Hi all, i am back from foreign parts,
The hotel I stayed in was the Costa Calero in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. Puero Calero is about 5km from Puerto del Carmen on the opposite side from the airport. The hotel was excellent - 4 stars all-inclusive cost £2300 for a week for 2 adults and one 7yr old. I cannot find anything to complain about regarding the hotel and we met people who had been there 9 times and one guy had been there 20 - 30 times in the past 10 years!! If you want a great holiday, do there!!! Here is the tripadvisor link - http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Revi ... lands.html
You will note i am not alone with my praise of the hotel.
Anyway, back to bike related stuff. I had seen in the brochure that the hotel had a 'pro bicycle shop'. It took me 2 days to actually find it - there is an office beside the playground which i was told was manned from 9 am to 11am every day. I called down and no one was there, upon checking with the reception staff i was told to call in the garage located below the hotleand the fancy office is never manned. I popped down at 1050 and spoke to the mechanic there. He was very helpful but we had problems communicating as my Spanish extends to ordering drinks and even that is hard. My accent is hard for other people to understand nevermind being in a foreign language!!
We did eventually communicate and he advised me that i could rent -
an aluminium Felt bike with either 105 or Ultegra
a carbon Felt bike with either 105 or Ultegra
Prices varied from 18 Euros a day for the aluminium 105 to 23 Euros a day for the carbon Ultegra. I opted for the aluminium 105 as he did not have a carbon available in my size for the following day; i asked the difference from 105 to Ultegra and he told me that there was very little so i opted for 105. He sized me a 58cm bike and i gave him my pedals which he fitted. I did a short test ride and got the seat height right and he left the allen keys for me in case i wanted to change it the next day (I didn't need to change it). I paid the money and did not have to pay a deposit as i was a guest in the hotel. This i found odd as i had to pay 30 Euros deposit for a kettle but the guy said his boss did not take deposits for hotel guests.
The guy asked how far i wanted to go, i told him i really only wanted to go for a short ride; he said that he had routes planned for various journeys - mountainous or not too mountainous (i will explain that shortly) and various distances starting at (i think) 37 km and rising. These routes were available on laminated maps. My journey was going to be short so he gave me a road map which suited my purposes.
Overnight i studied the map and looked at a route to the next village, travelling inland about 3 km and joining a road parallel to the coast and then turning left back to the coastal village. I planned to stop there and have coffee and then return.
Next morning at about 740 i went to the garage and having been given keys for the storage area (huge cage) for the bikes, i let myself in. I had a key for the bike lock and removed the bike from the rack.
I jumped off and cycled off, i turned left and the road went up hill as i pedalled on it got a bit steeper, and a bit steeper. I dropped into first gear and continued on, there was no wind and the road surface was good but i struggled. I realised that i really was not fit enough for this. This was not a mountain stage just a long hill in severe heat. Had i been more fit, it may have been fine but it really was a struggle. I got to the top and decided to re-think my plan. Had i drone on the parallel road and then downhill to the coast i would have to climb the same hill again to get back and i thought that this was too much for me. I turned round and went back down the hill at a high speed - too fast to check my speed on the bike computer as i knew there were a few potholes i did not want to hit. I better add the roads are far better than Northern Ireland roads - far, far better.
I returned to the hotel and decided to venture into Puerto del Carmen - reasonable enough ride in except for the final wee rise to the Toro restaurant but i managed. As i got over the rise i was able to coast downhill a bit until I realised that i would have to go back up. As i pondered this, i looked a head and the road just dropped away in front of me - it was that steep that i could not actually see over the drop - no joke at all. I stopped and thought, i want to be able to get back to the hotel so i turned round and went back to the El Toro restaurant. Meantime the temperature had risen a bit and i was dripping. My black gear was a mistake!!! Even saying that i would have struggled. I went back to the hotel and it was an easy enough ride so i decided to go to the harbour which is just below the hotel.
I turned left and went down the hill - yet again (grr) as i rounded the corner the road dropped away and down the hill i went, with both brakes on. I bimbled along the harbour and looked at boats, shops and bars. Having put off the inevitable return journey up a very steep but short hill - i took off from the bottom at speed - this did not last long - 1 yard perhaps by which time i had dropped into first gear. I struggled up the hill and got back to the hotel and garage where the mechanic was waiting. I was in a bit of a state and i avoided him for a few minutes until i could breathe!!!
He asked if the bike was fine - i told him it was great but my legs were the problem!!! The bike shop is called Lanzarote bikes - the website is here - http://www.roadbike-holidays.com/eng/ra ... ?lanzarote
and here - this seems to be the one for the business - http://www.lanzarotebike.es/en/
A few last pointers - bring light coloured clothing, make sure of your ability and your fitness. I imagine when they mention mountain - i would not be able to even start up one, the hill i went up almost beat me and i think it probably did and that was a hill not a mountain. I would do it again but i would be fitter and i would know what to expect. I would also reduce beer intake the night before and find a gentle route / road to warm up a little and get settled. Really i started and immediately rode up a steep hill - even at home this would unsettle me. On a last note, i forgot waterbottles and the guy gave me one to keep - a momento!!!
I hope i have covered everything - ask if you have queries and i will try to assist, i am sure i have missed something.
Great holiday and we will be back for 2 weeks next time - i will get a bike the next time but i will know what awaits next time!!
Built - Raleigh Rapide / Van Tuyl / Raleigh Ritmo / Forme Longcliffe / Will Cee Winter / Python Rock / Gazelle CM Mixte (aka Townsend) ///// Pending - Rossin Prestige Team / Gazelle CM A / Gazelle CM AB / Fulmar / Peugeot Sportive / Raleigh Flyer / Batavus Champion / Raleigh Flyer / Peugeot / Look 241 Kelme / Raleigh Pro Race