a few puddles, but not too muddy. Doesn't look much like the Tenerife that most people know though ...

(photography by Nikki)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday 16th October ... Bright and Breezy

After several weeks of hot, sticky, windless weather, we finally had a storm. A few hours of torrential rain in the morning, followed by bright skies and a building SWly breeze. It ended up being very windy in the afternoon, as Nikki's pics show:

Sand was blowing off the beach onto the water, and getting in my eyes whenever I came near the beach !

In this next one, you can see that there was some swell, and there were rideable sets ... just not by me :-(

The next one is me, on a 3.7m sail ...

I can't say it was a relaxing sail ... very strong gusts, chop, and sand blowing everywhere.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

PWA World Cup Event 2015 and Windy El Medano 


Thursday, June 18, 2015

View from my Window

This is the view from the window of my work room. Moving my eyes from my computer screen, I see Mt Teide, actually the highest mountain in Spain. Often it's hidden in clouds, but today there's not a cloud in the sky. I prefer the mountain view to a sea view. There's more to see, and at night the lights come on in the villages above us.

I look out onto the track where I sometimes go mountain biking, and today there is a big group of bikers out enjoying themselves ...