Gran Canaria Mountain Biking
Total days: 17
Sunny days / Rainy days: 13 / 4
Total distance: 762 km in total, 45 km/day
Total time: 55 hours, 3.5 hours/day
Total climbing: 22056 m, 1300 m/day
Total crashes: 0
Strava KOMs: 8
The Covid situation
GC vs Chiang Mai
For the past six years, every winter, for about two weeks, I've been bicycling around the hills are trails of Chiang Mai, Thailand. This year, due to Covid-19, Chiang Mai was not an option. I did some research and came to the conclusion that the Canary islands were a good option: 1. No travel restrictions, all you need to show was a negative Covid test. 2. Nice climate. 3. Good mountain bike terrain. The islands had two good choices: Tenerife or Gran Canaria. I could only find direct flights to Gran Canaria so that became my choice.
The Covid situation was developing and the rules were changing all through the fall of 2020 and that led to a lot of uncertainty. I didn't book my trip to Gran Canaria until late in November. I used AirBnb to get an entire apartment to myself. I didn't want to be in one of the big touristy cities by the shore line, instead somewhere up in the mountains, close to the trails: The village of Valsequillo.
|My AirBnb residence in Valsequillo|
|The village of Valsequillo|
Flight from Sweden (inc. bike): €500
Apartment: €20 per night
Food: Cheaper than Sweden, more expensive than Thailand
Pros and Cons (compared to Chiang Mai):
Price: Flight is 1/3 of the price compared to Chiang Mai. AirBnb/hotel about the same,
Weather: On a good day Gran Canaria was almost as warm as Chiang Mai. However there were many more cloudy and rainy days compared to a typical December in Chiang Mai.
Time Zone: No jet lag!!!
Terrain: Same as Chiang Mai. There's both good single track and downhill to be found in both places.
Mountains: Same although the peaks are higher on Gran Canaria.
Food: Thai food is much more tasty.
People: Thai people are so much more friendly.
Traffic: The Gran Canarians drive excellently and overtake bicyclists VERY carefully. I felt 100% safe.
Arriving with a Broken Seatpost
|The BNC 'RAD' Dropper Post|
|This is the part that 'broke' The black metal part and white plastic part separated|
The Long Climb
|The Long Climb|
In Chiang Mai I have a benchmark climb that I like to do each year that I come there. It's 8.6km long and you climb 893 meters all in all. The quickest that I've done it is in 55 minutes with a 300W average.
On Gran Canaria I found a similar climb starting just outside of my village. The climb is called Haciendas 2.0 (llanetes-caldera) and is 12.4km long with an altitude gain of 1084m.
On my third attempt I got the KOM with a time of 1:08:59 and 312W average power.
Hopefully I'll be able to return to Gran Canaria in future years to try this climb again.
Benchmark Switchback Downhill
|My progress on the switchbacks segment|
|Very stony and hard to get around the turns|
|Kind of tricky on a rainy day|