The route then turns inland and begins gradual climb up GC-505. Traffic went to almost nil and the canyon was pleasant to look at. Our pace was civil and I hung out at the back to take pictures.
I knew as soon as we crossed a Strava KOM marker painted on the road, the pitch was going to get decidedly steeper. A sign then warned us of 14.7% grades over the next 7km. That's hardly recovery material!
Up in La Fillipina, we bear left off GC-505 and the gradient kicks up another notch. This was south facing and it felt darn near 90F here. The pavement was pretty rough too, but not that it matters much when you are going barely fast enough to not fall over.
Me, Dave and Todd from Calgary were the first to reach the Thomson van awaiting us, not that anybody was pushing hard today. The view was quite good, the sky closest to bluebird yet. It is surprising how arid it is here, being on what essentially a tropical island. Peter Thomson mentioned the wind would be coming off the Sahara Desert nearby, and that brings heat and dusty haze in the air. Hmmmm, breathing in Saharan dust. Is that good for you?
Anyway, we finished with the best part of yesterday's descent, a nearly 3000ft rip on good pavement with insane number of switchbacks. I brought my 510 and 1000 GPS units with me today. The 1000 is definitely wonky. The both logged about 1000ft of climbing along the coast, then in nearly 3000ft net gain, the 1000 logged only 2500ft. How do you get this wrong. I've had the unit too long to return it. I uploaded from the 510 today, which I carried in back pocket. The 1000 is awesome for mapping. I download free Gran Canaria map that has every imaginable detail in it. Too bad we aren't going to have chance to ride trails this trip.
Tomorrow is puddle up over to Tenerife. We start at sea level and climb to about 7800ft before dropping down the other side to just under 3000ft. Nearly 8k climb, 5k descent. Some ups and downs along the way should bring the total climbing to around 10,000ft in about 60 miles. It will be hot and windy.
|Rolling out on the GC-500 at 8:30am. Traffic was light. This was crazy busy finishing ride #2 later in day.|
|GC-500 hugs coast and tunnels through the steepest fingers of rock.|
|The A-group heading inland on GC-505, what Peter described as a false flat. It gains less than 100ft/mi for 8mi.|
|Very little traffic on GC-505 as we headed up the canyon. We soon pass a Strava KOM marker painted on the road and know the gradient is going to kick up. Shortly after, a signed warned of max grades of 14.7% over next 7km.|
|Todd and Dave on one of many switchbacks on GC-505.|
|Dave and Todd heading up GC-505|
|Looking down some of the lower switchbacks of GC-505 and the canyon we came up from the coast.|
|Starting to see a pattern in rides here. Middle of island is steeply corrugated and chocked full of switchbacks.|
|Todd heading up GC-505. Dave was a bit up now because I kept dilly dallying taking photos.|
|Orange groves dotted the hillside.|
|Now off GC-505 onto barely a lane wide "road" that got ridiculously steep for a "recovery" day.|
|Todd nearly the height of land|
|Myself, Todd and Dave at top of today's ride. Nearly monotonic, nearly 3000ft descent from here back to hotel.|
|Initial rip from top|
|Are we in Arizona? Looked and FELT like it today. Very hot and going to be even hotter for Thursday epic climb on adjacent island Tenerife.|