November was the big one with my trip to Tenerife to take on some of the lumps of the Island aligned with some winter sun and a week at a Northern Soul event.
Having been putting in a big shift in training for the previous twelve weeks and got my weight goal in the bag, it was time to crack on with some climbing.
Day one of having the bike I did a warm up ride of around 15 miles. The thing is about Tenerife is that you don't ride far without encountering a climb. On this short haul, there was 1,742ft of ascent with a ride ascent ratio of 116ft per mile, which would qualify for hilly back here in the UK.
Day two was the day that I wanted to climb Teide. Setting off at 8am with a route that the Garmin said was a round trip of 61 miles, by the time I got to the base of the climb I'd already covered 47 miles and 4,964ft of climbing (RAR 105). It soon dawned on me that the route mileage was wrong. It was a hot day, 29 degrees and I was already feeling pretty tired by this point, time to man up and go up.
Teide is a relentless climb of 6-9% and long, in fact it's the longest single climb in Europe. After 11 miles of further climbing, I'd covered another 3,930 feet (RAR 357 which was really hard), by this time it was 3.15pm in the afternoon and I saw a sign that said 'Summit 27km'.
Nightmare of nightmares. I'm now 58 miles from the hotel, with no lights on the bike and the sun due to set at 6.15pm and riding at an average of around 10mph given the heat and the ascent. I knew I wouldn't make it back before dark.
Management decision time. I put on my arm and leg warmers, spun the bike round and flew down the 11 mile climb taking full use of the disc brakes on the BMC bike I'd hired. The thing about Tenerife though is that there are only two routes to get back to the hotel, the motorway or exactly the way I'd just come, yes the same 47 miles and 4.9K of climbing (if you've done the math, I'd already covered 69 miles and 8,894 feet of climbing) so after seven hours in the saddle, in the heat, I had those miles to cover again.
Thank god I'd trained so hard. All those intervals paid a handsome dividend. My engine was good, strength was good and I covered a further 20 miles all in all after the descent, including a stop at a bakery to tip another bottle of water over my head, have an espresso and eat as many cakes as I could eat!
It was too dark and treachorous to carry on, so I pushed on until I came to a village, found a taxi rank and cabbed it back to the hotel. All in it was a 90 mile day with around 12,000ft of climbing (RAR 133). Am amazing day and probably the hardest I've ever done on a bike given the heat and the overall ascent relevant to the distance.
After a couple of days rest, I rode up to Adeje for a leg loosener (18.6 miles with 2.1K ascent - RAR 117).
Day after that I went up to San Miguel which is a peach of a climb, around 10km long at 6%. It had an amazing four mile descent, so I went down, climbed back up again and did it again. The loop from the hotel was 43 miles with 3,911ft of ascent (RAR 90).
Over the four days that I rode, I managed to cover 167 miles (268km) and climb 18,900ft (5760M) with an overall RAR of 113ft per mile. It was glorious riding in the warm, the roads were quiet, the climbs long and steady and a perfect way to segway some cycling in with a holiday.
Although I didn't climb Teide in its entirety in the end, the overall distance and ascent given the route planning boo boo, still gave me the virtual climb I guess. Think I have some unfinished business with that Volcano, bring on 2016.
Month to Date
Mileage- 727miles/1,170km (+70% vs. PY)
Ride Time - 19hrs 57mins
Ascent - 24,045ft
Avg. Speed - 16.2mph/26km/h
Avg. HR - 126bpm
Road Miles -299
Ride Ascent Ratio (Ascent/Road Miles) - 80 (Hilly)
Year to Date
Mileage- 5,028 miles/8,091km (+44% vs. PY)
Ride Time - 282rs 58mins
Ascent - 114,386ft (-21% vs PY)
Avg. Speed - 18.1mph (+6.6% vs. PY)
Avg. HR - 135bpm