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Author Archive: Big McLargehuge

My name is Big, Big McLargehuge. I'm the Ultra Commuter of BikeCommuters.com. All these other pansies on this site don't commute nearly as much as I do. In fact some of them even own cars! I don't have a car, it's probably because the Law says I'm not allowed to drive on the road...but whatever.

Test your cycling skills in Tenerife

With its year-round sunshine, undulating terrain, stunning scenery and low road traffic volumes, it’s no surprise that Tenerife is so popular among cyclists from around the world. Amateurs and professionals alike flock to the island with their bikes in tow. If you’re planning to book last minute holidays to Tenerife and want to test your skills on two wheels, it’s well worth checking out the following cycling hotspots.

El Teide

The mountain of El Teide dominates the island’s skyline and it is a mecca for adventurous holidaymakers. The volcano is the highest in Spain and it reaches 3,718 meters in altitude. Set in the middle of a UNESCO national park, it is the perfect place to work up a sweat in the saddle. There are a number of different routes up to the top, but whichever you choose, you can be confident that the gradient will rarely get above 7%. This makes El Teide manageable for most cyclists of reasonable fitness.

En route to the summit, you’ll pass through pine forests and green valleys, before reaching the rocky terrain of the volcano itself.
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The Masca loop

Another excellent route is the Masca loop. Along with El Teide, this is perhaps the best known cycling spot on the island. Beginning and ending at La Orotava, this 70-mile trip passes through the tiny village of Masca high in the Teno mountain range. Many people believe this is the most picturesque settlement in the whole of Tenerife and it offers breathtaking views. You’ll also cycle through Santiago del Teide, where you can stop to enjoy a refreshing drink.

Be warned though, this is for the hardened cyclist. Inclines can be as steep as 20%, and you’ll need a head for heights when navigating the narrow roads and technical downhill sections.

The TF-12

Another highlight is the TF-12 road. This quiet highway cuts through the Anaga mountain range in the north-east of the island. While gliding through this remote area, you’ll get to see an impressive variety of flora and fauna. As is the case across much of Tenerife, the road surface is superb. Meanwhile, if you want to deviate from the main route, there are a number of small side roads you can take that lead you deeper into the mountains. The TF-12 is ideal for anyone who is based in or near to Santa Cruz.

Of course, these are just a few of the cycling options available on this sun-kissed Canary Island. Whether you’re staying there for a week, a fortnight or longer, you won’t be short of routes to explore.

Taking care of your gear

Editor’s note: we’ve touched on the subject of cycling fabric care before — here are a variety of new tips for you to mull over as the weather heats up.

Looking After Your Cycling Clothes
If you’re a regular cyclist, then you know how important the clothes you wear are. They are an investment, keeping you at a comfortable temperature, keeping you dry and always there to prevent soreness and injury. What’s more important is looking after them so you can get the best use and value to ensure you don’t have to fork out for another set of cycling gear over and over again. Make sure that yours last with these helpful tips.

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Air It Out
Don’t let your sweaty bike clothes fester in a pile, especially if they are damp. The damp encourages bacteria to form and will make your clothes smell. Airing and drying your garments will prevent this to a certain degree.

Before You Wash
When you wash your gear, make sure that you turn them inside out, and apply pre-wash detergent to the areas that are worst affected.
Zip up any zips and close up any hook and loop fastenings before you wash, as these can damage garments. Place them in a mesh bag to prevent them being tangle and stretched with other items in the wash. Avoid putting them in with jeans or towels. Your cycle gear should be treated as ‘delicates’.

Nothing Too Complicated

The soap or detergent that you use to wash your clothes should be just that. Don’t use scents, dyes or softeners on your cycling gear.
Wash on a cool temperature, and if they don’t smell clean enough for your liking, wash them in vinegar or a specialist sports wash detergent. You don’t want your clothes to smell like detergent either, though, as this can irritate your skin.

Air Dry
If you can, always air dry your gear. Tumble drying can damage the fibres if too hot, so stick to a cooler heat if you have to tumble dryer.

Waterproofs
Waterproof cycling gear needs special care, as they are complex garments. Fabrics like Texapore, used on E-Outdoors’ collection of Jack Wolfskin garments, have a breathable, waterproof membrane that lets vapour, but not liquid through. The outer shell is often hard-wearing and coated with a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating, which can wear off over time. You can re-waterproof your garments with a wash-in product or a simply spray. Wash in will waterproof the entire garment – though remaining most effective on the outer shell because DWR will only bind to existing DWR. A spray-on will only coat what you spray.

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A last tip, always remember not to tumble dry waterproofed garments as they could end up smaller than you’d like!