Dune and Dusted

Day 3. Legs felt hmmmm this morning, I wasn’t feeling it. Think if Sally hadn’t asked me where I was going I probably wouldn’t have gone out or I’d have just done an easy one instead. My neck was still painful. OK if I look forward. Can’t turn my head very well though. Anyway, we had plans. Do the ride, 2hrs, back, showered,  big ass lunch at some burger joint that had been recommended online and then some beers and music with Tom at Los Pescaditos for a couple of hours.

We found Tom on the very last day of our holiday here last year. Nice lad, 20 something British. Don’t know much of his back story but seems to have basically said bollox to the UK and bought a tiny little seafront bar serving beer, coffee and snacks. Good lad, grafting and enjoying a life we’re all jealous of. I recommend you drop by if you ever holiday here.

Todays ride was simple again. I like simple because I have no maps for Fuerteventura on my Garmin. Its all from memory which is only possible because I am a map nerd which is another story entirely. Anyway, the plan. South through the dunes, lots of tarmac, hook a right up (a lot of up) through some volcanos, over the top to Villaverde, down and up again to Caldera Hondo volcano again and back home on Volcano alley as I now call it.

Just before 10am I set off. Kit on now, I was up for it, energised but legs were pfffffff. This route was longer and more climbing than I’d done in the last couple of days so I needed a warmup. I exited Corralejo on the dunes road. The wind was very obvious. As I rounded the right hand bend to exit the town proper south the tailwind just popped its hands on my back and just ran alongside me pushing me at 23 and 24mph on an MTB on 2.3 inch knobbly tyres. A nice warm up but work it out! Its a big tailwind but my thoughts are with when I’m coming back into it later. The road is pretty flat with a few bumps but its fast. Need a sub-20 min 10? This is the road. I reckon I I could do a sub 18 with the tailwinds here, straight out though, no u-turn. A pro could do a sub 15 no problem. The wind is a bit mental. You embrace it or just go home crying.

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For a little bit you cycle through the Sahara

I churned out the big ring for the 10 miles or so of tarmac. To be honest I was looking forward to some gravel as the noise of the tyres buzzing like a swarm of bees began to grate after 20 mins.

I eventually reached the Parques Hollandes which is where I took a right and began the climb of the day. Gravel (again), this was a slog. Big sidewind and a steady gradient up n up which really didn’t ease up to be honest. I’d worked out this climb was about 5 miles long so I had to pace myself.

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I found an actual cycle route
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I was next to that sea a few mins earlier

Eventually you cross the new motorway that runs North to Corralejo. As I dropped off the new bridge I could see some activity up ahead on the gravel road. People and vehicles. As I got closer it became apparent it was a dune buggy tour that had stopped for a break. About 10 of them in all. I just rode on. The gradient was pretty unrelenting at this point and showed no signs of easing either. Throw in the headwind and it was pretty full on. Eventually though, the gradient eased and I stopped for a photo. Other than the dune buggys I was on my own in the middle of nowhere.

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Its like Mars

The buggys eventally went past and I carried onto the village of Villaverde which you can see for what seems like an age as you grind your way up to it. A brief but earned bit of tarmac here allowed my arms and wrists a rest but it was back offroad again within a mile.

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I’m heading towards the bumps on the right

I’m high up now and getting the NE wind full on in the face. Here its pretty savage. Pedalling downhill isn’t a freewheel you have to pedal. The only saving grace is its a decent downhill which I can take it relatively easy on and have a kind of breather before the next climb. A soft pedal lets say.

I eventually meet the main Lajares road and cross it and jump on the cycle path which runs parallel. This runs out in 50 metres and I get a few hundred metres of sandy singletrack to ride. Its a bit twisty and turny. The surface is pretty loose though and its evident I’m quite shit or out of practice.

Now I begin the climb to Caldera Hondo. The volcano I rode up yesterday. This is a different way. Much, much longer on a gravel road. Ahead I can see plumes of dust from the odd lorry coming my way. I’m thinking there must be a quarry or something somehere as I pass three of them on my ascent. The nice thing though was the lorries were kicking up a MASSIVE cloud of dust behind them but as they approached me they stopped. Let the the cloud blow away, let me pass and carried on. Not once but two lorries in a row! This is a cycling friendly island on or offroad. I was very grateful.

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I cycled down and up from the big one on the right

The last steep section upto where I met the nasty path from the Volcano yesterday was hard. My legs were complaining now more than ever. At least for the majority of the ride back now it was downhill bar a couple of steep inclines and that bloody wind….

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‘you got food dude?’

I decided to stop where last year on a dune buggy tour we got to see and feed a load of chipmunks. Its in the base of a volcano and they just appear. I rode off the gravel road up about 20 metres into the crater and waited. I saw one skulk off and I thought thats is but a few started to pop there heads up and came over. Last year when we had food, they jumped all over us. I didn’t have any food this time so I kept them at a distance but they still jumped on my rear wheel for pic.

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thats a volcano crater

All downhill now home and I was glad. Longest and hardest ride of the 3 days so far. I was tired and hungry. I’ve done the last 3 days on no food. Think I’ll have an easy one tomorrow.

Till the next one though, thanks for reading again x

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Tan lines made of dust

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