It’s not often the option of riding MTB in Gran Canaria Island comes up in the middle of winter from a non rider source, but that is exactly what happened this last month when we were encouraged into making a small trip to the island for a short break and a bit of Enduro riding, the only catch is we had to try some bike specific cross training in the form of Power Yoga, not exactly what we had in mind but what the heck, we were sure it was worth a gamble.
So after a few calls and hastily booked tickets we found ourself off to Gran Canaria Island to see what we could find to ride as well. With absolutely no idea about how the trails were and Google turning up little or no information, we just assumed after checking a map there would be some trails based on the fact there was an extinct 2000 meter volcano in the middle and a vague video from Epic TV’s Dan Milner. So we also contacted Daniele from Fluyendo who jumped at the chance and said, “Err wrong island, hang on, I will help you find a guide.” In Entered Edu a local from Las Palmas, we were set.
Video Of The Descent
Area: 1,560 km²
By the very fact that we could not find much info about Gran Canaria and it was a totally undeveloped bike scene we have decided to not give exact details to where the trails are that we rode. We were graciously shown around by the locals who know every loop and detail and link to get about. We have left their details at the end, and we are sure if riding these trails is an aim, then contacting them to have them show you would be a good thing to do for them and the local economy.
The technical level required for the trails that we rode would be medium to high skills depending on how fast and how much experience as a rider you have. We found the surface and trails to be hard packed but rough in places with lots of square edge rocks to catch you out if you hit them wrong. The cliff edges were part of the course but the trails were wide enough to be safe and no more sketchy than any alpine location we have ridden previously. We dropped about 2500 metres in total over about 5 hours of medium pace riding and climbing, stopping to enjoy the views. At a push one could do two descents a day, but we recommend enjoying the beaches and do just one per day, after a few days, stretching out, beach and beer would be highly advisable.
We recommend getting a guide who knows where they are and what they are doing, some of the spots we were in were very removed from any form of communication and should anything go wrong a guide will get you out of trouble.
We rode with a 160mm Cannondale Carbon Jekyll which in our opinion was the perfect type of bike for this kind of trail and descents. As it is rough the extra travel reduces fatigue that one might feel with a shorter travel bike, and we didnt need to pedal uphill for more than an hour. The open head angle of an Enduro bike will give the perfect stability for high speed, but we recommend having good brakes as there are a few death corners that wont be nice if you cant stop. We ran Magura MT7 four piston brakes which were perfect the whole way down.
As for tyres we collectively had 8 flats. Don’t use single ply: tubeless or double ply was the way to go with the Cannondale not flatting once. Make sure you bring extra tubes. We found the Maxxis High Roller an Minion combination perfect here.
We have put together a sequence of our descent of one of the trails we rode that week, read on for more info.
Although the Island is an amazing place to ride there is very little infrastructure for riders set up. It’s an ideal location for those who like to explore and are guaranteed good riding, but you need some skills to tackle the trails which are medium to hard Enduro level. Getting there from most places means flying and bike bags. Ideal months are January and February if the riding in Europe or the USA is too cold. The locals are really friendly but respect them and ask for their help and you will be rewarded with one of the best weeks riding you have had.
We would say the island is fairly unknown from an MTB perspective, there is not much specific information around about it and riding, so trust the info and locals below for information on accommodation and how to ride there. When comparing to other stuff out there we would say it is a mix between an Epic Alpine descent and Mediterranean Mtb trails in an area like Finale Ligure or Punta Ala.