We just returned from another Thomson trip in Spain. Gran Canaria Spain to be more specific. If you haven’t heard of this area, it’s become famous over the last several years for pro cyclist off season training because of it’s volcanic climbing terrain, sunny skies and beach side resorts. Matt Tanner was a member of the first trip Thomson made to the islands 4 years ago. At the time, Matt said it was the hardest riding he had ever done and the day known as “The Valley of Tears” had a special place on his toughest climb list.
This year Rollfast had two riders in attendance, Alex Dantin and Matt Tanner. They both brought their wives as this trip is perfect for spouses to attend. There are many options at the spa in the resort as well as multiple pools for daytime relaxing. If you are a little more adventurous, there is camel riding in the desert, ATV rentals, scuba diving, fishing and plenty of shopping at the local villages.
This trip was like all other Thomson experiences we have participated in. The planning was done well in advance. Bikes were ready, food was prepared and logistics were well thought out. There were familiar faces with Jordi leading the trip, Sergi and Pere providing support. As in life, with all the preparation in place, sometimes unexpected changes take place. This week Canaria experienced the heaviest rains in decades thanks to Storm Emma (https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/924172/Canary-Islands-storm-tenerife-cave-Lanzarote-la-palma-flights-Masca-barranco). These storms caused rock slides and flooding that closed several of our planned routes. Thomson was on it with connections to the local road clean up and government as well as keeping an eye on the minute by minute weather. They adjusted routes, drove vans to new start locations and made the trip a success with unpredictable conditions every day. Much credit to Jordi for orchestrating these efforts!
Regardless of the continuously changing routes and road conditions, the riding was just as we remembered from 4 years back. EXTREME. The climbing in this area is one of the few places that pro cyclists bring compact cranksets to put things in perspective. We climbed Matt’s favorite VALLEY OF TEARS and it was only described as epic. At the top, the rain hit us, the wind was at 40mph and the temperature dropped to 40F. On our day to Tenerife, we climbed the famous mountain and even had a Chris Froome sighting while we stopped at a cafe for coffee on the descent. For the record, Matt took the Teide KOM for the day on Strava on a loaner Canyon bike after his bike broke descending the Valley of Tears!!
We have been home for 3 days and we’ve already planned our next Thomson Bike Tour. We’ll be attending the Rome Gran Fondo and Campagnolo Experience in October. We also have a bucket list trip to Colombia penciled in for January 2019! If you want to ride with us on these trips or plan your own Thomson experience make sure you use the promotional code “ROLLFAST2018” when you book your trip.