Jo Clancy

In my line of work, whilst typing, talking and drafting emails is essential, riding a bike is the simplest and most fun way to understand where my clients are coming from. Accordingly, with 2023 only a few weeks old, I packed up my panniers to trade the unrelenting Scottish gloom for some balmy Canarian sunshine.

I was aiming for a week of cycling in good weather, at a fairly strenuous rate, with as little fuss and in as safe a way as possible. Having thoroughly enjoyed a previous tour with Tenerife Bike Training (TBT) in Tenerife last year, I decided to try another one of their tours which included La Gomera as well as Tenerife. The tour, which took in a wealth of natural wonders did not disappoint; reaffirming why the world seen from two wheels really takes some beating.

La Gomera is more popular with walkers than cyclists and has over 600km of hiking trails. That said, the roads were smooth like a racetrack and traffic was minimal. The views from La Gomera across to Tenerife and the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, are incredible and one of many reasons to get the 1hour ferry across the Atlantic.

The island is shaped like an orange, cut in half and split into segments leaving deep ravines which the roads are built in to. The Garajonay National Park is a dense and misty laurel forest which crowns the centre of the island with many subtropical plant species. Laurel forests used to grow in abundance around the world millions of years ago and can now only be found in a few places – La Gomera being one of them. Cycling through the forest was a unique and enchanting experience.

The beauty continues as you cycle out of the forests with views of the Los Roques rock formations created millions of years ago with the wrath of volcanoes. Unlike the lava fields in Tenerife, these rocks were formed when magma was not released and instead hardened and formed massive, breath taking, missile-shaped rocks rising over 1,200 meters high.

Over the 6 day tour, we conquered around 300 km and 10,000 meters of elevation. Our tour was full with 9 cyclists from 6 counties, 2 tour guides and the support van driver.  Being less confident on the descents meant I didn’t get the same sense of relief as others when reaching the top of a gruelling climb and bombing back down a 40k descent.

However, the upshot of cycling in the mountains is the incredible scenery, the changing landscape and the increased levels of fitness. There is the option to escape the descents by jumping in the support van but depending on how competitive you are that doesn’t always feel like an option.

Unfortunately, not everywhere enjoys the same exemplary road surfaces or the relative scarcity of motorised vehicles as La Gomera. Statistics show that the overall number of cycling casualties in the UK fell each year from 2014 to 2020, but there was an increase between 2020 and 2021. If you’ve been in an accident and want some advice from a specialist personal injury Solicitor, then please do get in touch.

Jo Clancy

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