As winter was drawing to a close, TKS-1 and myself decided to get a head start to summer riding. After looking at some options, Tenerife seemed like the sensible choice. We packed our bikes and gear and flew over. Sami, the owner of Mountain Bike Shop in Helsinki, was on the same flight with his family. He had his bike with him and had permission to ride with us once or twice during the week.
SUN, SNOW AND CLOUDS
15.3.2014 / North side, 46 km, 2680 m descent
Sami joined us for the first ride. We decided to hit the southern side, but higher up from the ridge east of El Portillo. It’s wilder area with less people. Not that people are ever a problem on Teide. It’s usually pretty quiet and you’d be lucky to see other riders after disembarking the bus.
The ride went nicely, until I took a minor tumble on a corner with loose gravel. The fall was nothing worth mentioning, but unfortunately I held my arm out to break the fall and my shoulder popped out. Luckily it went right back in. It’s an old injury, which doesn’t usually give me trouble but is painful when it happens.After a little breather we were back on track and finished the ride without incident. A lovely day out in the sun.
THE HOT SOUTH
16.3.2014 / South side, 30 km, 2390 m descent
Sami was out on family business, so TKS-1 and I decided to have a look at the southern side of the island. We had no knowledge of that area so we booked a guide from Fluyendo. I’m usually not a big fan of guided things, but given the time frame and the logistics of the island, it seemed like a good choice. We met with Silvia and Daniele at a parking lot at the bottom of the run and moved our bikes from our rental car to their van. After a ride up the mountain we were ready to hit the trail.
The ride ended up being spectacular with plenty of variety. From dirt roads to single tracks and lava slopes to canyon crossings. All in all a beautiful day. Daniele was an excellent guide and the ride was very relaxed. Just like riding with friends.
18.3.2014 / North side, 48 km, 2580 m descent
Sami was back with us and we decided to head back up to the ridge east of El Portillo. The beginning of the ride was great. Clear sunny weather and crisp air. Just perfect for photography and a little bit of exploring. As we descended to more familiar ground I did a stupid mistake and went clean over the bars. I landed hard and knew that my ride was over. The pain didn’t come immediately, but when it did it was pretty persistent.
Luckily we were close to a tarmac road so I told the others that I’d limp down it to the hotel, and they could continue the ride. Cruising down, my hands were starting to get stiff and operating the brake levers was painful. Not exactly an ideal situation on the steep mountain roads. I managed to get back to the hotel and get cleaned up. I was pretty well banged up but it seemed like nothing was actually broken. A lot of soft tissue damage and some sprains. TKS-1 and Sami finished their ride successfully.
The week in Tenerife didn’t go exactly as planned, but I did manage to get two and a half days of good riding done. I consider myself lucky not to have been injured any worse than I did. As for the riding, I think next time I would like to take a downhill bike instead of the enduro. There are some incredible lines there, that are a bit too rough for the enduro and require proper protection.