Important update information
I must point out is that this road is closed to cyclists, motorbike and 8m+long buses for renovation to the road, so you cannot go now, however it will be open soon and I will update this page when it does.
(23rd April 2015)
The happy news is that if you join the Tour of Gran Canaria, this will be day 5, which assuming you’re on, you’ll be looking out your hotel room window looking up and wondering at the black jagged coastline, that rears up from the town of Agaete like the Dolomites, whereas the Dolomites are grey sparkly & inviting, this coastline is dark and ominous, because they’re backlit by the rising eastern sun.
The road can be seen starting out winding up in a series of switchbacks that eventually disappear from view up into the low cloud and if those butterflies aren't fluttering before this, they'll be tapping the walls of your stomach to get out now.
Still there's a great breakfast at the 4* Roca Negra to get you going, and maybe a morning swim in the placid swimming pool or if you're Scandinavian, then the raging frothing sea pools just below the hotel, quite good fun first thing, I can tell you.
It has to be said that I'm quite impressed by some of the riders we've had before, even the inexperienced, they've done the climbs with only a modicum of complaint, and I see that a lot of you have re-signed up for the 2015 November trip, it looks like there'll be a 'must better one's time' approach this time out, certainly looking forward to it.
Like always we start out together and stay together for the first 10 or 15km, although it's not a long ride, only 67km, it's long on the mind and by the second climb, every metre will be etched on your mind.
I could blather on about the views here, but imagine a road stitched onto the cliff face half a kilometre above the ocean where the crashing surf is soundless beneath you, the eerie quiet of the black rock above you, the nets holding turnip sized rocks that have fallen silently from the shrouded heights. Teide, Spain's highest peak watching you from the other side. To say it's atmospheric is an understatement.
When you reach Anden Verde after a 2hr climb, you're only half way, but here we stock up our bellies from the support car. This is where the first of 2 cautions are read out before the coffee stop in la Aldea.
We now have a long descent of 700m over about 10km.The road is pitted,fast and rough, steep, with lots of corners, your hands & neck will ache from the constant braking. Not braking on this descent is not an option, a pinch flat is a strong possibility so full pressure 110plus psi is better than a soft ride, riding the drops is the best position for control. A bottle may jump out, don't be distracted by it, keep your eyes on your line and plan every section ahead in your mind, like “rough, 40m to corner, go tight, nothing fancy now & breathe..”
There'll be some long banana and tomato trucks coming up, using all of the road on the corners, so ease yourself around each blind curve with that brutal expectation in mind.
After the coffee break at La Aldea, we share out the dry fruits and dates and get ready for the main act of the day, way in the distance, up real high is a saddle that is just visible through the evening glare, that we must get up and over, it's a constant climb that just gets steeper, and the accumulated fatigue of the week will start to tell here,so if it's too tough you can always get in the car, but I'm guessing you won't.
After we crest this horror, it will take you about 1hr.30min, it's a long fast descent to lunch, and I mean a proper lunch of grilled chicken & chips at the Donkey Bar, believe me, it's better than it sounds! After lunch a short climb to the final descent into the Port of Mogan and the sad return to civilisation.
The final note of caution is that as we near the south, we meet the hordes of tourists again in their rental cars hogging the middle of the road, you may be close to home, but it could be ruinous to my day if you let your guard down, so stay tuned right till the meet point at the petrol station on the right at the entrance to Mogan.