Last year we spent 4 days in Gran Canaria. This time 7 days, 400 miles and 38,000ft of climbing up some of the best cycling roads. 

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Well, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably seen that Gran Canaria in 2019 was a success so it was essential to go again in 2020.

Then came COVID. But we still got to go. With tests and quarantine. But, cycling holidays and cycling abroad is so worth the extra steps.

Me and a friend went, with our coach, for 7 days in the middle of December. Leaving rainy Birmingham to land in hot Gran Canaria was bliss. Packing all my summer cycling jerseys, bib shorts, cycling socks and NO OVERSHOES OR GLOVES was so nice.

Make sure you cycle every day

We went for 7 days this time, not 4. You have to acclimatize. Your body needs to get used to the heat and change in environment.

So, day one, was a 80 mile day to the top of the volcano. Up to Pico de la Nieves. Why not?! Crazy. We went up Soria, then up across to Serenity, then up from Ayacata, then to the top. I was dead. It was about 45 miles total, 9000ft of climbing. At 86kg, this was a mean task. But it was incredible once I was at the top. The views. The sense of achievement.

My body wasn’t ready for that. I should’ve done it on day 4 or 5 but why wait. The bananas from the guy at the top were a lifesaver. Then the fanta. Sugar. All necessary on big cycling days like that. Day 2 and 3 were chill days.

Day 4. Serenity Climb. Effort time. The goal was 32 minutes. I did 32:04. 355w. What a climb that is. Its not steeped in history like Mont Ventoux or the Madone. But the road surface is immaculate, the trees that line the road, and the view out over the sea is breathtaking. Now, you can’t see it on effort day, but at the top you can. And on the descent. Cycling takes you to other places and roads you wouldn’t see on a normal holiday. There would be no reason to go to this road if you were there to sit on the beach.

Summer cycling kit, short sleeves, bib shorts, fresh white shoes in 24 degrees in December….how can anyone not like road cycling?! I don’t get it. Anyone who goes to Gran Canaria needs to go and climb serenity. It isn’t the toughest climb, but it is just right. 5% average with very few big kicks – sit and spin the legs.

KOM Hunting up to the top of Pico de las Nieves

Day 5. I was the support car in the morning. My friend wanted to go for a climb from the sea to the top. Go for the segment on strava. 1hour, 17 minutes was the KOM – he did 1 hour 19 minutes and 57 seconds. Proper effort. I was there following, making sure he had water and what he needed. No assistance. Stellar effort. Then home to change and his cycling effort made me need to ride my bike. Quick change and onto the bike for 60 miles with my coach, his wife and my friend. Brilliant day on the bike.

Theres a small café in Arguineguin that does vegan food which is brilliant for Vegan cyclist who want proper food, not just chips when they are abroad. This is the hardest thing about cycling holidays and being abroad while doing massive amounts of exercise while being vegan. They did vegan lasagna one day and it was brilliant, so we kept going back. Good quality food, and energy to keep riding is what we needed.

The last day was a short day. But, back up Serenity. Early morning to watch the sunrise before returning back to England. I genuinely can’t stress how much cycling gives you a release and ticks the boxes for me. Mentally, to accomplish cycling goals and to increase my cycling performance is so satisfying.

I encourage everyone reading this to go abroad with your cycling community and friends. Challenge yourself to a few strava segments. Target some real cycling goals mixed in with social rides. Wear summer kit in the winter months. Buy new cycling jerseys and feel good in cycling gear that makes you feel good.

Gran Canaria 2021 will be happening as well, don’t you worry.