Saturday, August 27, 2016

Motorcycle Tours of Gran Canaria

In my early twenties I used to explore Europe on a motorcycle, and to this day I think there is no better way of exploring this great world.  Taking a motorcycle tour really immerses you in the surroundings.  Not only do you feel the breezes on your skin, but you get to take in the sights, sounds and the rich smells of your surroundings.  For me there is no more exhilarating method of travel than a motorcycle.  Sweeping through country roads without the frustration of getting stuck behind traffic. 

Whilst in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on an all too short visit recently, with a tight schedule watching my daughter compete in the Spanish Swimming Championships, I needed to find a way to see more of the Island before I left.  I guess like many of the cruise visitors to Gran Canaria, I did not have a lot of time to take a tour.  Luckily I came across Touring Ride based in Las Palmas who offer a wide range of Harley Davidson Motorcycle Tours of the Island, and the neighbouring Canary Islands for those with more than a few days to spare!

A quick email to the owner Krister and he put together a great tour at short notice covering many of the highlights of the North of the Island to fit in with my tight timescales, in between morning qualifying heats and the evening swimming finals!

Based near the old Football Stadium in Las Palmas it was a short taxi ride from my Hotel.  Once there I was kitted up with a Helmet (Touring Ride provide all the necessary equipment including helmets, jackets, gloves, etc).

Myself Krister and Robert (a father and son business team) then headed out to explore the Island.  This was my first time on a Harley, and whilst it took me a few km to get to grips with the torque (wow you can run these bikes at very low revs) it was easy to master (even for a Rice Burner Jap Bike fan like myself!).

The climate in July was superb, and a nice surprise for myself.  Living in Southern Spain where it was in the high 30’s when I left it was great to find a beautiful high 20’s on arrival.  The island’s very southern location off the coast of African with the surrounding Atlantic ocean make Cran Canaria a great place to ride all year round.  Perfect conditions for a cruise in a T Shirt and Open face helmet.  Jackets were available!

We left Gran Canaria heading out West along the side of the ocean feeling the ocean breezes and taking in the salty ocean scents, experiences which make motorcycle touring so special.

We then headed inland and up into the mountains stopping at a beautiful Mirador (viewing point) overlooking the village of Arucas to the South and Las Palmas to the North.  Robert, who was taking plenty of great footage for me using their superb GoPro actions camera and a variety of camera mounts, and Krister were kindly pointing out the highlights of the views.  From this great viewpoint the Rum factory, Arucas Cathedral and the neighbouring Island of Tenerife could all be seen. 

We pressed on through sweet smelling banana plantations then past the Rum Factory and further inland to Firgas, where we took a break and a drink in the sun whilst enjoying chatting about the island’s history, motorcycles and all manner of small talk.  Again Robert and Krister were kindly sharing the highlights of the location.  Firgas is picture postcard pretty villa which is home to a lovely waterfall feature and impressive ceramic models of all of the surrounding Canary Islands. 

We then headed on further inland to Teror, another very pretty village with streets lined with villas with pretty traditional Canarian wooden balconies and its impressive church, which is home to the Island’s main virgin, the Virgin de Los PiƱos (it’s a very Spanish religious thing!).

We then headed on towards Vega de San Mateo.  All of the roads we used on this tour were superb, ideal for cruising on a great bike like the Harley Davidson, well surfaced and with plenty of fun twisty sections!  This was especially true for this section - By now I was getting used to the torque! 

We stopped for a further drink in San Mateo before unfortunately, due to my time constraints, we had to head back to base in Las Palmas.  This said we did have time to enjoy an after ride beer – good planning!

In summary I had a great time in very good company on immaculate machines.  It’s a while since I have done any motorcycle touring – it bought it back to me just what a pleasure it is. 

Touring Ride offer numerous tours and can cater for guests for a half day up to a full week, without repeating the same rides.  They even take groups over to neighbouring Islands.

Highly recommended – take a look at YouGoDo’s 100’s of motorcyclingexperiences here, find out more about Touring Ride here and look here for activities in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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